A Week In Business – April 10, 2020

A Week In Business – April 10, 2020
A graphic from the Coastal Association of Realtors summarizes March real estate activity. Submitted Image

Real Estate Market Recap

BERLIN — While the COVID-19 crisis appears to be impacting housing inventory on the Lower Eastern Shore, residential settlements remained steady throughout March, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).

In all three counties throughout March, new settlements were up two percent compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout March were up by 7.2 percent in Wicomico and 21.1 percent in Somerset, but were down by 1.8 percent in Worcester.

Year-to-date settlements were up by 6.7 percent in all three counties. Individually, year-to-date settlements were up by 9.1 percent in Worcester and by eight percent in Wicomico, but were down by 22.2 percent in Somerset.

New listings in March were down by 16 percent compared to the same time last year in all three counties. Individually, new listings were down by 20 percent in Worcester, by 6.6 percent in Wicomico, and by 13.2 percent in Somerset. Active listings in all three counties were down by 41.1 percent. Individually, active listings were down by 41 percent in Worcester, by 42.5 percent in Wicomico, and by 40 percent in Somerset.

The average Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for March was 103, or 51 percent lower than the same time last year. Individually, CDOM decreased by 33.2 percent in Worcester, by 15 percent in Wicomico, and by 73.6 percent in Somerset.

The average list price for the Lower Shore was $251,353, which is 13.2 percent higher than this time last year. The average sale price was $206,707, which is 4.2 percent higher than this time last year.

“Inventory may have been impacted by this crisis in that some sellers are choosing to change their listing status to ‘temporarily off market’ until the pandemic ends,” said CAR President Joe Wilson. “But the market has been incredibly strong and healthy over the past year, and we have no doubt that strong demand will return quickly.”

The virus pandemic has certainly led to a drastic decrease in showings. According to ShowingTime, a statistics and showing management technology provider to the residential real estate industry, showings in Maryland are down 60.7 percent compared to this time last year.

“To meet housing needs in our communities, real estate professionals have been deemed essential personnel,” Wilson said. “However, we are being responsible and respectful of Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order, and we are helping our clients by providing virtual services wherever possible.”

Earlier this week, noted Wilson, CAR offered a free webinar to its members titled, “How to be a Virtual Agent,” in which Jeremias “JMan” Maneiro of JMan Seminars discussed virtual open houses, virtual buyer consultations, virtual offer presentations, and virtual showings.

“CAR will continue working with our state and national associations to provide our members will the tools they need to weather this storm and carry the torch of the American Dream through and beyond this crisis,” Wilson said.


Freeman Foundation Donation

LEWES – The Carl M. Freeman Foundation is donating $250,000 to be used for COVID-19 testing, including personal protective equipment, and the well-being of frontline healthcare professionals.

“We all have to do our part individually with physical distancing, and the Foundation wants to ensure that funding is available for testing of COVID-19 and PPE. Nothing could be more important today than to support your local healthcare system,” said Michelle Freeman, President and Chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation. “We care about the health of our employees, vendor partners and everyone in our community. Our employees live and work in Sussex County and we need healthy employees with access to prompt medical care during this time. We won’t be able to continue that without supporting Beebe’s ability to test for COVID-19. We want doctors and nurses working on the frontlines to be safe as well and our grant will support PPE for them.”

“The Beebe Medical Foundation is very grateful to the Carl M. Freeman Foundation for their transformational gift at this time of need,” said Tom Protack, President, Beebe Medical Foundation. “Michelle Freeman has always been a strong and loyal supporter of our community, and we are thankful for this special gift that will go directly toward helping us with our increased expenses for supplies and equipment for this pandemic. …”