The ever shrinking Housing Inventory

Single Family Homes (SFH)
After years of decline, the number of Single Family Homes (SFH) 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).

Essex County 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.

Essex 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:

Essex County housing supply
As I pointed out in an earlier article, housing statistics are mostly a rear-view mirror, telling us what happened in the past.  Note, however, the renewed drop in new listings which, not surprisingly, reflects sellers delaying listing their houses for sale.
The most relevant statistic I can find for the current level of market activity is the number of houses receiving Accepted Offers week by week, a number I report each Monday for the prior week. Here is a link to the most recent report Accepted Offers are picking up . In recent weeks (other than the week which coincided last year with Holy Week) Accepted Offers are running at about half the level of a year ago. But house are still selling, as buyers and sellers (and their agents) come up with creative ways to view properties.

Mortgage rates Stabilise
Recession and Recovery

Andrew Oliver


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