Inventory plummets while demand increases

In summary, the number of Single Family Homes (SFH) receiving offers in the last three weeks has been nearly back to 2019 levels, while inventory is down 35-40%, indicating that homes are selling very quickly.

Single Family Homes
After years of decline, the number of SFHs for sale in Essex County on the first of the month compared with a year earlier (YOY) increased from August 2018 until June 2019. The decline then resumed, as this table shows:

Housing Inventory

The next two charts (the first for January to June; the second July to December) show the number of SFHs for sale on the first of the month since 2017. In the first chart the numbers for 2020 YOY show the renewed decline (in 2019 inventory was increasing until June).

Housing Inventory

The second chart shows the decline YOY each month from July to December in 2019.

Housing Inventory

The number of condos for sale increased YOY from June 2018 until August 2019, but since then there has been a decline:

Condo Inventory
These two charts show numbers since 2017 for January to June, and July to December.

The first chart shows the decline in 2020 YOY, while in 2019 inventory was increasing in the first 6 months of the year.


Condo Inventory


The second chart shows inventory continuing to increase in 2019 YOY in July and August, steadying in September, and then resuming the decline in October.

Housing Inventory

Once again, the pattern of supply is consistent: very scarce at lower price levels and abundant at the top end:

Housing supply
Housing statistics for properties sold are a rear-view mirror, telling us what happened 6-8 weeks earlier.

For relevant statistics about the current level of market activity I look at both inventory (which I report monthly in this article) and the number of houses receiving Accepted Offers week by week, a number I report at the beginning of the week for the prior week. (Here is a link to the most recent report Accepted Offers held back by shortage of inventory).

After dropping by 50% YoY  in early April, the number of Accepted Offers is now running close to 2019 levels. We are seeing increased demand from people wanting to move out of Boston in addition to the demand that was already there. There is a new protocol in place for buying and selling properties, one with which both sides are increasingly comfortable with.

Goodbye Boston, Hello Marblehead
Mortgage rates hit all-time low – again

“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, Sale, Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.”

Andrew Oliver


Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty
One Essex Street | Marblehead, MA 01945
m 617.834.8205

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