## No New Listings and No Open Houses this weekend

With no new listings this week and no Open Houses this weekend in Marblehead, Swampscott, Salem or Beverly, all that remains is for me to wish everybody a happy, healthy and peaceful 2024.

## No New Listings December 27

There are no new listings so far this week in Marblehead, Swampscott, Salem or Beverly.

December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

## Marblehead FY 2024 Property Tax Explained

Marblehead’s property tax rate for FY 2024 (July 1, 2023- June 30, 2024) has been set at \$8.96, down from \$10.00 in FY 2023 following a dramatic 16% increase in Assessed Values.

The formula for calculating the property tax is: take the \$ amount of the previous year’s Tax Levy, add 2.5% for Proposition 2 1/2, and also add any New Growth (such as new construction or a condo conversion). This figure is the new tax levy. To this figure is added debt service – the Principal and Interest payable on the town’s debt – to produce the total Tax Levy.

The tax rate is then calculated by dividing the Tax Levy by the Assessed Value of property – and, crucially, that calculation is based upon prices as of January 1, 2023, using date from sales in calendar year 2022.  What that means is that 2023 sales are used for the calculation of the tax rate in FY2025 – not FY2024.

Here are the numbers for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024, remembering that FY 2024 runs from July 2023 to June 2024.

The Tax Levy calculationThe dollar amount raised by the property tax will increase year by year. That is because of the formula: last year’s number plus 2.5% plus new growth. In the table above you can see how the FY 2023 tax levy of \$69,217,826 becomes the base for FY 2024. Add \$1,730,446 for Prop 2.5% and \$468,709 for new growth and the new figure is \$71,416,980 . To this number is added the debt service of \$10,813,091 – to give a total amount to be raised of \$82,230,071..

The Tax Rate
The actual tax rate depends upon the total Assessed Value of all property: residential, commercial and personal. The tax rate is calculated by dividing the total dollar amount to be raised by the total Assessed Value of all property. Thus, while the \$ amount raised by the tax (and therefore the median tax bill) will increase each year, the headline tax rate will fluctuate depending upon the direction of Assessed Values.

In simplistic terms, the \$ amount raised before debt service will increase by a little more than 2  1/2% each year, so if the median Assessed Value also increases by a little more than 2  1/2% the tax rate will be unchanged. If the increase in Assessed Values is less than 2  1/2%, then the tax rate will rise. And if the increase in Assessed Values is more than 2  1/2% then the tax rate will fall. One additional factor is the cost of debt service.

In FY 2023 the tax rate was \$10.00, achieved by dividing the \$79.1 million to be raised by the \$7.9 billion of Assessed Value. And in FY 2024 the calculation is \$82.2 million divided by \$9.2 billion, which produces a rate of \$8.96. The median tax bill, based on the higher Assessed Values, will increase by \$244 or 3%, to \$8,318.

Note that the calculation of the tax rate is made simpler by the fact that Marblehead’s Select Board votes each year to have a single tax rate for both residential and commercial property. In towns which elect to have a differential rate – i.e. by taxing commercial property at a higher rate than residential – there are generally two different tax rates, achieved by dividing the amount to be raised from residential and commercial taxpayers by their respective aggregate Assessed Values.

How does debt service affect the tax rate?
The announced property tax rate announced each year also includes the cost of debt service:

What is the outlook for FY 2025?
In 2023, the year that is the basis for the FY 2025 property tax calculation, the median MLS SFH sale price through December 16 was \$987,000, an increase of 4% from 2023’s \$938,000. This suggests that the actual tax rate should be flat or show perhaps a slight decline for FY2025, but we will get a clearer idea after the town publishes its budget next February .

## Open Houses weekend December 16/17

This weekend’s Open Houses (an updated list for Sunday will be posted tomorrow at 8 a.m.*):

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott Open Houses
Salem Open Houses
Beverly Open House

*due to the timing of the MLS feed many of Sunday’s OHs do not show up in today’s links until later today and will be in tomorrow’s post

ç

## New Listings week ending December 15

Just a few New Listings this week:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott New Listings
Salem New Listings
Beverly New Listings

And here are the latest inventory numbers:

December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

## New Listings December 13

Just a few New Listings this week:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott New Listings
Salem New Listings
Beverly New Listings

And here are the latest inventory numbers:

December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

## Open Houses Sunday December 10

Today’s Open Houses:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott Open Houses
Salem Open Houses
Beverly Open House

## How a tax break of up to \$3,200 can help heat your home more efficiently this winter

Winter is almost here, meaning the year’s coldest temperatures aren’t far off. But homeowners can take advantage of recently enacted tax breaks to help boost their home’s efficiency, thereby trapping more heat inside and better defending against winter’s chill — and saving them money in the process.

