Housing Inventory: it’s déjà vu all over again

Well shock horror: the market remains short of inventory at the lower end and has an abundance at the higher end. Same old story.

What is perhaps surprising is how little change there has been in the last seven months. In general the tightest markets at the beginning of the summer remain the tightest today.

Here are the tables for several North Shore cities and towns. First SFHs:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports


“Housing Market Bubble Deflating”: really?

OK Marbleheaders, confess: you didn’t know you just lived through a housing bubble.

Maybe you got confused by the facts: only one house has sold this year for more than $1.8 million while there are 29 for sale at that price or higher; the median price for the first 9 months of the year was up 5% from 2012, but down 2% from 2011 and is still down 9% from the peak in 2005; after sales of SFHs of 22-30 each month from April to September, sales in October are likely to be around 10.

Fact, facts. (more…)

Jumbo mortgages on sale

A strange thing is happening in mortgage markets: jumbo loans (typically, those above $417,000) are being offered at the same rate as conventional loans and in some case for even less.

Conventional mortgages, below $417,000, are normally sold to Fannie Mae (FNM) or Freddie Mac (FRE). The originating bank has no continuing interest in the loan, it just receives a fee from selling the loan on. (more…)

How do home prices compare with the 2005 peak?

The stock market may have reached new highs this year but the housing market, despite occasional cries of alarm about “unsustainable” double digit price increases, remains in general well below peak levels reached in 2005.

But not everywhere.

The Boston Business Journal analyzed data from The Warren Group and published a list of 27 Eastern Massachusetts communities where median prices for the first nine months of 2013 exceeded those for 2005. Which, of course, got me wondering how Marblehead and other North Shore communities compared. (more…)

Marblehead Third Quarter housing market review

It’s a dreary Friday afternoon (except for the Red Sox who have just scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th) and I am doodling with ways to show the market.
First, here’s the state of the market at the beginning of October (L12M= Last 12 Months) :

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

The story here is that there is very little supply under $500,000. That is significant because this segment of the market experienced the greatest pressure during the years from 2008 right up until late 2012. It really does seem that all that inventory has been cleared and now there is a great shortage. (more…)

Where can I find a house in my price range?

Many people look for a house in a certain town, but others are open to considering a number of towns based, in part at least, on price. This article shows the availability by price for a number of cities and towns. First the actual numbers:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports


North Shore Housing Inventory: remains very tight at lower end

The overall market remains tight on the North Shore, with very little supply under $500,000 and plenty of availability over $2 million.

Here is the overall position at the beginning of October, starting with Single Family Homes (SFHs):

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

While the market overall supply position is largely unchanged note that Ipswich, Manchester and Nahant have all tightened somewhat.

And now condos:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Most markets have eased slightly. Note that the jump in supply in Swampscott was caused by the listing of 8 units this week in a new development.

Here is a more detailed breakdown for SFHs:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

and for condos:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports


This next table shows the overall inventory by price and the percentage of the available market in each price range:

Slource: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports


If you are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 781.631.1223 or andrew@HarborsideRealty.com.

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Realty in Marblehead.

Falling mortgage rates and other housing news

As suggested in last week’s blog, mortgage rates have fallen back with the national average for a 30 year fixed rate loan at 4.32%, a level last seen in July.

While the 30 year fixed rate mortgage is the benchmark normally quoted, note that the average 15 year rate is 3.37%, while the 5/1 ARM is just 3.07%. Freddie Mac weekly mortgage rates

For my comments on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) read Is it time to consider an ARM?. (more…)

Have house prices gone up too far?

I read yet another “warning” this week of an impending housing bubble and so I decided to put together a very simple table showing what has happened in recent years in the stock market compared with the housing market. I have used the Dow Jones 30 share index and the Case-Shiller 20 city index (which reports in arrears).

Here are the results:

Dow Jones vs Case-Shiller

The dates chosen represent the peaks and troughs in these indices.

Any one see a housing bubble there?

If you are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 781.631.1223 or andrew@HarborsideRealty.com.

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Realty in Marblehead.


Mortgage rates drop as Fed blinks

On Wednesday, when it was widely expected that the Federal Reserve would announce plans to start reducing its purchases of mortgage backed securities (MBS)* this month, it surprised the market by announcing that the start of the slow down – the taper – would be delayed. The result was a drop of about 1/4% in mortgage rates. (more…)

Marblehead Oceanfront Open House Sunday 12-2

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., perfect for the extended family, nursing home alternative – or weekend retreat. Access to a private beach. Wonderful neighborhood and potential for a private mooring. (more…)

Signs of life at higher end of market

I have commented before that I have been surprised at the low level of activity at the higher end here on the North Shore compared with Boston and its immediate neighbors. I have pondered – hoped? – that maybe it was a timing issue.

Well there does seem to be some activity developing. Since the start of the third quarter (July 1), there have been sales in the $2-3 million range in Andover, Manchester and Swampscott; in the $3-4 million range in Manchester; and $4-5  million in Hamilton and Manchester. (more…)

Outlook for mortgage rates

I have commented before that HSH Associates (HSH.com) publishes very good commentary on the mortgage market.
In this week’s article (which will be on their website on Monday) they point out:

Marblehead: median list price $995,000; median sale price $532,000

The median list price of Single Family Homes (SFHs) in Marblehead currently available for sale is $995,000, whereas the median price of SFHs sold in the first 8 months of 2013 is just $532,000. Why the difference?

First the inventory numbers. It is very clear just how short of inventory the market is under $750,000 and under $500,000 in particular. These numbers were as of September 1st. This shortened week saw 4 more houses under $500,000 receive an accepted offer (including one that was listed this week), so there are now just 6 SFHs available in Marblehead under $500,000. And 106 have sold in the last year. Wow! (more…)

Condo market tightens

Overall supply for the North Shore condo market tightened as of September 1st to just 3.4 months of supply, down from 4.7 months earlier in the summer. As with SFHs, supply is tightest at lower price levels. (more…)