Swampscott housing market steady in 2014; condo sales explode

Here are the highlights of the market in Swampscott in 2014.

Single Family Homes (SFH)
– the median price eased 0.5% to $440,000, still down 15% from the 2005 peak of $517,300
– sales were up slightly to 168, but that was the best sales number since 2004
– the Assessed Value to Sales Ratio (ASR*) declined from 87.8% to 84.8%.

Condos
– the median price increased 4% to $267,500, still down 6% from the 2005 high
sales exploded to 74, almost double the 40 of 2013 and more than the prior peak years (this century) of 70 in 2005 and 2006
– the ASR increased slightly from 80.9% to 82.7%.

Property Taxes
– While the tax rate for FY2015 has dropped from $18.70 to $17.15, the average tax bill will increase by 4% or $352.

I will publish a more detailed review of 2014 in the near future.

* The ASR is the Assessed Value (AV) divided by the Sales Price (SP).If the ASR is below 100%  it means that properties are selling for more than their AV. Conversely, properties selling below their AV will have an ASR above 100%.
– As we all hope our properties are worth more than the AV we look for an ASR below 100% as a positive sign. In a period of rising prices the ASR is likely to be falling. So what we, as homeowners, want is an ASR below 100% and falling
– Remember that AVs are a lagging indicator: the tax bills just announced for FY2015 are based on actual sales in 2013. Thus the 2014 sales data, reported in this review, will be the basis for FY2016 assessments. And remember, also, that falling tax rates rarely translate into falling tax bills!
– I will be publishing a report in the near future on the average tax bill per city and town in Essex County to go with my recent Essex County 2015 property tax rates report.

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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