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October 04. 2012 11:25PM

Prudential Verani Realty merges with Norwood Group

LONDONDERRY — The merger of Prudential Verani Realty and Real Living-The Norwood Group this week makes Prudential Verani the real estate firm with the largest market share in Hillsborough County, according to the company's owner, Giovanni Verani.

“With the size and market share, it allows us to offer a better product,” Verani said.

Verani Realty was founded in 1967 by restaurant owner Osvaldo Verani. In 1968, Karl Norwood, who previously owned a milk company, founded The Norwood Group.

Late last year, Prudential's real estate interests were acquired by Brookfield Residential Property Services, now the third-largest residential brokerage in North America. Real Living-The Norwood group is also under Brookfield's umbrella, so the merger of the two family-run businesses was a natural progression, according to the companies.

“With Brookfield's purchase of Prudential, our two companies were already aligned,” said Karl Norwood, president of The Norwood Group, in a release. “With the same corporate ownership, it made sense to continue that partnership at the state level.”

Prudential Verani Realty continues to be independently operated and family-run.

Headquartered in Londonderry, Verani said Prudential is also the top real estate company in Merrimack and Rockingham counties, with offices in Nashua, Portsmouth, Hampton, Exeter, Concord, Salem, Barnstead, Derry, Milford and Atkinson. The merger with the Norwood Group will add a Nashua office and one in Amherst, bringing Verani into one of the state's wealthiest communities.

“I think that's a very exciting area to expand into, and we've got some really awesome talent that has aligned with us,” Verani said.

Norwood's Bedford office will be closed and consolidated with Verani's office there.

In all Prudential Verani Realty employs 385 people, including 350 real estate agents. The Norwood Group's entire staff will continue to work for the firm, which conducts some 3,700 real estate transactions annually.

Verani said the merger would have occurred regardless of the real estate market. Though it's a great market for buyers, with low interest rates and home values, things are also starting to look good for sellers, he said.

“The market is actually turning around,” he said. “It's becoming very healthy, and we look forward to that market continuing to improve in 2013.”

Where the New Hampshire housing market had a six-month inventory in 2011, the inventory is now at one month, Verani said. But as prices have remained stagnant in spite of lower supply, he hesitated to call it a seller's market.

NAI Norwood Group, a commercial real estate brokerage, is unaffected by the merger. It will continue to be owned and operated by the Norwood family.

srios@newstote.com



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