Swampscott Mid-Year Review: Prices hit new high

Reflecting the low level of inventory, sales of Single family Homes (SFHs) dropped sharply in the first half of 2017, but the median price increased by 10% to a new high for the first half of the year of $539,900 and is on track – finally – to surpass the 2005 peak of $517,300 for the full year.

For most of the year the number of condos for sale has been 5 or fewer and the number has only “jumped” to 9 because of the new Avery development. The median price in the first half increased 16% to a new high of $295,750, but in a small market with wide variation in prices the median price can reflect the type of condo sold in a particular time period. Nevertheless, 15 of the 37 Condo sales in the first half of the year took place above the list price, an indication of strong demand.

Single Family Homes (SFH)
Here is the chart of half-yearly median prices since 2012, followed by a table showing quarterly numbers.

Swampscott Mid-Year Review

In a seasonal (think winter) market with a limited number of sales, quarterly fluctuations can and frequently do occur (which is why I place greater emphasis on semi-annual and annual numbers)
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Swampscott Mid-Year Review

Sales
The shortage of inventory has caught up with sales.
Swampscott Mid-Year Review
SFH Sales by price
This table shows that the percentage of houses selling below $500,000 has declined in the last three years from 59% to 51% and now just 32%. Since the median price is that at which 50% of sales are higher and 50% lower, as the percentage dropped from above 50% to below it, so the median price has moved from under $500,000 to above it.

Swampscott Mid-Year Review

Current SFH Inventory
There are currently 5 SFHs for sale under $500,000 and a total of just 18 under $1 million. The biggest change compared with last year is the drop from 20 to 10 in the number for sale between $600,000 and $1 million.

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Condo Market
The condo market in Swampscott is small and varies from modestly priced developments around Vinnin Square to luxury oceanfront units. Those two factors can – and frequently – do cause swings in the recorded median price. The larger the sample the more reliable the number (the law of large numbers) so I place some confidence in the half-yearly number and most in the full year’s figure. Note also the breakdown in sales by price shown after the pricing information.

Swampscott Mid-Year Review

MLS, Oliver Reports

Condo Sales by price
Swampscott Mid-Year review

This table shows that the percentage of condos selling below $250,000 has declined in the last three years from 59% to 43% and now just 25%. Since the median price is that at which 50% of sales are higher and 50% lower, as the percentage dropped from above 50% to below it, so the median price has moved from under $250,000 to above it.

15 of the 37 Condo sales in the first half of the year took place above the list price, an indication of strong demand.

Current Condo Inventory
5 of the 9 condos currently for sale have just come on to the market at the new Avery development, which will add 42 units to the market.

Swampscott Mid-Year Review

COMMENT
It is no surprise that the combination of very low inventory, strong demand and low mortgage rates has finally pushed the median price of SFHs selling in Swampscott to a new high, with 20 of the 54 SFH sales taking place above list price. While the factors cited last, there is no reason to expect a change in the upward movement of prices.

Are you thinking about selling? Read Which broker should I choose to sell my house?

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

@OliverReports

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