A Week In Business – November 23, 2018

Monthly Market Recap

BERLIN – Local housing market activity was unhindered by last month’s considerable mortgage rate increase, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).

Residential settlements in October 2018 were up by 12.3 percent overall compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, settlements were up by 3.7 percent in Worcester, by 27.2 percent in Wicomico, and by 36.4 percent in Somerset. Year-to-date settlements, however, totaled 3,769 as of the end of October, which is about three percent lower than the same time last year.

New listings that went on the market in October were up 15.1 percent and total active listings were down by 18.1 percent compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. That translates to 586 new listings and 3,303 active listings. Individually, available housing units were down by 17 percent in Worcester County, by 25 percent in Wicomico, and by 6.6 percent in Somerset.

List prices continued to rise last month, reaching a median price of $166,000 in all three counties, which is 10.7 percent higher than the same time last year. The median sale price, however, was $145,000, which is 3.3 percent lower than the same time last year.

The overall cumulative days on market (CDOM) was 68, which is 27.3 percent lower than the same time last year.

“Mortgage rates reached a seven-year high in October, yet our local market continues to thrive,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “With continued rate increases expected before the end of the year, it will be interesting to see how local real estate will be impacted.”

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), fears that the United States is experiencing a small bubble are unfounded, as “current market conditions are fundamentally different than what we were experiencing before the recession 10 years ago. Most states are reporting stable or strong market conditions, housing starts are under-producing instead of over-producing, and we are seeing historically low foreclosure levels, indicating that people are living within their means and not purchasing homes they cannot afford. This is a stronger, more stable market compared to the loosely regulated market leading up to the bust.”

Coastal’s monthly local housing statistics are pulled from the Bright Multiple Listing Service, which represents the activity of over 1,000 local REALTORS® in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties,


Bank Promotion

BERLIN — Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company President and Chief Executive Office Raymond M. Thompson has announced Hanna Ford has been promoted into the bank’s internal Management Trainee Program.

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Hanna Ford

Over the course of several months, Ford will be submersed into the various departments of the bank, participate in strategic and personal development projects, and attend both internal and external training programs. Ford is also currently participating in the Maryland Banker’s Emerging Leaders program. Ford began her employment with Taylor Bank in September 2013 as a Customer Service Associate located at the bank’s 20th Street branch in Ocean City. During her career, she has received promotions in the area of branch operations, and has served the bank as a new hire trainer and mentor. Ford graduated from Wor-Wic Community College in 2014 with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies.

“At Taylor Bank we always prefer to fill open positions from within our company. Offering this opportunity to a current employee is a tremendous benefit to the bank, as Mrs. Ford has existing relationships with our customers, our staff, and is familiar with our internal processes,” said Thompson.


High Ranking Agents

OCEAN CITY — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Ocean City offices recently had several agents ranking in October’s Top 100 for the Greater Baltimore region.

Local agents featured included Nancy Reither, one; Jamie Caine, sixth; Eric Green, ninth; Michael Nolen, 32; Dick Feeser, 60; Cindy DiNicolas, 70; E Galyon, 81; Peck Miller, 85; Nina Littleton, 89; Terri Moran, 92; and Michele Pompa, 93.

Cain Team of OC ranked 19th in the team division.


Executive Director Named

SALISBURY — A familiar face will return to lead Salisbury University’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art this fall.

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Dr. Kristin Sullivan

The Ward Foundation recently announced Dr. Kristin Sullivan will become the museum’s new executive director. Her appointment officially begins in December. Sullivan previously served as the facility’s curator from 2014 to 2015 and director of exhibitions and research in 2016. She was involved in exhibits, folk life programming, budgets, grant writing, publications, education and marketing — virtually all aspects of the museum.

“Dr. Sullivan is passionate about the museum’s collections and programs, and its relationship with SU and the community,” said Dr. Kent Kimmel, Ward Foundation chair. “We are confident that she will continue the legacy of the Ward brothers by preserving and interpreting the art forms and material culture of the Eastern Shore.”

Since 2016, Sullivan has directed the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, part of the nonprofit Humanities Washington, based in Seattle, in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission. She developed this new statewide folk life and traditional arts program in coordination with nonprofit, state and federal agencies; conducted extensive research and secured funds to develop programming for diverse stakeholders; and directed Humanities Washington’s grant-making program, among other duties.

Previously, she served as assistant director and advisor for the Museum of Chincoteague Island, VA. She also taught at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and led research in cooperation with the National Park Service. Sullivan has done extensive research and published on decoy carvers and carving, wildfowling, art and tourism, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and Assateague Island.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Eastern Shore, and to the Ward Foundation and Museum, at such an exciting time of growth for the museum, the City of Salisbury and Salisbury University,” said Sullivan. “I look forward to digging in soon and working with our many partners in the region to showcase and support this unique institution.”

Sullivan earned her Ph.D. in anthropology and Master of Applied Anthropology from UMCP, where her dissertation examined the transitioning culture of Chincoteague Island. Her B.A. in religious studies is from North Carolina State University. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association and Society for Applied Anthropology, among other professional organizations.

Celebrating its 50th year, the Ward Foundation honors the legacy of renowned Eastern Shore decoy carvers Lem and Steve Ward and the greater tradition of wildfowl carving. The Ward Museum opened in SU’s Holloway Hall in 1975, relocating to its current location on Schumaker Pond in 1991.


Designated Achieved

BERLIN – Page Browning, executive vice president of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal), is being honored by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) with the REALTOR® association Certified Executive (RCE) designation, which recognizes exceptional efforts by REALTOR® association executives (AEs).

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Page Browning

Browning is one of over 500 REALTOR® AEs who have achieved this mark of excellence. Local and state AEs who hold the RCE designation represent REALTORS® in 50 states/territories.

The RCE is the only professional designation designed specifically for REALTOR® AEs. It exemplifies goal-oriented AEs with drive, experience, and commitment to professional growth, according to NAR’s website. Prior to becoming a candidate for the RCE designation, applicants must document their association management and academic experiences. Once they have completed this first step, eligible candidates must successfully complete a multiple-choice exam, which is based on a comprehensive understanding of association operations and management practices. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of areas critical to REALTOR® association management, including association law, governance, and issues related to member services. To retain the designation, RCEs must be recertified every four years.

“We are incredibly proud of Page for earning this coveted designation,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “She is truly a wonderful asset to our association and this accomplishment shows just how dedicated she is to serving our members.”

Browning also holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The CAE credential is the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment, according to the ASAE website.