Essex County 2022 Housing Market Review
Single Family Homes (SFH)
After sharp increases Year-over-Year (YOY) in Q2 and Q3, the median SFH price in Essex County showed a more modest increase (YOY) in Q4, and also showed the usual seasonal decline from Q3 into Q4. Overall, the median price increased 5% for the year to $640,000, taking the increase in the last 3 years to 35%. Reflecting the low levels of inventory recently, SFH sales declined 11% in H1 and 18% in H2.
The share of sales over $600,000 increased from 52% in 2021 to 58% in 2022, driving the median price for the year well over $600,000.
The median condo sale price moved more steadily upwards in 2022, increasing by 11% in both H1 and H2, and by 34% since 2019. Sales fell 11% in H1 but by a startling 27% in H2. It seems likely that the increase in mortgage rates had a bigger impact on Condo sales – often bought as a first home with a significant mortgage – than on SFH sales, where mortgages – especially at the higher-end – tend to be less important with many buyers using cash or a large down-payment.
The share of sales over $400,000 increased from 47% in 2021 to 58% in 2022, driving the median price from under to over $400,000.
Total SFH inventory may have recovered from the extreme levels of early 2022, but is still less than half the 2020 level, as many homeowners are reluctant to sell and surrender their low-cost mortgages.
Days To Offer (DTO)
The seasonal nature of our market can be clearly seen in these charts. While the percentage of properties receiving offers in 15 days or less fluctuated during each year, the starting and ending percentages were very similar. In January 2023, however, the share dropped below 50% for both SFH and Condos.
The big feature of 2022 was the huge jump in mortgage rates. The 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) ended 2021 at 3.1%, rose to 4.7% at the end of Q1, to 5.7% at the end of Q2, to 6.7% at the end of Q3, and peaked at just over 7%, before easing to 6.1%, still a 14- year high.
The Federal Reserve increased the Fed Funds rate ( FFR) used for setting interest rates on credit cards and auto loans rapidly during 2022
The 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) is determined by market forces – not the Federal Reserve – and, in particular, is priced at a spread – or premium – over the yield on the 10-year Treasury (10T). The yield on 10T started the year at 1.6% (when the FRM was 3.2%), rose to 3.5%, dropped to 2.6%, rebounded to 4.2% and closed the year at 3.9%, before dropping again in January. No wonder the FRM oscillated but was mostly in an upward trend in 2022.
The chart below clearly demonstrates the way the 10T (red) and FRM (blue) have moved in tandem, while the move in the FFR (green) has no correlation with either.
Economic and mortgage commentary
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Swampscott 2022 Housing Market Review
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Essex County Town by Town Guide: 2022 Median Prices and Sales; 2023 Tax Rates
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If you – or somebody you know – are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, please contact me on 617.834.8205 or email@example.com.
Andrew Oliver, M.B.E.,M.B.A.
Market Analyst | Team Harborside | teamharborside.com
“If you’re interested in Marblehead, you have to visit the blog of Mr. Andrew Oliver, author and curator of OliverReportsMA.com. He’s assembled the most comprehensive analysis of Essex County we know of with market data and trends going back decades. It’s a great starting point for those looking in the towns of Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.”
Andrew Oliver, M.B.E., M.B.A.
Real Estate Advisor
800 Laurel Oak Drive, Suite 400, Naples, FL 34108