Million dollar home sales picking up in Marblehead

I commented several times last year that the higher end of the market, in Marblehead and throughout Essex County, was not enjoying the level of activity seen elsewhere, something which puzzled me. I wondered whether it was just a timing issue, as activity spread out from Boston and its nearer-by towns.

A few short and very cold weeks into 2014 there is evidence that activity is now picking up for houses priced $1 million and up.

First, a chart showing sales in recent years:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Already in 2014 we have had 3 sales over $1 million, plus we now have a further 8 pending: 7 in the $1-2 million range and one in the $2-3 million range. That makes 10 sales or pending sales in the $1-2 million range already in 2014, suggesting that 2014 may well see sales at that price getting back to the numbers of 2004-07.

Sales at $3 million or more have not exceeded the 3 of the last two years except for the 4 in 2007.

It is the $2-3 million bracket has really been hit. Total sales in this range for the last three years combined are just 3, compared with 5-8 each year in the 2004-07 years.

One of the consequences of the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low has been a boom in the stock market, creating wealth for those who have been able to invest. Perhaps 2014 will be the year that some of these investors decide that higher-priced real estate is now a better investment than the stock market.

In a typical real estate market recovery activity and prices improve first at the lower end and then that activity moves up into higher price brackets as people trade up and buyers have more confidence in spending more on real estate. There are increasing signs that this is happening in Marblehead.

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 781.631.1223 or

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Realty in Marblehead

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