Marblehead leads the way in Million Dollar sales in Essex County

I have reported in recent weeks that Million Dollar plus sales, including pending sales, will set a record in Marblehead this year, while in Swampscott such sales are lagging. This week I have looked at the whole of Essex County.

Sales from $1-2 million.

*2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15 Total includes whole of Essex County, not just the towns and cities shown Source:MLS, Oliver Reports

*2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15
Total includes whole of Essex County, not just the towns and cities shown
Source:MLS, Oliver Reports

In the last 15 years there have been no recorded sales over $1 million in Lawrence, Lynn or Peabody, while there have been such sales in Amesbury (5), Danvers (2), Georgetown (2), Groveland (2), Haverhill (1), Merrimac (1), Rowley (3), Salem (6), Salisbury (9), Saugus (3).

I have highlighted 2005, which was the peak year with 198 sales, and compared that year with 2014. There are a lot of numbers in the table so here are some observations:

Lynnfield, Manchester and Marblehead are all showing small increases, while Gloucester has a small decrease but needs only 3 more sales the rest of the year to equal 2005’s total.

On the losing side, Andover and North Andover have gone from a combined 39  down to 23, while Boxford has dropped from 18 to 6, and Swampscott from 10 to 4.

Sales $2 million and above
Sales from $2-3 million peaked at 36 in 2006, dropped to 8 in 2011, and are at 22 so far in 2014, again including pending sales.

Sales at $3 million and above peaked 18 in 2007, dropped to 8 in 2009 and 2010, and are at 12 YTD.

For the sake of brevity I have included all sales of $2 million and above in one table:

2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15 Total is the whole of Essex County, not just the towns shown Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15
Total is the whole of Essex County, not just the towns shown
Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

In addition to the above there were sales at $2 million or more in Boxford (5), Danvers (1), Essex (7), Ipswich (2), Lynnfield (1), Middleton (1), Nahant (7), Newbury (2), Newburyport (2), North Andover (4), Rockport (8), and Topsfield (8). There were 13 cities and towns in Essex County that did not record a sale at $2 million or above in the last 15 years.

Notable here are the increases in Marblehead from 6 to 11 and Gloucester 6 to 7, while the other towns have shown drops, in some places quite sharp ones.

All sales $1 million and above
This table shows total sales at $1 million and above;

*2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15 Total is whole of Essex County, not just towns and cities shown Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

*2014 includes sales and pending sales as of August 15
Total is whole of Essex County, not just towns and cities shown
Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

One curiosity: the peak year for sales in the $1-2 million range was 2005; it was 2006 for $2-3 million sales; and 2007 for sales at $3 million and above.

Current sales vs historical averages
Lots or numbers in a small space, so I have added one more table, showing current year sales at $1 million and above compared with the average yearly sales for the last 15 years:

*2014 includes pending sales as of August 15 Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

*2014 includes pending sales as of August 15
Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Conclusion
The numbers show some surprising changes in sales in different towns since the market peaked in 2005-2007, with Marblehead clearly showing the strongest growth, while several towns have seen sales drop quite sharply.

But why? One hypothesis, which I will be testing in the coming weeks, is that buyers at higher prices are becoming more aware of the tax rates in the different towns. I have data  for Marblehead and Swampscott going back to 1990, at which time Swampscott’s tax rate was only 6% higher than Marblehead’s. That differential quickly moved to about 40%, and then in the last few years to 65-70%. And median prices in Marblehead in recent years have increased at a faster rate than in Swampscott.

What I do know is that Marblehead is a well-run town, with a wonderful sense of community as we have seen so dramatically recently. Many people move here because of the houses and the ocean, but stay here because of the community.

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@SothebysRealty.com.

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

 

 

 

 

 

 

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