Industry Notes

INDUSTRY NOTES

July 10, 2005

1st phase completed at Windsor Commons townhouses in Pa.

A first phase of Windsor Commons, a rental townhouse development in Pennsylvania, has been completed, with a second due to be ready by fall.

Developed by the Blackford Group, the 35-acre development is on Route 24 in Red Lion, 15 miles above the Maryland line.

Upon completion, there will be 175 three-bedroom townhouses and 71 two-bedroom houses. The three-bedroom units are now ready.

Rents range from $995 to $1,200 and include water, sewer and trash service, indoor and outdoor maintenance including snow removal and lawn care.

Britons borrow less against homes in 1Q

Britons borrowed less against the value of their homes in the first three months of the year than in any quarter since 2001, adding to signs that consumer confidence is waning as house prices fall.

Mortgage equity withdrawal fell to 6.4 billion pounds ($11.3 billion) in the first three months of the year, the lowest since the third quarter of 2001, the Bank of England said. That compared with a revised 8.3 billion pounds in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Britons' willingness to finance spending with debt drawn against soaring home values has helped underpin 51 consecutive quarters of growth in the U.K. economy, Europe's second largest. Interest rates at a 3 1/2 -year high, oil prices at $60 a barrel and a weakening jobs market are curbing the housing boom that saw prices double in five years, making consumers reluctant to add to their mortgages.

6 N.H. papers to stop ads targeting adult tenants

Six newspapers in New Hampshire have agreed to stop running real estate ads that suggest children aren't welcome at the properties after complaints that the ads violated federal law.

Several dozens landlords and real estate agents also agreed to stop placing ads targeting adult tenants and to submit future ads to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for review.

Federal law prohibits landlords from discriminating against children.

The ads included promotions like "one mature person," "quiet adult location" and "great for a single person." They are discriminatory because they make it harder for families to rent out the locations, said Christine Lavallee of New Hampshire Legal Assistance.

The six papers include the Portsmouth Herald, The Weirs Times, The Conway Daily Sun, Foster's Daily Democrat, the Claremont Eagle-Times and papers with Salmon Press.

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