Legg Mason sells new-homes unit Washington company buys sales tracker

September 07, 1996|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,SUN STAFF

Legg Mason Realty Group Inc. has sold a division that tracked new-home sales in the Baltimore region for a decade and will focus instead on its real estate consulting services, company officials said yesterday.

Housing Data Reports Inc., a Washington-based market research company, acquired Housing Market Profiles, the Legg Mason segment that published quarterly reports of the new homes market. Terms were not disclosed.

The Washington company has produced its own market reports for builders, developers, lenders and real estate agents in metropolitan Washington since 1973.

HDR expanded its new-homes analysis last year to the Baltimore region, where many of its developer clients were building homes.

"We're on a growth path," said Renay Regardie, HDR's chief executive officer.

The acquisition will allow HDR to serve building industry clients in three major markets -- the company's Washington base as well as Baltimore and Philadelphia, which Legg Mason had covered. Legg Mason Realty Group started Housing Market Profiles in Baltimore in 1986, expanding to Philadelphia in 1990 and to Washington in 1993.

Legg Mason will continue offering real estate consulting, marketing and appraisal services to the residential building industry as well as to corporations, investors and clients in commercial development, government and education, said Mark Thompson, vice president of residential consulting.

"The focus of our business is more the analysis and strategic planning consulting rather than the information gatherers," Thompson said. "We decided to sell the unit to really focus on our strategic and analysis services -- a big part of the consulting group. HDR is going to take over the collection of data and all of our past clients with that."

Regardie described her company's monthly report of trends in sales, prices, new communities and products as an "intense analysis of the marketplace."

It has covered Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties since last year.

The Washington area report always had covered Howard County, and had covered Anne Arundel County for about seven years.

Subscribers to Legg Mason's Housing Market Profiles will begin receiving reports from HDR, released around mid-month.

Legg Mason published its final quarterly report in July.

Six Legg Mason employees had worked on reports from the Baltimore and Philadelphia offices, Thompson said. Those employees either stayed within Legg Mason or found other jobs, he said.

Before buying the Legg Mason unit, HDR had served about 60 percent of the Baltimore region's builders and developers, Regardie said.

She said her company has an office in Philadelphia and is deciding whether to open one in Baltimore.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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