Industry News


Industry Watch

April 10, 2005

Resale contracts rose 2.2 percent in February

Contracts to buy previously owned homes rose in February, according to a new National Association of Realtors index.

The index of signed purchase agreements increased 2.2 percent during the month to 123.2, after falling to 120.6 in January. That compares with a 9.4 percent increase in February contracts for new houses, reported by the Commerce Department.

The sales gains suggest homebuyers may be rushing to make purchases ahead of increasing mortgage rates. Home sales are also being supported by 22 straight months of job creation.

The Realtors group began the pending resales index in March to provide a leading indicator for the housing market.

MMBA to hold breakfast Tuesday in Columbia

The Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association will hold a breakfast meeting Tuesday. Ken Markison of the association will present a national industry update while MMBA lobbyist Dennis Rasmussen will wrap up the legislative session. The meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Columbia Sheraton, 10207 Wincopin Circle. The cost is $29 for members and $39 for nonmembers.

The Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association also has scheduled two classes for covered employees, loan officers, processors and closers on the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act. The classes, from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. May 3, meet continuing education requirements required by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. They will be held in the Baltimore Life Building 10075 Red Run Blvd., Suite 500 in Owings Mills. Cost is $30 for members, $40 for nonmembers

For more information on both events, call Karen O'Connor at 410-312-4090.

Baltimore builders group to give best-homes awards

The Home Builders Association of Baltimore will hold its 28th annual Best in New Homes MAX awards ceremony Thursday at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

Award winners will be announced in the following categories: Active adult, custom, customized, multifamily, multiple product, single family, townhome, model home merchandising and marketing. In addition, sales achievement wards will be presented, including sales manager of the year; exceptional sales achievement; sales team; salesperson of the year for active adult, multifamily, multiple product, single family and townhome; sales/construction superintendent team; and overall sales excellence.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres begin at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. More information is available at

Baltimore Realtors set homebuyer workshop

The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors will hold a free homebuyer workshop on buying foreclosures and government-owned properties from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at GBBR headquarters, 1306 Bellona Ave. in Lutherville.

The session will address how to find, inspect and evaluate U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Administration and city-owned SCOPE property as well as bank foreclosures, with a concentration on using the Internet to research property. Pre-registration is recommended; e-mail, or call the GBBR at 410-337-7200.

Wilmot wins awards from Modular Institute

Wilmot Modular Structures of White Marsh received three awards from the Modular Building Institute at the trade group's recent annual meeting in Las Vegas.

The design/build team of Wilmot Modular Structures and Timonium architectural firm Sanders Design earned a first place for permanent structures for the Exmore, Va., location of Edward Jones Investment. Wilmot and Sanders also won an honorable mention for the redesign and renovation of Wilmot's White Marsh headquarters. Another first place was won for the temporary factory-built offices for Paul Reed Smith Guitars in Stevensville.

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