Industry Notes

July 03, 2005

Edenwald gets state approval for Towson tower

Edenwald, an accredited continuing-care retirement community in Towson, said it has won approval from the Maryland Department of Aging to expand by adding a 12-story tower.

Groundbreaking for the $60 million project, to be called The Terraces at Edenwald, is expected in the spring of 2006, with construction to be completed in early 2008. Edenwald is at 800 Southerly Road, across Fairmont Avenue from Towson Town Center.

The new tower will house an indoor pool and spa with an elevated walking track, two fitness areas, a Great Room with nondenominational chapel and an enclosed parking garage. It also will feature a "green roof," with plants and vegetation, to improve the building's energy performance and reduce storm water runoff.

Ten floor plans will be available, and each apartment will have a balcony. The expansion will add over 40 full-time positions to the staff.

SFCS, a Roanoke, Va.-based senior care design architectural firm, designed The Terraces at Edenwald. Towson-based engineering firm Daft-McCune-Walker Inc. has also been contracted to work on the project.

Seminar on home buying scheduled for Saturday

A free seminar for home buyers and sellers will be presented Saturday by Spivey Professional Real Estate Services at its Ellicott City offices, 9693-B Baltimore National Pike.

A buyer presentation, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., will outline steps to home ownership and cover first-time buyer programs, on-site loan prequalification, sales agreements and how to search for homes.

A seller presentation, from noon to 1:30 p.m., will include tips on getting your house ready to sell, listing agreements and loan qualifications. Register by calling 410-465-0083 or sending an e-mail to rsvp@spiveypros.com.

Fannie Mae names new chief audit executive

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae, whose accounting is under investigation by federal regulators, has named a new chief audit executive from outside the company.

S. Jean Hinrichs, who is a certified internal auditor and fraud examiner with experience at a large investment firm and the Federal Reserve, will assume the job of senior vice president for internal audit this month, Fannie Mae announced last week. She will report directly to the board of directors' audit committee.

Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. buyer of home mortgages, in December was ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission to restate its earnings back to 2001, a correction that could reach an estimated $11 billion. Another federal agency has given the government-sponsored company until Sept. 30 to boost its capital cushion against risk by 30 percent, or about $5 billion.

To make up the shortfall, Fannie Mae has been reducing its portfolio of mortgage loans and raised fresh capital by issuing about $5 billion in preferred stock. A report released Monday by the company shows it reduced its loan portfolio by an annualized rate of 28.9 percent in May, after a 16.3 percent decline in April.

House prices fall again in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom house prices dropped for the 12th successive month in June, making homes cheaper than at any time in almost two years, according to a survey by the Hometrack property Web site.

The average cost of a home fell 0.2 percent from the previous month. That took the average price of a house to 161,600 pounds ($294,265), the lowest since December 2003, when it was 161,400 pounds, the London-based researcher said last week. Prices have fallen 3.2 percent in the last year.

The Bank of England's benchmark interest rate has stayed at a 3 1/2 -year high of 4.75 percent for 10 months, damping consumer spending and curbing a real estate boom that saw property values double in five years.

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