Contracts Trend Up
BERLIN – The local real estate market rounded out the end of 2014 with increasing contract – or pending sales – numbers, continuing a trend that held steady throughout the year.
According to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR), single family home contract signings across the Tri-County area saw a 44.3-percent jump in December, compared to the same time the previous year. CAR’s data reflects contract increases during each month of 2014 except for May, which saw a 6-percent decrease. Compared to 2013, 2014 as a whole saw a 16-percent increase in contract signings.
Settlement numbers were up 27.3 percent in December, and 11 percent throughout the entirety of 2014. Settlements numbers seesawed throughout 2014, with some months up and others down. There are various reasons that contracts do not make it to settlement.
“It could be that the appraisal doesn’t meet the contract price, but what we’re really seeing are stringent lending rules and regulations that are at times restrictive on getting deals to the settlement table,” said Terrence McGowan, a member of the CAR board of directors and a REALTOR® with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty. “I think we’re going to continue to see this trend at least through the first quarter of the year. But increasing contracts and other activity shows that foot traffic is up, in the primary and secondary residence areas. People are coming here and they’re looking.”
December’s statistics also reflected a decrease in the number of days that homes in the Tri-County area are staying on the market after they’re listed, which is promising for sellers hoping to move their homes quickly. Additionally, all three counties saw increases in the number of homes whose settlement price was closest to the listing price.
“Things are really looking up for the local real estate market, as demonstrated by the steady increases we saw in contracts and settlements,” said Sheila Dodson, executive director of CAR. “The numbers show that buyers and sellers are becoming more confident, while local REALTORS® are becoming more successful. It’s onward and upward has we head into 2015.”
New Foundation Leader
SALISBURY — By unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, Erica Joseph has been named president of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES).
Joseph replaces Doug Wilson, who retired from the position effective Dec. 31. Joseph, former CFES Vice President, Community Investment, begins her position immediately. Over the past 11 years with the Community Foundation, Joseph has exemplified her leadership ability by developing partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and connecting individual donors and corporations with community needs through charitable giving.
“With a professional staff and engaged board of directors, I am excited for the opportunity to serve my community and this wonderful organization in this capacity,” stated Joseph. “I see great possibilities for the future and am proud to be a part of the legacy established by the many volunteers, donors and leaders who have come before me.”
Melody Nelson, CFES Board Chairm added, “It is our distinct honor to be able to start a new year with Erica Joseph as our president. We have full confidence that she will be able to focus on the organization’s vision and lead the growth of the Foundation that our leaders over the past 30 years have implemented.”
Counselor Joins AGH
BERLIN – Atlantic General Hospital and Health System announced that Esther Harrell, LCPC, has joined their behavioral health program.
Harrell holds a license as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor from the Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Hood College, she earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Loyola University Maryland.
FENWICK ISLAND — Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, which has eight restaurants along the coast, recently announced the promotion of Scott Viselli to the chef position at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria.
Viselli, started with SoDel Concepts in August 2013, when he joined the staff of Catch 54 in Fenwick Island.
“I knew from the moment I met Scott that he would be a great addition to the company, and I wanted to find a place for him,” Kammerer said. “His food is outstanding, and he’s a professional at every level.”
Viselli, who grew up in northern Virginia, cut his culinary teeth working in country clubs, and he later owned a seafood market and restaurant in his home state. He has recently worked at Two Seas in Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Seafood and The Globe in Berlin.