Essex County Housing Market: strong start to year

The housing market in Essex County enjoyed a strong start to the year. Q1 is the lowest quarter for sales (“winter”) so the numbers have to be treated with some caution, but the median price of a Single Family Home (SFH) which sold in Q1 rose 12% to $415,000, while the median price of a condo rose 14% to $281,000.

Single Family Homes
Q1 2017 was the fourth consecutive quarter with a median price in excess of $400,000.

Essex County housing market


The market is in a clear and strong upward trend, as evidenced by the annual median price increases in recent years:
Essex County Housing Marrket

Sales were up only slightly from 2016, a factor largely of the continuing shrinking supply.


In contrast to  the SFH market, sales of condos jumped 25% in Q1 from a year ago. Here are the top ten towns by 2017 sales, demonstrating some dramatic increases:

Essex County housing market

Some 80 of the total sales of 564 were either new construction or new conversions.

Prices have followed demand:

Essex County Housing Market

Source: MLS

Again, continuing the trend of recent years:

Essex County housing market

Meanwhile, supply continues to shrink
Essex County housing market

What does the median price tell us?
It is important to understand that the median price reported is for sales that have taken place, not for the whole market. New construction usually takes place at prices above the median level for a town, so that this in itself can lead to a higher median price for reported sales.

Let me give an example:
Essex County housing market

Note that there were actually 2 more sales under $300,000 in 2017, but there was a huge spike in sales at higher prices, with all the sales over $400,000 coming from new construction or conversion.

While new construction can have an impact on median prices, it cannot take away from the basic fact that prices are continuing to rise in Essex County, while supply has shrunk still further. The economy is expanding and mortgage rates have recently dipped back below 4%.

All these factors point to a continuing upward trend in prices.

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.

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

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated



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