Despite the downturn in the U.S. real estate market, real estate brokerage and franchise company Realogy has reported expansion of its franchise networks in 2007.

In an announcement today, Realogy announced that its Coldwell Banker brand entered nine additional countries in 2007, while adding 31 Coldwell Banker franchise affiliates. Also, the company announced that 56 existing Coldwell Banker franchises expanded operations through mergers or acquisitions in 2007.

“We stated at the outset of 2007 that international growth and helping our U.S. affiliated companies grow market share was a priority,” said Jim Gillespie, president and CEO of Realogy’s Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, in a statement. He also stated that challenging U.S. market conditions have paved the way for local consolidation.

The Coldwell Banker network has about 3,800 offices and 123,700 sales associates in 31 countries and territories, according to the announcement.

Coldwell Banker Affiliates of Japan, which launched last year, now has 34 offices and 114 sales associates, the company reported, and the brand also reached Romania, Turkey, Korea, Honduras, Malta, Ecuador and Peru last year. And a franchise agreement signed last year will bring the brand to Vietnam.

Realogy also announced that its ERA Real Estate brand added 52 franchises in 2007, with 11 new ERA franchises in the fourth quarter. Globally, the ERA brand reached six new countries and territories in 2007, including the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Italy, Mexico, Morocco and Turkey.

Another Realogy brand, Sotheby’s International Realty, grew its office network by 37 percent and expanded into 13 additional countries. The average ales price for Sotheby’s International Realty brokers grew 3.1 percent in 2007, the company reported, while the average sales price fell 1.9 percent nationwide, according to National Association of Realtors data.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand added 120 offices around the globe in 2007, according to the report.

Realogy’s ERA has about 2,950 franchise and company-owned offices and 38,000 sales associates and operates in 48 countries and territories, and there are 455 franchise and company-owned offices operating under the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. There are about 8,600 Sotheby’s International Realty sales associates, and the brand is in 28 countries and territories.

Realogy also operates the Century 21 franchise network, which features 8,400 franchise offices and about 143,000 sales associates in 57 countries and territories. The company has announced plans to add another franchise network this year, under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand.

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