Million Dollar Sales – now vs the peak

Million dollar sales in Essex County continue to pick up and are approaching the levels of 2005/06, but there are some marked variations from town to town, while sales at the highest level continue to lag.

First the overall picture by price range for the whole of Essex County:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

And now the breakdown  by town. I have highlighted towns with significant changes over the years, along with the leaders in sales in towns like Andover, Manchester and Marblehead. Some have seen increases, some decreases, some dropped and then have recovered, and others have remained consistent:


Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

In recovering markets it is normal for prices to start the recovery at the lower level and then percolate upwards (if anything can actually percolate upwards). We have seen that trend in the last 2-3 years on the North Shore, with evidence of people trading up again.

In 2014 there were 206 sales at $1 million or above, up from a low of just 95 in 2009, and getting back to the 231 and 221 of 2005/2006.

Sales over $2 million

Sales at $2 million and above were 33 in 2014, up from 17 in 2009, but below the 47 in 2006. My expectation going into 2015 was that we would see sales increase over $2 million and, in particular, that we would see more sales over $3 million. This seemed likely to me as I expected people who had benefited from the strong market in Boston to take advantage of the opportunity to cash in and buy waterfront property in Essex County at what would seem to be bargain prices.

But that has not happened, at least not yet, with sales over $2 million down from 19 in 2014 to 12 so far, although there are a further 14 pending sales, of which 6 are for properties listed over $3 million.


2015 was the year I expected to see the growth in activity reach the high end in Essex County. That has not happened as yet but I shall monitor activity to see if pending sales continue to improve.


If you – or somebody you know – are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 617.834.8205 or

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Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

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