The Long & Foster Cos. today reported January sales for all of its companies totaled $3.6 billion, an increase of 24 percent over January 2004, marking the best January in the company’s 37-year history.

The numbers include: Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. with January sales of $2.6 billion, up 27 percent on 8,117 property transactions; Prosperity Mortgage, the firm’s mortgage affiliate, reported $256 million in volume of business, an 8 percent decrease over the same month of the previous year, with the decline being in large part due to a decrease in strong refinancing business in 2004.

Strong numbers were also posted by Long & Foster Insurance, with $169 million, up 4 percent; and Mid-States Title with $587 million for the month, up 39 percent over the previous January.

“Home sales have been unprecedented throughout the year,” Wes Foster, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Long & Foster Cos., said. “This underscores the economics that are driving the region’s housing market – household growth, a stronger job market, low interest rates and a good economy.”

All of Long & Foster’s 10 regions posted increases for January. They were: Virginia/West Virginia (40 offices) up 27 percent to $788 million; the overall Baltimore, Md./Southern Pa. region (46 offices) up 14 percent to $472 million; Washington, D.C. (11 offices) up 42 percent to $198 million; Suburban Maryland (19 offices) up 10 percent to $358 million; Western Maryland/Southwestern Pennsylvania (11 offices) up 44 percent to $58 million; the Eastern Shore region (14 offices) up 29 percent to $92 million; the Hampton Roads, Va., region (12 offices) up 52 percent to $122 million; the Richmond region (19 offices) up 13 percent to $176 million; the Southern Maryland region (16 offices) up 16 percent to $139 million; and the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley region (16 offices) up 37 percent to $100 million. Long & Foster’s newest region, Southwestern Virginia, (with 9 offices) posted a sales volume of $67 million.

The top five sales offices in the company for January, and based on sales volume, were: Bethesda/Gateway, Md., ($74 million); Friendship Heights ($56 million); McLean ($52 million); Burke/Fairfax Station/Clifton/Lorton ($49 million); and Chevy Chase and Woodley Park ($47 million).

The Long & Foster Cos. has more than 200 sales offices and 14,000 sales associates throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

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