A Week In Business – June 14, 2019

Listings Stall Market

BERLIN – Limited inventory is stalling activity in the Lower Eastern Shore’s real estate market, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS®.

Active inventory in all three counties was down 23.4% in May, compared to the same time last year. Individually, active listings were down 23.3% in Somerset County and decreased 24% in Wicomico County and by 23.3% in Worcester County.

New listings on the market in May were up slightly by 2.7% in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico counties. Individually, new listings were down by 11.9% in Somerset and were up by 8.8% in Wicomico and by 1.6% in Worcester.

New residential settlements were down overall by 21% in May in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, settlements were up by 4.1% in Somerset and were down by 24% in Wicomico and by 21.9% in Worcester.

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Year-to-date settlements are also lagging compared to the same time last year. Overall, homes that sold between January and May of this year are down 3.8% in all three counties, compared to the same time last year. Individually, settlements remained the same in Somerset, were down by 20% in Wicomico and were up by 5.1% in Worcester.

List prices reached an average of $255,824 in all three counties in May, which is 15.8% higher than the same time last year. Individually, the average list price was $175,669 in Somerset, $225,912 in Wicomico, and $365,892 in Worcester.

Sale prices reached an average of $224,198 in all three counties in May, which is 12.3% higher than the same time last year. Individually, the average sale price was $183,839 in Somerset, $185,587 in Wicomico, and $303,169 in Worcester.

Days on market was up 34.8% in May in all three counties, showing that homes are selling a bit slower than they were a year ago.

“With low inventory and higher prices, it’s really a seller’s market right now, and it’s a great time to list your property,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “We still expect a very busy summer thanks to lower mortgage interest rates and increased consumer confidence …”

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New Hotel Project Underway

OCEAN CITY — Gillis Gilkerson announced this month the start of construction on the new Hilton Tru Hotel at 34th Street at the former home of Planet Maze and Lost Galaxy Golf.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the team that is introducing a new Hilton brand to Ocean City,” said Dwight Miller, president of Gillis Gilkerson. “We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Deep Blue Hospitality and building a comfortable and cost-efficient space for millennial visitors to enjoy.”

The 53,000-square-foot hotel will include five floors with 105 rooms, 104 parking spots and additional space designated as a bus shelter. The Hilton Tru enterprise brand is targeted as an affordable option for millennial travelers that offers smaller, more cost-efficient rooms, an indoor pool and larger community space.

“We are on track to open by late April/early May of 2020,” said Mike Meoli of Deep Blue Hospitality, LLC. “Our experience working with the Gillis Gilkerson team has been positive and we look forward to seeing the hotel come to fruition in the near future as we can continue to build through the summer season in Ocean City.”

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Bank Announces Addition

BERLIN – Calvin B. Taylor Bank President and CEO Raymond M. Thompson announced Eureka Herring has joined the bank as electronic services manager. Herring will oversee the bank’s electronic banking functions, including the management of a team focused on customer relations and service delivery.

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Eureka Herring

Herring comes to Taylor Bank with over 16 years of banking experience, specializing in branch operations, leadership and customer relationship management in the Sussex County, Del. market. During her banking career, she has served as a teller at County Bank, assistant branch manager of Delaware Federal Credit Union, senior relationship banker of Citizens Bank and branch manager of Artisans Bank. She is working towards her degree in business management from Wilmington University.

“We are delighted that Eureka Herring has joined our team of outstanding banking professionals. She is an experienced banker, and a local from the Delaware market in which we serve. We look forward to the contributions that her skills will provide to our team, customers, and our stockholders,” Thompson said.

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New Manager Appointed

WILLARDS — Deeley Insurance Group has welcomed Matt Jones as the agency’s personal lines manager.

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Matt Jones

In his new role, Jones will be charged with the strategic direction of the department and for providing an excellent client experience to more than 10,000 policyholders.

As a third generation agent, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he joins the team with over 10 years of experience in personal lines and financial services.

“We are thrilled to have Matt join our leadership team,” said Cindy Hall, vice president of sales and client service. “In addition to being a strong cultural match for Deeley, he is a talented and energetic driver for change and someone who brings enthusiasm and a passionate strategy for growth to our personal lines team. This will help us continue to build our personal lines products and services for the benefit of our clients.”

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Office Upgrades Completed

SALISBURY – Renovations to Taylor Bank’s main office in Berlin were recently completed by Gillis Gilkerson. The 5,000-square-foot main office building, originally built in 1906, underwent HVAC upgrades and architectural improvements to the flooring, offices and lighting.

“We worked with Taylor Bank in 2017 when we gutted and restored their historic Chincoteague branch,” said Dwight Miller, vice president of Gillis Gilkerson. “We value the relationship we have with the bank and are glad we had the opportunity to transform the Berlin branch to better serve their customers and continue to grow in the community.”

Taylor Bank in Berlin has been through four expansions since 1906. While this project was not an expansion, the renovations added security to the building and allows for better utilization of space.

“The renovation was well-planned and well-executed while the building remained occupied,” said Ray Thompson, chief executive officer and president of Taylor Bank. “We could not have conducted this renovation without the planning, expertise, and flexibility of Gillis Gilkerson. They have extensive experience in renovating historic buildings, understood the logistical challenges, and expertly guided us through the process. Their on-site staff and sub-contractors were always professional and courteous to our employees and customers. We could not be more satisfied with our experience with Gillis Gilkerson, but more importantly, the beautiful end product that was delivered to us by this quality firm.”