So how does the Housing Market look after Labor Day?

After a summer which saw the highest number of sales of SFHs in Marblehead since 2004, where does the market stand after Labor Day?

Here are a few thoughts and, of course, numbers:

      • Sales in the 3 months from June to August were exactly 100. YTD sales are 169 vs 162 last year.Total sales and pending sales YTD are 206 so it looks as though the year’s total will be in the 230-240 range, the best this century apart from 2004, but still below the levels of the 1990s.
        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

      • The median price for calendar year 2014, which was $582,500 through June, increased to $586,200 by the end of August. We will end the year very close to the old record of $585,000 in 2005.
      • It has been a year of fits and starts. The main”fit” was the ridiculously cold and prolonged winter. Not only were buyers discouraged from venturing out but sellers were delayed in preparing their houses for the market.
        So then…BOOM…and we experienced what in the dignified world of Marblehead passed for a buying frenzy in May and June.Activity continued strongly into July but then – perhaps because we actually had a glorious summer – August went very quiet.
        The last week or so has seen, at least anecdotally, signs of renewed activity, so it will be interesting to see the level of new sales in September.
      • After quite a long period where supply was very limited, there are more choices available for buyers heading into the Fall market. Note that the large percentage increases in Marblehead represent quite small actual numbers. Note also the difference between SFHs and Condos.
        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

      • In my Inventory report published this morning, I note that the supply of SFHs remains at 4.2 – 4.4 months (and 3.3-3.5 months for condos) well below the 6 months regarded as representing a market in equilibrium. It is possible that the increased numbers of properties for sale is attracting buyers who were unable to find a property earlier.
      • Here is a table showing sale and inventory in Marblehead by price:
        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

        Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

      • Below this comment are links to PDFs for Marblehead, Essex County and Massachusetts, with a full breakdown of what is currently available by price range compared with a year ago. Highlights are:
        Marblehead: $450-600,000: up from 16 to 33; $1-1.5 million: up from 8 to 20; over $2.5 million: down from 23 to 14.
        Essex County: nothing dramatic; slightly larger increases in the $600-700,000 and $1-1.5 million ranges.
        Massachusetts:steady increases in all price ranges.
        MHD_On Market Snapshot_Sep_5_pdf
        Essex_County_On Market Snapshot_Sep_5
        MA_On Market Snapshot_Sep_5

There’s a lot to digest in this report but I hope a little time spent reading it will give you a clearer picture of where the market stands on this beautiful early September morning. As always if you have any questions on any of the markets in Essex County please just ask!

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

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty

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