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THE BALTIMORE SUN

Arundel home sales fell 26% in November

Home sales in Anne Arundel County slumped in November, down 26 percent compared with the same month last year, according to the Maryland Association of Realtors.

Just 248 homes were sold in the county last month, compared with 337 units in November 1993; the average price was down 3 percent, to $155,231.

"That's definitely a sharp drop," said Gary Kaukonen, president of Coldwell Bankers Home Realty Professionals. "This is the fourth consecutive month sales have been down."

Mr. Kaukonen attributed the decrease to higher mortgage rates, up almost 2 1/2 percentage points over the past year.

"This market seems to be very interest-rate sensitive," he said, but added he thinks the worst is over. "I think in the next month things will start to pick up. Consumers may realize we may be in an upward cycle. If they wait another year, [rates] could be 11 or 12 percent."

Home sales for November were lower than last year throughout the state -- the only jurisdiction with a sales increase was Baltimore. In Maryland, home sales for November were down 24 percent to 3,186.

Five real estate agents form own company

Five Baltimore County real estate agents have pooled their resources to form the first agent-owned company in the Baltimore area, said broker Bill Griffin, part-owner of Century 21 Results.

Mr. Griffin said the five agents, who worked together in the

now-defunct Century 21 Neale office, opened the joint venture last month to give the agents "some control over our destinies."

"The agents will take part in the profits. It's an investment in their futures," said Mr. Griffin, who added that the five agents are all equal stockholders. Three other agents also work for the new company on Frederick Road in Catonsville. Although the three ++ are not part-owners, they have the option to become owners, he said.

Typically, Mr. Griffin said, real estate brokers own and operate an office with agents working for them. Although agent-owned offices have been tried in other parts of the country, the concept is new to this area.

"The agents have more of an incentive to do a better job," he said. "After all, it's their money on the line as well." The company will focus on home sales in west Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties.

Columbia group aids low-income buyers

The Affordable Housing Alliance has been formed in Columbia to help low-income people buy homes.

The nonprofit group, headed by William Ross Sr., plans to acquire properties from investors and developers, renovate and sell them. The group will also counsel people on home buying and financing.

Information: 730-8689.

NEWS IN BRIEF

* Neighborhood Services of Baltimore Inc. appointed Peter M. Martin, president and chief operating officer of Provident Bank of Maryland, chairman of its board of trustees for 1995. Randall M. Griffin, president of Constellation Real Estate Group Inc., was named to the board.

A nonprofit partnership that has been working to revitalize Baltimore neighborhoods since 1974, Neighborhood Services raised $236,000 in corporate and individual contributions during its 1994 fund-raising drive. Lywal Salles, president of Chase Manhattan Bank of Maryland, is the outgoing chairman.

ON THE MOVE

* Century 21 Diana Realty said Nellie Grace, Lois West and Lorraine Vanik have joined the Bel Air firm as salespeople.

* First Town Mortgage Corp. has appointed Christine H. Jones a loan officer in the firm's Rockville office.

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