A Week In Business – January 1, 2021

Monthly Market Recap

BERLIN — Low inventory continues to dominate the market and prices are rising with it according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).

In all three counties throughout November, new settlements were up 50.2% compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout November were up by 25.6% in Wicomico, 68.1% in Worcester and down 15.8% in Somerset.

New listings in November were up by 33.3% compared to the same time last year in all three counties. However, because of demand inventory is still dropping and is 30.2% lower than         October 2020. Individually, new listings were up by 25.5% in Worcester, 49.4% in Wicomico and 57.1% in Somerset from November of 2019. Active listings in all three counties were down by 53%. Individually, there were 396 active listings in Worcester, 213 in Wicomico, and 82 in Somerset.

The average Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for November was 40, or 44% less than the same time last year. Over the last 5 years the average DOM was 92 for November. The median sale price for the Lower Shore was $269,950 which is 14.9% higher than this time last year and up 2.7% from last month.

“The market is moving at rates we have not seen in a long time,” said CAR President Joni Martin Williamson. “Between very little inventory and rising home prices, buyers are having to move quickly to secure their dream home. In the lower three counties median home prices have increased from $235,000 to close to $270,000 in the last twelve months. … It’s time to start thinking about how we are going to encourage more inventory to be built. It’s wonderful to see home values increase for homeowners but we have to make sure that we are also thinking about affordable housing as well.”


Lab Accreditation Granted

BERLIN — Atlantic General Hospital Vascular Laboratory has been granted an additional three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Echocardiography in the area(s) of Adult Transthoracic. This latest accreditation awarded to Atlantic General Hospital Vascular Laboratory demonstrates the facility’s ongoing commitment to providing quality patient care in echocardiography.

Accreditation by the IAC means that Atlantic General Hospital Vascular Laboratory has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be compliance with the published standards thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in echocardiography.

Composed of a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel of medical experts, the IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.


Business Settlement Reached

OCEAN CITY — Maryland’s Attorney General this week announced a settlement with a former Eastern Shore-based chain optical and eye care stores including restitution for the victims.

Frosh said his Consumer Protection Division had reached a settlement with the owners of Accurate Optical, a company that operated a chain of now-closed stores on the Eastern Shore and in Delaware. Listed as the owners of the now-defunct chain store are Drs. Steven M. Zeidman, John F. Lynch, Jr. and Charles I. McDonald.

Before shuttering the business, Accurate Optical operated stores in Ocean City, Berlin, Salisbury, Cambridge, Easton and Kent Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and in Laurel and Millsboro in Delaware. After receiving complaints from former Accurate Optical customers they did not receive purchased eyewear or refunds, the Consumer Protection Division began an investigation.

The settlement announced this week required the owners of Accurate Optical to pay back all monies the company collected from consumers for goods not delivered.

“It is illegal to take consumers’ money and fail to provide the promised goods in return,” said Frosh. “I am pleased that our settlement will ensure that customers of Accurate Optical will either receive their purchased eyewear or be paid full refunds.”

Consumers who are owed refunds from Accurate Optical can call the Consumer Protection hotline at 410-528-8662 or the toll-free number at 888-743-0023.


Business Organizations Merge

OCEAN CITY – The Downtown Association (DTA) and Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) have announced plans to merge with OCDC remaining the lead entity with the DTA becoming an active committee under the OCDC.

According to a press release, these two organizations have decided to join forces to maximize their resources in an effort to continue their good works with downtown revitalization, in an effort to spur economic development; along with special events, public art and placemaking. To that end, the popular OCDC Façade Improvement Program and other renovation programs will continue, as well as staffing of the Boardwalk Information Cottage.

Officials reported the Sunset Park Party Nights music series, After Dark socials, OCtoberfest Craft Beer Festival, Granville Trimper Pancake Breakfast and the Art Davis Memorial Golf Tournament will continue