State Roundup: Maryland, California, and Illinois

December 1, 2004

Maryland: Broker in bold

Just how big should a real estate broker’s name be in the listing ads its sales associates run? Smaller than associates’ names, says the Maryland Association of REALTORS®. Sales associates don’t want the state requiring them to give equal or larger billing to their broker, says Mark Feinroth, MAR’s director of regulatory and legal affairs. The state real estate commission included that requirement in a proposed rule it published this fall to make it easier for consumers to identify a contact if there’s a problem. MAR says the current requirement, that brokers be identified “meaningfully and conspicuously” is sufficient. The commission took comments until Oct. 8. It was expected to decide in November whether to move forward with the proposed rule, modify it, or shelve it.

California: Affordable markets appreciate

Some of Southern California’s entry-level home markets, including Barstow and Inglewood, recorded robust appreciation rates of 49 percent during the year-over-year period ending in August. Barstow and Inglewood were among the 10 hottest markets in the state in August, with median prices of just over $100,000 and $349,000, respectively. California Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young attributes the appreciation to a supply-and-demand imbalance. Southern California’s median home price rose 16.8 percent to an all-time high of $474,370 during the same year-to-year period.
Illinois: Gangs at home Gangs laundered some $70 million in illegal drug money through real estate transactions, Chicago Police Superintendent Philip Cline said at a Sept. 30 news conference. The city’s gang intelligence unit uncovered the deals, involving some 100 cases of mortgage fraud, while investigating gang-related homicides. The intelligence unit is working with the IRS to serve warrants in the cases. The findings are the fruits of a program called Operation This Old House.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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