Housing Market Update
BERLIN – The local housing market is slowly gaining momentum, as single-family home settlements appear to be increasing in comparison to this time last year.
According to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS®, single-family home settlements in August 2014, compared to August 2013, increased moderately in Wicomico and Somerset counties as well as Ocean City. Settlements were down by 11.4 percent in Worcester County.
The figures also reflect an across-the-board jump on single -family home sale prices compared to last month. In Wicomico County, the average sales price increased by 4.6 percent, Worcester by 10.4 percent, and Somerset by 8 percent.
Just as they did in July, contracts, or pending single-family home sales, increased in all three counties in August, pointing to even more settlements in the near future. Contracts for condominiums also increased in Wicomico and Worcester counties as well as in Ocean City.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), national figures are reflective of this trend, as the Pending Home Sales Index climbed 3.3 percent to 105.9 in July from 102.5 in June. NAR’s figures for August have not yet been released.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, has attributed the increase to a larger housing inventory that creates less competition and gives prospective buyers more time to review their options before submitting an offer.
However, that may not necessarily be the case in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, as new single-family home and condominium listings were down in August in all three counties.
“Overall, we attribute the increased contracts and settlements to the stabilizing of the local economy, which is steadily adding more jobs and giving families more confidence to enter the market,” said Sheila Dodson, executive director of Coastal REALTORS®.
SALISBURY — The South Atlantic League announced its annual awards for the 2014 season, honoring Shorebirds’ executive Alyssa Dooyema as the Female Executive of the Year in the South Atlantic League.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by my peers throughout the South Atlantic League,” said Dooyema. “I am grateful to receive this award, and I would like to thank everyone at the Shorebirds organization, as well as my family and friends for their support.”
“Alyssa has been instrumental to our success as an organization this season,” said Shorebirds General Manager Chris Bitters. “She is incredibly deserving of this honor, and we are very proud that she has received this recognition from the league.”
Dooyema joined the Shorebirds in February of 2012. As the Business Development Executive, she is responsible for organizing promotions, theme nights and birthday parties at Shorebirds games. Dooyema also organizes non-baseball events at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium including Fan Fest, business meetings and stadium rentals.
SU Earns Value Listing
SALISBURY — For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly magazine has named Salisbury University one of “America’s Best Bang For The Buck Colleges.”
The list spotlights 349 schools in the country that “do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”
SU was ranked at No. 93; No. 41 among master’s-level universities. With over 1,500 schools examined, this places SU among the top 10 percent nationwide.
To be included, colleges had to meet criteria related to Pell grant recipients, graduation rates and student loan default rates. Net price of attendance also was a factor.
The list challenges prospective students to ask the question: “What colleges will charge people like me the least and give me the highest chance of graduating with a degree that means something in the marketplace?”
Two other publications also named SU one of the better higher education values in the United States this fall.
Money ranked SU second among University System of Maryland campuses in its “Best College Values,” after the University of Maryland College Park. At No. 223, SU is in the top 15 percent nationally, based on factors including “educational quality, affordability and alumni earnings.”
In Forbes, SU was among the top three System campuses with College Park and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, based on factors ranging from student satisfaction and graduation rates to career success and student debt.
BETHANY BEACH, Del. – Michael Loftus, owner of Loftus Wealth Strategies in Millville, Del., has recently been named a Five Star Wealth Manager for 2014 by Five Star Professional, a company that researches and recognizes outstanding service professionals.
According to FiveStarProfessional.com, Five Star Professional conducts research to help consumers with the important decision of selecting a service professional. The Five Star award is presented to wealth managers, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, home/auto insurance professionals and dentists in more than 45 markets in the U.S. and Canada. The Five Star award recognizes service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. Five Star Professional was started in 2003 and has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Loftus Wealth Strategies is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year.
“This award is a wonderful nod to my professional work, and happens to coincide with our five year anniversary. I take great pride in caring for my clients, and so recognition as a Five Star Professional is an honor,” said Loftus. “I provide a high level of experience, with hands on attention. I enjoy the challenge of helping my clients achieve their dreams and desires, and to be recognized for this is a dream come true.”
SALISBURY — Gillis Gilkerson, a general contracting and construction management firm on Delmarva, announced the completion of renovations made to the new Woodbridge Marine Corps JROTC’s Complex – Camp Raider.
The 4,800-square-foot property covers three buildings on the Woodbridge School District property in Greenwood, Del.
“EDiS Company has worked with Gillis Gilkerson on many projects,” said Diana Patille, EDiS Company senior project manager. “They consistently deliver on time, on budget and successful projects for our clients. The Camp Raider Team did an excellent job on this very fast-paced, budget-driven contract.”
Renovations were completed on three modular units given to Woodbridge from Polytech School District to be earmarked as the future home of “Camp Raider.” The fit-out included selective demolition, instillation of a new HVAC unit, fire alarm system, plumbing, electrical work, siding, roofing, interior finishes and door frames. The compound is now equipped with an indoor shooting range, classroom space and outdoor drill area.
“Gillis Gilkerson is always pleased to have the opportunity to work on projects that create a positive impact our local schools,” said Dwight Miller, president, Gillis Gilkerson. “The work we completed for the district helped create a face for the Camp Raider compound which ultimately helps instill a sense of pride for the students in the JROTC program.”
The work was completed within six months to meet the school district’s goal to open with the new $52.5 million Woodbridge High School for the start of the 2014-15 school year.