Aronson & Co., a nationally ranked accounting and consulting firm, on Wednesday released the results of its 2004-2005 Homebuilder Salary Survey, which focused on employee retention, bonus and profit sharing plans, and salary ranges within the mid-Atlantic home-building industry.

As compared to the previous year’s results, average salaries did not increase significantly above inflation, but there was a noticeable increase from last year in the higher range for each salary position.

“This indicates that employers are willing to pay higher salaries to retain their top performers or steal one from a competitor,” said Abba J. Blum, officer in charge of the Real Estate Services Group at Aronson & Co.

Overall, the past year was financially successful for most of the home builders surveyed, with the number of units closed increasing an average of 12 percent as compared to the prior year. The sales positions had the lowest increase in salaries in the Washington, D.C., area, indicating continued high demand for homes.

In addition to salary information, the survey also provided insight into the current state of fringe benefits available to employees in the home-building industry. Survey results indicate that companies have not had much success in implementing formalized incentive compensation programs. Both 2004 and 2005 surveys reflected that only about one-quarter of all companies have written programs.

Compiled by Aronson & Co.’s Real Estate Group, the survey was designed exclusively for home builders operating in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. National builders were excluded, as their multijurisdictional locations skew the results as compared to the higher cost of living for the mid-Atlantic area. All of the information received directly from the participants in October 2004 was input into Aronson & Co.’s Internet portal and participant data is kept strictly confidential.

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