Essex County Mid-Year Review: steady progress, low supply
Sales of Single Family Homes (SFHs) in Essex County in the first half of 2016 jumped 14% from a year ago and were close to the record levels of 2002-05. Meanwhile, the median price* increased nearly 4% to a new high for the first half of the year of $400,000, the first time we have seen a six month median price reach that level.
While condo sales also increased 14% year on year, they remain way below the peak levels of 2004-06, but the median price also increased 4% to a new high of $259,000.
*In all my reports and analyses, median price calculations exclude distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur at a significant discount to the normal market. When I report on “sales” I refer to all sales, including distressed ones.
Single Family Homes (SFH)
Here is the chart of half-yearly median prices for the last 5 years, followed by a table showing quarterly numbers.
SFH Sales by price
The percentage of sales below $400,000 (this year’s median price) fell from 53% of the total to 49%, with an increase from 18% to 20% of sales in the $400-499,000 range, indicating a small upward movement in prices.
Condo Sales by price
The percentage of sales under $250,000 dropped from 50% to 47%, confirming the increase in the median price to above $250,000. The most notable increase was in sales from $250-299,000 which jumped from 14% of the total to 19%.
Inventory has dropped sharply from this time last year, down 17% overall, but with much bigger drops in all price brackets under $500,000.
While the median price was $400,000 in the first half of 2016 it is a startling statistic that there are currently only 372 SFHs for sale under this price while 1,262 sold in the first half of the year and 271 have sold so far in July.
Condo inventory is down even more at 20%, with a 41% decrease under $250,000.
The story in the Essex County housing market in the first half of 2016 is one of strong sales, prices increasing modestly to new highs, and a continuing shrinkage in the number of houses and condos for sale under $500,000 for SFHs and under $350,000 for condos.
The US economy continues to move forward at a slow pace, which is keeping mortgage rates close to all-time lows. What needs to be watched is the impact opinion polls about the elections have on both the economy broadly and consumer confidence as we move closer to November.
If you are considering selling your home please contact me on 617.834.8205 or Andrew.Oliver@SothebysRealty.com for a free market analysis and explanation of the outstanding marketing program I offer.
If you are looking to buy, I will contact you immediately when a house that meets your needs is available. In this market you need to have somebody looking after your interests.
Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated