A Week In Business – April 12, 2019

Monthly Market Recap

BERLIN – Home sale prices continue to rise on the Lower Eastern Shore, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).

Sale prices reached an average of $200,273 in all three counties in March, which is 17.2 percent higher than the same time last year. Individually, the average sale price was $293,367 in Worcester County, $186,308 in Wicomico County, and $121,144 in Somerset County.

List prices reached an average of $227,796 in all three counties, which is 0.5 percent lower than the same time last year.

New listings that went on the market in March were up 2.5 percent compared to the same time last year in all three counties. That translates to 532 new listings. Individually, new available units were up by 15.2 percent in Somerset, and were down by 0.7 percent in Wicomico and by 2.6 percent in Worcester.

However, active inventory is still lower than it was a year ago. In all three counties, there was a total of 1,789 active listings, which is 27 percent lower than it was in March 2018. Active listings were down by 24.1 percent in Worcester, by 37.1 percent in Wicomico, and by 17.3 percent in Somerset.

New residential settlements in March were down by 16.3 percent overall compared to the same time last year in all three counties. Individually, settlements were down by 37 percent in Wicomico, by 0.5 percent in Worcester, and by 10 percent in Somerset. Year-to-date settlements across the Tri-County area totaled 700, which is 12.1 percent lower than the same time last year.

“The last week of March saw the biggest one-week drop in mortgage interest rates in a decade,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “That rate is still hovering around four percent and it’s not expected to increase very much this year. If you’re thinking about buying, now is a good time to start the process so you can take advantage of these low rates.”


Foundation Members Named

SALISBURY — The Wor-Wic Community College Foundation recently welcomed Mike Marshall and Jason Parker of Berlin, Stephen Pappas of Ocean City and Phyllis Vinyard of Salisbury as new members of the board of directors.

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Mike Marshall

Marshall is president and CEO of Marshall Hotels & Resorts in Salisbury. He is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Cornell Hotel Society and GlenRiddle Golf Club in Berlin, and a former member of the Greater Salisbury Committee and Green Hill Country Club. Marshall earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington Va., and completed the advanced management program in hospitality management through Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

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Jason Parker

Parker is a vice president at the Bank of Ocean City. He serves as secretary/treasurer of the board of directors of the L. Franklin and Gertrude H. Purnell Foundation and as an elder at the Buckingham Presbyterian Church in Berlin. He is a member of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, an associate member of the Berlin Lions Club and Delmarva Condominium Manager’s Association, and a former member of the Downtown Association of Ocean City, Young Professionals of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and the Ocean Pines Chamber of

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Stephen Pappas

Commerce. He received his associate degree in business management from Wor-Wic and his bachelor’s degree in finance from Wilmington University.

Pappas is the owner and manager of The Original Greene Turtle in Ocean City and a lacrosse coach at Worcester Preparatory School. He volunteers with the Worcester County Humane Society and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington College in Chestertown.

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Phyllis Vinyard

Vinyard received her bachelor’s degree at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. She serves on the board of directors of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation and is a former board member of the Sussex Shores Water Co. Vinyard is a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church Altar Guild in Salisbury and a former member of the Wicomico Garden Club. Vinyard created an endowed scholarship at Wor-Wic in memory of her husband, Henry Lee Vinyard Jr., a Salisbury attorney and community leader for more than 35 years.


Retirement Seminar Planned

BERLIN — Jeffrey D. Montgomery is among the exclusive group of independent financial advisors throughout the country authorized to host the new Smart Women, Smart Retirement seminars created by New York Times Bestselling Author David Bach.

The seminars, which will take place April 23 and April 25 at the Montgomery Financial Training Center in Ocean Pines, include content from the special 20th-anniversary edition of Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich, which has sold over 1 million copies since its initial publication in 1998. To register for the seminar, please call 855-972-6224 or visit MFSWealth.com

The Smart Women, Smart Retirement seminars present strategies to help women who are at or near retirement to spend wisely, establish financial independence, align their values with their money, and accumulate greater personal and financial wealth.


Expansion Project Update

BERLIN — Gillis Gilkerson announced progress on the south area expansion project at Frontier Town. The project includes over 100 RV pull through sites and construction of a new 1,885-square-foot bath house and 5,960-square-foot community hall building.

“The Gillis Gilkerson team did a good job keeping things moving even though we were hit with a substantial amount of wet weather,” said Michael Johnson, construction manager, Atwell Group. “They are good at communicating and getting things done.”

The completion of the bath house and RV sites are set for July with the community hall building by August.


Brewery Recognized

LEWES, Del. — Big Oyster Brewery was named one of the fastest growing small and independent craft breweries of 2018 by the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers.

“It’s really nice to be included on a list like this. We’ve made this dream a reality through a lot of long hours, and a dedicated team of people who are passionate about great beer. All of us have worked really hard to get to this point, from our brewing team that starts their day before the sun comes up, to the sales team, who work tirelessly to get our beer into the hands of customers at local hot spots and to all our restaurant staff try their best to provide a memorable beer drinking experience. We’re excited to see what the rest of 2019 has in store for us.” said Andrew Harton, head brewer of Big Oyster Brewery.

Big Oyster Brewery was ranked second fastest growing craft brewery in the US according to the Brewer’s Association’s annual production survey. Big Oyster Brewery began inside owner Jeff Hamer’s Fins Ale House in Rehoboth. Hamer fell into a bit of luck after construction of the Fins location began when the store directly next to it became available as well. The result was the dream of an in-house craft brewery component becoming a reality sooner than expected, and by June of 2015 beers from the brew team of Andrew Harton and assistant brewer Red Killpack began to flow.

“I could never have imagined we would be where we are now when this all started,” said Hamer. “Our brewery team is partially made up of folks who’ve worked for me since their high school days and I couldn’t be more thrilled we’ve all taken this journey together.”