Maybe it was the subject matter – the upper end of the market – but whatever the reason my blog had a record number of visits this weekend.
If you stumbled on my site by chance, please either “friend” Oliver Reports on Facebook or sign up at www.OliverReports.com for email alerts of new postings.
I publish one or more articles every Saturday on a variety of real estate related topics. My goal is to make the articles short and topical.
As my home page says, Oliver Reports is: “The source for Marblehead and North Shore real estate news.”
And I also publish comments on the Boston market from time to time because of the influence that market has on the entire region.
Come see this wonderful Colonial on Sunday 12:00 – 2:00 pm.
36 Crestwood Road (West Shore Drive to Shorewood Road to Pinecliff Drive to Crestwood).
Waterfront, updated, 4 bedroom 3,820 s.f. Colonial on nearly an acre in park-like setting with private dock. Home overlooks Wyman’s Cove and has views to the Beverly shore. Master suite has views up the harbor and beyond. Hardwood floors, central air, finished walkout lower level, & two car garage. Radiant heat in bathroom floors.
www.36CrestwoodRoad.com with interactive floor plans.
11 Crown Way. Sunday 2:00-3:30
Two properties on one lot make this ideal for extended family, nursing home alternative or just for a weekend and summer retreat without having to battle the traffic.
This spectacular oceanfront compound offers an elegantly restored, south facing, sun-drenched 6,265 sq. ft. main home with 15 spacious rooms including 7 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. Uniquely protected from coastal storms. Plus Marblehead’s most stunningly located carriage house offers an additional 2,404 sq. ft. Access to a private beach. Wonderful neighborhood and potential for a private mooring.
One of the surprises to me this year has been the relatively low level of activity in Marblehead waterfront property. I know there is quite a lot of supply, but with the top end hitting new highs in Boston and other cities it does seem that there is an opportunity to buy wonderful property at a great price. As my attorney said to me when I closed on my house many years ago: “they can’t make any more waterfront”.
Recently a beautifully elegant waterfront property came on the market for $1 million below its Assessed Value. The house does need some updating – and I know from personal experience how much it can cost to restore an old house – but if you are in the market for a traditional, New England waterfront property, this is well worth a look.
I’d love to tell you more about this house but apparently it would be a breach of ethics for me to do so as I might be deemed to be recommending a property listed by another Realtor. Go figure.
While there may appear at first glance to be a lot of waterfront homes for sale at the moment, the detailed analysis that a buyer at this level would undertake quickly shows that there are several different categories, by location, condition and style for example, that whittle the number down rapidly when a buyer’s criteria are considered.
And as I point out in another post this morning, the buyers at the upper end are active elsewhere. Surely the delights of summer on the water in Marblehead will attract buyers soon!
In April the number of Single Family Homes (SFHs) sold in Marblehead was 23 against 17 last year, bring the Year To Date number to 54 compared with 44 last year,
As of May 1 there were 58 SFHs with an accepted offer. Were all these to close by June 30 – which they won’t, but others not yet with an accepted offer will – total sales for the first half of the year would be around 110.
Last year’s sales reached 229, the highest total since the extraordinary 285 of 2004. We are unlikely to challenge the 2004 level but we do seem to be moving back into the 220-240 range of the early 2000s.
Condo sales so far are 6 against 7. A further 8 had accepted offers as of May 1. At this stage it seems quite likely that sales will not match last year’s 42.
For the 17 North Shore cities and towns I track, sales of SFHs increased 6% for the first four months of the year while condo sales were up 12%.
Using the same data as in previous months, the inventory of Single Family Homes (SFHs) remained pretty steady at 4.6 months supply as of May 1, compared with 4.5 months at April 1. For condos, supply increased from 5.0 months to 5.5 months.
April sees a flood of new properties coming to market for the peak spring selling season so an increase in supply is normal. In actual numbers, there wee 725 SFHs available (that is without an accepted offer) compared with 623 a month earlier, while there were 346 available condos, up from 292 a month earlier.
These numbers make the point that while the absorption rate remains high, there are now more properties available for sale, as one would expect at this time of year.
I am not publishing the tables I have shown in recent months because I have decided to change my methodology. I have been using the Last 3 Months for calculating absorption rates and hence how many months of supply is represented by the available properties. The problem with that is that is that it makes no allowance for seasonality. For example, April’s number of homes for sale – the start of spring selling – was compared with actual sales in January- March, the slowest quarter of the year.
For this month I am using the Last 12 Months believing that this will smooth out some of the seasonality. It’s not perfect, but then neither is the weather in New England and that’s the real cause of the seasonality.
Using L12M, the inventory for SFHs drops to just 3.6 months, with Peabody under 2, and several under 3. Here is the table:
Similarly, condo supply drops to 4.4 months, with Salem, the largest condo market, being one of the tightest. Here’s the condo table:
The equation is unchanged: low inventory + low mortgage rates = higher prices.
Open House Sunday for Waterfront, updated 3820 sq.ft. Colonial with private dock in park-like setting of nearly an acre
36 Crestwood Road $1,375,000
West Shore Drive to Shorewood Road to Pinecliff Drive to Crestwood Road
Open House tomorrow, April 28, 12:30 to 2:30.
Click here for full details
As some of you know, I have been close to bombs in the past, while living in London during the IRA’s campaign and also with the World Trade Center.
I am a firm believer in not allowing terrorists to prevent us from living our lives, although necessarily certain changes have to be made. As the British war-time motto, now popular again, said: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” We will NEVER let terrorists win, however long the fight.
I also look forward to the day when Marathon runners who were stopped are invited back to complete their run.
In honor of the victims, and in prayerful thanks to our law enforcement officials – and the residents of Boston – for their steadfast efforts, I shall pause in my real estate writings and today post only the link to Boston Strong t-shirts ($15 of the $20 purchase price is donated to the One Fund) and to the Fund itself.
Please give generously.
As I read this editorial Can We Afford Another Housing Boom? in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the refrain of “Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?” from “Where have all the flowers gone?” by Pete Seeger (although I was hearing the Peter, Paul and Mary version), came into my head.
Some people may be surprised that the WSJ should be a critic of policies aimed at driving home prices higher, but I think what the Journal is trying to point out is that government-sponsored social engineering of the housing market is exactly what played such a large role in the last boom and bust cycle.
There are several variations of the following quote but as an Englishman I will use Winston Churchill’s: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
“Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?”