Buyers gaining on Sellers – again

One of the unusual features of the housing market this year has been the absence of the normal seasonal increase in supply of homes for sale.

The table below shows inventory for the last three weeks for both SFHs and Condos (with current inventory in bold) and compares it with inventory at the beginning of the year.

Homes for Sale


Why did inventory increase in the week ending May 20? Well, May 14 was Mother’s Day and there were no Open Houses. So Mum may have got flowers and a card, maybe brunch, but she didn’t get a new home as the number of houses receiving offers dropped sharply in the following week, leading to an increase in inventory.

Last weekend there was a full slate of Open Houses and this week the number of properties receiving offers jumped up again – and hence inventory dropped as there were fewer new listings.

But now, look at the last two columns and see that, with the exception of Swampscott and Lynn, the increase in SFHs for sale since the beginning of the year has been unusually low, while the supply of condos has actually dropped in 4 of the 5 towns.

Another phenomenon this year has been the slow pace of sale at the higher end, certainly above $1.5 million. I shall report on this in more detail in a later report, but look at these numbers for Marblehead so far this year:

Marblehead home sales

Source: MLS

The lower average price is driven by the drop in sales over $1.5 million from 7 in 2016 to just one so far in 2017.

I have reported in recent weeks about 60 groups attending an Open House in Swampscott for a house priced in the $500ks and 90 at one in Marblehead priced in the $600ks, and this past week a house in the $700ks received 10 offers. Clearly, demand in this price range remains very strong and indeed seems to be growing.

And while sales of houses over $1 million have been slow, some 20 groups toured an Open House for a home listed above $1.3 million.

Is it just timing at the higher end or is there something more fundamental occurring? That is a question I shall try to answer in another post in the near future. What I can say is that there are currently only 19 SFHs for sale in Marblehead under $1 million – and at this date last year there were 45.

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

Please contact me on 617.834.8205 or 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







Get Free Email Updates!

Did you find this article useful? Add your email address and I will send you notification of new articles.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.