The Energy Efficient Home Improvement tax credit, offered by the Inflation Reduction Act, can help defray homeowners’ costs on such projects — such as installing energy-efficient insulation, windows, doors and electric heat pumps — while also likely reducing the size of future heating bills, experts said. It’s worth a maximum \$3,200 a year.

The average American spends \$2,000 on energy bills each year, and \$200 to \$400 may be “going to waste” from drafts, air leaks around openings and outdated heating and cooling systems, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Home heating accounts for 45% of the average person’s energy use, and water heating for another 18%, the agency said.

Home efficiency upgrades can also reduce people’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when climate change is already fueling more extreme and financially costly weather events.

How the tax break works (more…)

## New Listings week ending December 8

Just a few New Listings this week:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott New Listings
Salem New Listings
Beverly New Listings

And here are the latest inventory numbers:

December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

## Open Houses weekend December 9/10

This weekend’s Open Houses (an updated list for Sunday will be posted tomorrow at 8 a.m.*):

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott Open Houses
Salem Open Houses
Beverly Open House

*due to the timing of the MLS feed many of Sunday’s OHs do not show up in today’s links until later today and will be in tomorrow’s post

And these recent articles:
Why Mortgage Rates will fall in 2024
December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall
Conventional Mortgage Loan Limits increased for 2024<.a<
INFLATION and RECESSION UPDATE
Most Sales Still Over List Price
Core Inflation Prices Barely Budged in August
SWAMPSCOTT Q3 MARKET REPORT 2019-2023 SALEM Q3 MARKET REPORT 2019-2023
ESSEX COUNTY Q3 2023 MARKET REPORT
(more…)

## Open Houses Sunday December 3

Today’s Open Houses:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott Open Houses
Salem Open Houses
Beverly Open House

## Open Houses December 2/3

This weekend’s Open Houses (an updated list for Sunday will be posted tomorrow at 8 a.m.*):

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott Open Houses
Salem Open Houses
Beverly Open House

*due to the timing of the MLS feed many of Sunday’s OHs do not show up in today’s links until later today and will be in tomorrow’s post

And these recent articles:
Why Mortgage Rates will fall in 2024
December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall
Conventional Mortgage Loan Limits increased for 2024<.a<
INFLATION and RECESSION UPDATE
Most Sales Still Over List Price
Core Inflation Prices Barely Budged in August
SWAMPSCOTT Q3 MARKET REPORT 2019-2023 SALEM Q3 MARKET REPORT 2019-2023
ESSEX COUNTY Q3 2023 MARKET REPORT
(more…)

## New Listings at the beginning of December

Salem is seeing a decent number of New Listings:

Click on these links for details:
Swampscott New Listings
Salem New Listings
Beverly New Listings

And here are the latest inventory numbers:

December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

## December Inventory shows little change, while mortgage rates fall

Overall  in Essex County, while Inventory has been reasonably consistent in the last 3 years, it is running at around half 2019 levels for both Single Family Homes and Condos.

Single Family Homes (SFH)
In the early months of 2023 SFH was up 50% or more from the extremely low levels in 2022. By the summer, YOY inventory was down by around 1/3. October showed an increase of 1/3 from September 1. In December inventory was above 2021 levels- but that was in the early staages of the COVID-buying surge.

Condos
Condo inventory has increased sharply since the estremely low levels of August.

Mortgage rates
As inflation has slowed significantly this year (read Core Inflation Prices Barely Budged in August), the Federal Reserve finally stopped hiking rates. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury (10T) – which influences mortgage rates – soared in recent months, in part as the market has realised that there will be record sales of Treasuries at a time when the Federal Reserve has tuned seller, and foreign countries are not increasing their holdings and purchases of Treasuries. (more…)