A Week In Business – January 29, 2021

Real Estate Market Update

BERLIN — In all three counties throughout December, new real estate settlements were up 55.9% compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout December were up by 53.8% in Wicomico, 65.1% in Worcester and down 3.8% in Somerset.

New listings for December were up by 33.6% compared to the same time last year in all three counties. However, demand is still incredibly high, and inventory continues to drop and is 22.2% lower than November 2020. Individually, new listings were up by 30% in Worcester, 28% in Wicomico and 118.2% in Somerset from December of 2019.

Active listings in all three counties were down by 53.2%. Individually, there were 361 active listings in Worcester, 185 in Wicomico, and 80 in Somerset.

The average Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for December was 46, or 43.9% less than the same time last year. Over the last 5 years the average DOM was 82 for December. The median sale price for the Lower Shore dropped a little in December to $263,000 which is still 21.8% higher than this time last year.

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“Inventory is the key driver of our market, and right now we don’t have enough to satisfy all of the buyers out there” said CAR President Joni Martin Williamson. “2020 has been a tough year for everyone but it provided a lot of people the opportunity to become homeowners or move to this area where they can enjoy a better quality of life. Interest rates are historically low, giving many Americans the chance to own their dream home for less than ever before. We should be talking about affordable housing and creating new inventory to make sure we can keep up with demand and make the dream of home ownership attainable to everyone.”

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Chamber Staffing Changes

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Nancy Schwendeman

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Debbie Haas

OCEAN CITY — The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce has announced changes to current staffing structure. Some of the familiar faces chamber members have come to know over the years will be growing in their roles with the chamber.
Nancy Schwendeman will become Deputy Director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. An invaluable resource, she will continue to oversee publications for the chamber in addition to taking on duties associated with the executive level business management of the chamber.
Debbie Haas will become marketing and outreach manager. She has worked for the chamber in a part-time role over recent years. She will now oversee all social media management, management of a formalized RFP (request for proposal) process and coordination of chamber activities both virtual and in person.

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Board Chair Installed

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce installed Jeff Merritt, owner of Minuteman Press, as the next chairman of the board for the chamber last week.

In addition, three new members of the Chamber Board of Directors receive their oaths of office for 2021 including Hall Chaney of Chaney Enterprises, Zach Evans of Mountaire Farms and Ryan Bass of Woodforest National Bank.

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Trustee Appointed

SALISBURY — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recently appointed Anna G. Newton of Berlin to the board of trustees of Wor-Wic Community College.

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Anna G. Newton

Newton is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in Ocean City. She joined the board of directors of the Wor-Wic Foundation in January of 2015 and recently completed her second three-year term. She was the foundation’s treasurer for the past three years and represented the foundation as a member of the college planning council in 2016 and 2020.

She is a member of the Ocean City Young Professionals, and the Ocean City Marlin Club and Auxiliary. She is a past president of the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce and former chair of the Ocean City Young Professionals.