Midwest, Northeast Markets Continue To Dominate

Markets in the Northeast and Midwest once again dominated the list of hottest markets for the year. In a ranking produced by the Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com, Rockford, Illinois took first place for 2024. The ranking considered affordability, cost of living, and the city’s overall attractiveness. Rockford has homes under $250,000 within commuting distance of three major metros, giving residents access to big city amenities without the price tag. Towns in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Maine, Tennessee, and New Hampshire rounded out the top ten, all for their affordability. Despite their popularity pushing prices up, the average listing price among the top 20 markets was $60,000 lower than the national median last month. The report also noted that the…

No Day At The Beach: Coastal Homes Are At Risk From Flooding

By CHUCK GREEN In upcoming decades, U.S. homeowners in areas along coastlines could be up the proverbial creek. Sea level rise, along with changing storm patterns, could result in flooding that severely damages homes in many coastal areas. Especially vulnerable, according to estimates, are the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Carolinas, and the Washington, DC, area. In 2018, the Union of Concerned Scientists hoisted warning flags when it released an interactive map that showed the estimated number of homes at risk for chronic flooding in the coming decades due to sea level rise. That year, the group reported that burgeoning sea level rise – fueled mainly by climate change – was projected to exacerbate tidal flooding in the country. Within…

$20 Million Multistate Settlement With ACI Worldwide Reached

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A multistate settlement has been reached after a testing error led to the unauthorized withdrawal of $2.3 billion from the accounts of nearly 480,000 mortgage holders serviced by Mr. Cooper. ACI Payments, a processor for a variety of third-party clients, erroneously initiated the electronic withdrawals in April of 2021, causing consumers stress nationwide. So state banking officials from 44 states and 50 state attorney generals joined together to take action against ACI Worldwide, levying a total of $20 million in fines. In addition to paying the states, the settlement announced on Tuesday requires ACI to use artificially created data instead of real customer data when testing systems or software. Testing, development, and quality insurance work will now…

Prices Trend Up, With New England Seeing A Spike

As home prices continue to rise across the country, New England is a hot spot for year-over-year gains. CoreLogic’s national Home Price Index increased for the 139th consecutive month in August, up 3.7% YOY, the biggest gain since February 2023. Prices are now 42% higher than in March of 2020, when the pandemic began. Massachusetts’ top-dollar homes reflect a growing interest in the Northeast. New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island sported the largest YOY price gains in August. Strong jobs markets and relative affordability make the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic attractive to cost-sensitive buyers, pulling them away from pricey areas that were hot in the last few years. Not every market saw an appreciation jump. In eight states, prices fell…

C-Suite Promotions At St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s Bank has promoted both Leo D. Simard, Jr., and Pamela Didio Roy, PHR, to C-suite positions, the credit union announced in a press release. Simard is now SVP/chief retail banking officer, while Roy has been named SVP/chief people officer. “We offer the best-in-class financial products and services to members, give back to the community, and create a supportive work environment where our employees thrive. Leo and Pam will help ensure we continue to meet and exceed these objectives,” Ken Senus, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Bank, said. Simard previously served as SVP/director of retail sales and member experience. In his new position, Simard will continue to oversee retail branches and financial services. His responsibilities will expand to…

Senus Named President And CEO Of St. Mary’s Bank

Leaders at St. Mary’s Bank have announced that Ken Senus has been named president and CEO. Senus takes over for Ron Covey, who retired at the end of 2022. Prior to being promoted, Senus was the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He said he is honored to continue to build on the foundation Covey helped establish during his 14 years of service. “I look forward to continuing to leverage technology and innovation to enhance our member and employee experiences while embracing the credit union philosophy to give back to the community that Ron exemplified for years,” Senus said. St. Mary’s Bank has 11 branch locations in New Hampshire and is known as the nation’s first credit union.…

This Spooky Weare, New Hampshire House Listing Is Getting National Attention

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Update: This home, without photos of the seller dressed as the fictional character Michael Myers from the “Halloween” series of slasher films, is now under contract. A New England couple’s house listing has gone viral because it features photos of the fictional character Michael Myers from the “Halloween” series of slasher films. A man is seen holding a knife on the property and inside the house, which is listed for $375,000. It is located at 73 Guys Lane in Weare, New Hampshire. Realtor Tommy Bolduc of Keller Williams Realty-Metropolitan said on Tuesday morning that the two-bedroom, two-bathroom house has been popular online since it hit the market on Sept. 30. “Anybody who is looking for a house in…

Bill Stevens Appointed To St. Mary’s Board Of Directors

St. Mary’s Bank appointed Bill Stevens as the newest member of its Board of Directors in their September meeting. Stevens, who is president and owner of Harvey Construction Corporation, will fill the spot of a former director who resigned due to ill health. “Bill, a long-time member of St. Mary’s Bank, is genuinely committed to the mission of our credit union,” said Steve Grzywacz, chairman of the board. “With his business acumen and deep roots in New Hampshire, he will make a great addition to our board.” Stevens oversees Harvey’s business and construction operations. Harvey is a leading commercial construction firm. He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire. His prior experience includes project management…

What’s The Buzz About Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

By CHUCK GREEN Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Is it the place to be? Why not? Portsmouth’s a medium size coastal city with 22,277 residents as of July 1, 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city’s rife with attractions including a new jazz club, theaters, restaurants, overall safety, outdoor living, and the school district has 6 schools with 2,531 students. Here’s the scene from Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club on New Year’s Eve: Happy New Year’s Eve from Portsmouth, NH! pic.twitter.com/5wwd4JU4sJ— Kimberley Haas (@KimberleyHaas) January 1, 2022 The Seacoast region has and will continue to benefit from market demand that is generated by people looking for a higher quality of life within an urban setting, Jim Goldenberg, principal of Cathartes,…

Half Of June’s Hottest Housing Markets Are In New England

As the housing market starts to cool off, last year’s buying trends are being upended. Western metros that topped charts last year for popularity and home prices have taken a back seat to more affordable, cooler areas in the East, according to a new report from Realtor.com. For the first time in the history of Realtor.com’s data, Western locations are completely gone from June’s list of hottest real estate markets. Topping the list for the first time ever, Concord, NH, is now the U.S.’s hottest housing market, based on the number of individual home listing views on Realtor.com and how quickly homes are selling there. The top five metros were Concord; Manchester, NH; Burlington, VT; Portland, ME; and Burlington, NC.…