Good news, bad news for North Shore condo market in 2012

First, the good news: sales were up 23% in 2012.
Now the bad news: sales are still 47% below the peak in 2005.

Unlike SFHs which are, for the most part, built singly, condo developments often bring a large number of new units to the market, causing a spike in sales, followed by a sharp decline. Look at the figures for
Middleton, for example. Sales went from 44 in 2004 to 129 in 2005 and back to 57 in 2006 and have stayed around that level since. Or Peabody, which climbed from 119 in 2003 to 169 in 2004 and 221 in 2005, before dropping back into the 80-120 range.

The two largest cities for condo sales on the North Shore are Lynn and Salem. In Lynn, sales jumped from 176 in 2003 to 340 in 2004 and 398 in 2005, but have been in the 100-125 range for the last 5 years. And in 2012, almost 50% of the 113 sales were foreclosures or short sales. Lynn’s share of the North Shore condo market has dropped from 23% in the peak year of 2005 down to just 12% in 2012.

Salem, on the other hand, has seen its market share increase from 27% to 30% because its sales declined “only” 41% against an overall market decline of 47%.

While Swampscott was the only North Shore town to record a decline in SFH sales in 2012, its condo market saw a 43% increase, albeit from a very low base.

And if you want to buy a condo in Boxford, be prepared for a long wait. There have been just 4 condo sales in the last 12 years!

As a reminder, whenever I quote sales figures I include all recorded sales, including foreclosures and short sales which I exclude when calculating median prices.

North Shore Condo sales _periods_2001-2012

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