A Week In Business – August 6, 2021

A Week In Business – August 6, 2021
A graphic courtesy of Coastal Association of Realtors recaps June market activity. Submitted Photos

CAR Recaps June Market Activity

BERLIN — Less than a week — that is the median time you have from when your dream home comes on the market to when it is under contract. Six days to see the listing, talk about it with your REALTOR®, lender, and family, and make an offer. To put that in some historical perspective, over the last 10 years most homes on the Lower Shore, were on the market an average of 81 days. Historic lows on inventory and days on market is an understatement.

Homes may not be staying on the market, but there has been a slight drop in price over the last two months. In June the median price was $265,000, which is down a little under 2% from May but still up almost 13% from June of last year. There are only 573 active listings in the lower three counties compared to 981 in June of 2020.

Overall in the three counties, new settlements during the month of June were down 2.3% compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout June were up by 7.8% in Wicomico, 56.5% in Somerset, and down 11.6% in Worcester.

New listings in June were up 17% compared to the same time last year in all three counties. Individually, new listings were up by 5.8% in Worcester, 37.5% in Wicomico, and 24.3% in Somerset from June of 2020.

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Active listings in all three counties were down by 41.6%. Individually, there were 310 active listings in Worcester, 189 in Wicomico, and 74 in Somerset. For comparison, there were 981 active listings at this time last year.

The Median Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for June was six, or 89.3% less than the same time last year.

“We have been talking about inventory all of 2021 and it still dominates any conversation we have about real estate here or anywhere else in the U.S.,” said CAR President Joni Martin Williamson. “What we are seeing is not unique to our area. It’s a nationwide problem that comes from years of under-building homes. There is no easy fix, but government and private businesses need to work together and work quickly so that the problem doesn’t get worse.”

Williamson added, “This problem has been years in the making. We don’t have enough homes and our homes are getting older. If we want to ensure that the next generations can find a home and afford to purchase it, we need solutions today. The Coastal Association of REALTORS® is committed to working with local government and business to make that a reality.”

CAR’s monthly local housing statistics are pulled from the Bright Multiple Listing Service, which represents the activity of over 1,000 local REALTORS® in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, as well as 95,000 real estate professionals across the Mid-Atlantic region.

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New Director Announced

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Jennifer Keener

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Commissioners named Jennifer Keener as the new director of Development Review and Permitting (DRP). Keener joined DRP in 2006 and served as a DRP specialist until being promoted to zoning administrator in 2009 and deputy director in 2020.

“Growth isn’t a one and done effort, it is a process, and Keener is well-suited to lead her team, as they provide a range of services to assist the public with their planning needs,” Commission President Joe Mitrecic said. “As an expert planner, she brings the education, experience, and professional leadership skills necessary to lead her team in providing the planning support necessary to meet the challenges that come with growth throughout our diverse communities.”

Keener, a member of the American Planning Association and a certified planner (AICP), brings 16 years of planning and site plan review experience to this position. In her former roles, Keener oversaw the Technical Review Committee, Planning Commission, and Board of Zoning Appeals. She approved commercial site plans, reviewed and issued commercial and residential permits and conducted commercial zoning and nuisance inspections. She also develops the annual DRP budget and drafts local legislation in response to changes in state and local planning and zoning laws. Most recently she drafted Bill 21-3 Public Safety – Animal Control and Bill 21-4 Zoning – Commercial Kennel, which strengthened the animal protections in commercial kennel operations.

“I want to thank the commissioners for the opportunity to step into this leadership role,” Keener said. “And, I look forward to the collaborations that will be a part of our future planning efforts, our promotion of positive growth, and our protection of the natural beauty that Worcester County has to offer.”

She earned a Bachelor of Science in geography and environmental studies, with a minor in sociology and geology, from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2005. In 2008, she earned a Master of Science in environmental management from the University of Maryland University College, and in 2018 she earned AICP certification. Keener took over for former DRP Director Ed Tudor, who retired in July after 28 years of distinguished service to Worcester County.

“I’ve worked with Jennifer for 15 years and am pleased to see her assume this position,” Tudor said. “There is no one more qualified or prepared to take on the duties of this position.”

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Shopping Center Sold

FRUITLAND — Brent Miller and Tonney Insley, with SVN|Miller Commercial Real Estate recently settled on a shopping center at 206 N. Fruitland Blvd. in Fruitland. The center is approximately 93,575 square feet of retail space fronting Route 13. The center is currently home to Food Lion, Lucky Star Restaurant, Aaron’s, Just Nails and Spa, Beauty World, It’s Fashion Metro, Lucia’s Fine Furniture and Off-Street Performance.
The sale was a collaborative effort with Rinnier Development Company and SVN Miller both in Brokerage and Property Management to bring the deal to fruition. Blair Rinnier represented the buyer, J.C Bar Properties out of the York, Pa. area. Both agencies worked closely for several months to sort the details and nuances of a facility of this size to ensure a smooth transition for the buyer.
“Getting a complex deal like this done is a testament to the collaborative relationship that SVN has with Rinnier Development. With oversight and support from SVN Property Management, Rinnier’s Buyer was able to get all the answers they needed to make this purchase possible,” said Insley.
Rinnier added, “The new owner is pleased to expand its growing retail portfolio into the Fruitland market, and through its professional team, ensures that the property will continue to operate in a first-class manner to best serve the businesses and customers of this busy shopping center.”