The Baltimore and Washington markets could experience an uptick in home sales in 2012 thanks to the area's healthy job market and positive signs that began occurring in 2011, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems said in a report this week. The online real estate information service released a report saying it predicts the metropolitan statistical areas will be a exception in 2012 by experiencing a strong housing market recovery. "The D.C. and Baltimore metro housing markets were considerably better positioned in 2011 compared to national averages and our resolutions demonstrate areas for buyers to capitalize on 2011 gains, in 2012," said John Heithaus, chief marketing officer of MRIS. "Focusing on trends and watching market cues, allows consumers to concentrate on the strength of the area's job market and the desirability of the region as a whole." Foreclosures are at the lowest rate in three years in the area, which also has public transportation projects underway and job security for many residents, the MRIS report notes. There's also been a slow but steady increase in the median home sale price since 2010. MRIS, which is based in Rockville, Md., suggests these factors are creating a local marketplace that is defying the national trend and setting the stage for further home sales in 2012. Write to Kerri Panchuk.