Local real estate office reaches a landmark in residential sales.

Not only did the Bethesda Gateway office of Long & Foster reach $1 billion in residential sales in 2002, they expect to do it again.

“Our goal for this year is $1.1 billion,” said Dennis Melby of the office.

The sales for the office last year totaled $1,007,736,627 on 2,456 transactions said Melby. He estimated that 22 percent of the transactions took place in Potomac.

The office’s most expensive listing was in Potomac, a home which sold for $4.3 million. Their top producer was Bradley Rozansky, who had sales reaching $65 million. “We have a very dynamic area. It’s like the epicenter of property,” he said.

Other local real estate companies also had a good year in 2002.

“I think it was probably one of the best years ever for real estate,” said Bob Moorman, managing broker of WC&AN Miller in Potomac Village.

A confluence of generally high priced housing nationwide, combined with office mergers created conditions which allowed the milestone to be reached.

“Of course, as property values go up, it’s easier to reach your goal,” said Moorman.

Although the million dollar mansions in the area contributed to the totals, Melby says they weren’t the prime movers. “There just aren’t that many of them. Most of the properties were probably in the $450,000 to $650,000 range,” Melby said. The average transaction was just over $410,300.

The sheer size of Long & Foster Gateway office was a contributor. According to Melby, there are about 150 real estate agents working in the office.

“They have an awful lot of heavyweight people there,” said Rick Campbell of Weichert Realty in Potomac Village.

“It’s all about numbers in a lot of ways,” Moorman said.

Campbell estimated that his office’s 59 agents reached about $200 million in sales last year. “If we merged every office in the village, we probably wouldn’t reach a billion,” Campbell said.

Campbell says that office will be able to reach their goal again. “Unless there’s a recession, I think they can do it again. Once you achieve that kind of number, it starts to build on itself,” Campbell said. He explained that in addition to the current crop of brokers, the noteriety will attract other top producers. “They want to be in that enviornment,” Campbell said.