Marblehead Mid-Year Housing Market Review

This article will review prices, sales and supply for the Single Family Home (SFH) market in Marblehead in the first half of 2015.

Median Prices
The median price for the first half of 2015 was $573,000, down 2% from $583,500 in 2014. Note, however, that while there was a drop in Q1, Q2 saw an increase. Read my First Quarter Review for the explanation behind the Q1 drop.

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

The next table shows quarterly prices and changes since 2011. Note that the first quarter is usually quite low, with 2014 being the exception.

Sources: MLS, Oliver Reports

Sources: MLS, Oliver Reports

I looked at pending sales (properties with an accepted offer which had not closed) as of June 30 and discovered that the median list price of the 58 pending sales was $684,000. In the first half of 2015 sales took place on average at a 3% discount to list price, suggesting a median sales price for the pending sales of around $663,000. These numbers suggest that the Q3 median price for Marblehead will come in strongly.

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Sales
Rather surprisingly, given the very low inventory for houses for sale in the early months of 2015, actual sales were in line with those for 2014.

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Inventory
The next two tables show the month by month inventory compared with 2014 and the breakdown by price. Note that supply picked up sharply in most price brackets in June.

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Assessed Value compared with Sales Price
The ratio (ASR) of Assessed Value (AV) to Sales Price (SP) can give a good indication of what is happening to underlying prices.If the ASR is above 100% that means that properties are selling for less than their AV. Conversely, properties selling above their AV will have an ASR below 100%. Bear in mind that Assessed Values have been increasing in recent years, so a flat ASR means prices are rising.

Remember that AVs are a lagging indicator: the tax bills for FY2015 are based on actual sales in 2013. Thus the 2015 sales data, reported in this review, will be the basis for FY2017 assessments. (And since the FY2016 tax rate is based on 2014 sales, I can project the FY2016 tax rate.)

Let’s look at the ASR for Marblehead SFHs in recent quarters. I have also included the sales volumes in each price range.

As there is a lot of data in this table I will try to highlight the key points at the bottom of the table:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

1. Although the median price dropped in Q1, so did the ASR. This suggests that underlying prices increased, with the median price reflecting a change in the mix of sales by price bracket.

2. In Q2 the ASR was unchanged, the mix moved slightly to higher price brackets.

3. The big shift in the last two years has been from sales under $500,000 to above that figure.

Summary

The winter weather impacted the market in two ways: keeping buyers indoors, and creating the need for repairs which caused a delay in listing for some houses. With the sharply reduced inventory until June, it was remarkable that sales equaled 2014’s level in the first half.
Sales often slow down post July 4, which is the date many buyers set for being in their new home in time for the next school year. Nevertheless, demand remains strong and well-priced, well-presented houses continue to sell briskly.
There is also, finally, greater choice for buyers.

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.

Which broker should sell my house?

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

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