This time last year, stocks were still in the gutter, inflation was in the stratosphere and Fed interest rates were going up, up, up. Today the S&P 500 has risen 17% since Jan. 1, the much-anticipated recession has yet to arrive, unemployment remains below 4% and consumers are still spending–Walmart, Target, and Gap all beat expectations this week.
Inflation has dropped to around 3%, not too far off the Fed’s 2% target. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was talking about deflation in the coming months. Oil prices are below $75 a barrel, Airfares are significantly cheaper this year than they were for the holidays last year. Bond yields are dropping, too, as traders start to price in Fed rate cuts next year. The 10-year yield has dropped back to around 4.4% from as high as 5% in October. (Barrons)

On Thursday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said deflation could be coming as general merchandise and key grocery items, such as eggs, chicken and seafood get cheaper.
He said the retailer expects some of the stickier higher prices, such as the ones for pantry staples, to “start to deflate in the coming weeks and months,” too.
“In the U.S., we may be managing through a period of deflation in the months to come,” he said on the company’s Thursday earnings call. “And while that would put more unit pressure on us, we welcome it, because it’s better for our customers.”

“I think the most important observation we’ve made is that the worst of the inflationary environment is behind us,” Hone Depot, Chief Financial Officer Richard McPhail

The question now is whether the Federal Reserve, having been extremely slow to start raising rates and reversing Quantative Easing, will be similarly late in easing. The Fed claims to be data dependent, but data tells us what happened in the past – and the Fed’s actions impact the future.

“The Fed must lower rates to cause money suply to grow by 5% per year, consistent with the 2% inflation target.If the Fed waits until core inflation is 2% we could have a recession.”(Jeremy Siegel, Wharton)

And these recent articles:
Why Mortgage Rates will fall in 2024
Most Sales Still Over List Price
Core Inflation Prices Barely Budged in August

Two More Ways the Mortgage Market differs from 2007/2008
November Inventory down 60% from 2019
Credit Score Change Could Help Millions of Buyers
2 of Every 25 U.S. Homes Worth at Least $1M

Economic and mortgage commentary
Two signs Inflation is Slowing
What drives Mortgage rates in one chart
How Marblehead’s 2023 Property Tax Rate is Calculated
Essex County 2023 Property Tax Rates: Town by Town guide
Why Mortgage Rates Will Fall
Two More Ways the Mortgage Market differs from 2007/2008
Market Reports
Essex County 2022 Housing Market Review
Essex County Town by Town Guide: 2022 Median Prices and Sales; 2023 Tax Rates

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

Andrew Oliver, M.B.E.,M.B.A.
Market Analyst | Team Harborside |

m 617.834.8205

“If you’re interested in Marblehead, you have to visit the blog of Mr. Andrew Oliver, author and curator of 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
m: 617.834.8205