A Week In Business – December 28, 2018

November Market Recap

BERLIN – As winter sets in across the Lower Shore, the local housing market is experiencing its annual dip in activity, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).

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A graphic is pictured summarizing key real estate indicators for the month of November. Submitted Image

New residential settlements in November 2018 were down by 2.2 percent overall compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, settlements were up by eight percent in Worcester and were down by 9.2 percent in Wicomico and by 44.4 percent in Somerset. Year-to-date settlements across the Tri-County area totaled 4,156 as of the end of November, which is about 2.1 percent lower than the same time last year.

New listings that went on the market in November were down 7.9 percent and total active listings were down by 17.6 percent compared to the same time last year in all three counties. That translates to 441 new listings and 3,273 active listings. Individually, available units were down by 14.2 percent in Worcester County, by 25.2 percent in Wicomico County, and by 9.1 percent in Somerset County.

List prices continued to rise last month, reaching an average price of $272,084 in all three counties, which is 14 percent higher than the same time last year. The average sale price was $207,258, which is 14.8 percent higher than the same time last year.

“We generally see a market slowdown during this time of year, as buyers and sellers focus their attention on their families and the holidays,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “However, we are also feeling the side effects of continued mortgage rate increases, which are impacting real estate across the country.”

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the recent rise in mortgage rates have reduced the pool of eligible buyers. However, Yun added that while the short-term out look is uncertain, he is very optimistic about the long-term outlook. The current home sales level matches sales in 2000.

“However, mortgage rates are much lower today compared to earlier this century, when mortgage rates averaged eight percent,” Yun said. “So, while the long-term prospects look solid, we just have to get through this short-term period of uncertainty.”


Nursing Program Recognized

SALISBURY – The reputation of Salisbury University’s School of Nursing – and its graduates – has been reaffirmed statewide and nationally.

SU nursing students again achieved the highest pass rates of all University System of Maryland (USM) campuses on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). Their first-time pass rates were a nearly perfect 98.8 percent for 2017-18, based on Maryland Board of Nursing data.

SU’s School of Nursing also recently received re-accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for each of its four programs (B.S., M.S., D.N.P., and post-graduate advanced practice registered nurse certificate). Each was for the full period of 10 years and there were no compliance concerns.

“This reaffirmation of program quality makes it clear why SU students are able to keep the top spot among USM institutions in the NCLEX pass rate and in other important outcomes,” said Dr. Karen Olmstead, interim provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. “I am extremely grateful to the nursing faculty for all their hard work, expertise and leadership on behalf of our nursing students and programs.”

Dr. Jeffrey Willey, director of the School of Nursing, added: “SU has the highest 10-year average pass rate of all USM institutions on the licensure examination, and we are very proud of our students for their continued success.”

SU’s nursing programs expanded into a School of Nursing this fall, as part of the campus’ new College of Health and Human Services. The revamped organizational structure is designed to foster inter-professional collaboration for students across disciplines, and help SU continue to best meet the workforce needs of the state and region in the growing fields of health and human services.