Housing Inventory chronically low while demand is strong

The number of Single Family Homes (SFH) in Essex County receiving offers, while still down 10% from the 2019 number YTD, recovered strongly from May onwards, and for the last three months has been ahead of 2019. The numbers would have been even stronger in recent months but for the chronic shortage of supply.

Accepted offers


Single Family Homes
After years of decline, the number of SFHs for sale in Essex County on the first of the month compared with a year earlier (YOY) increased from August 2018 until June 2019. The decline then resumed, and has accelerated in 2020:


The next two charts (the first for January to June; the second July to December) show the number of SFHs for sale on the first of the month since 2017. In the first chart the numbers for 2020 YOY show the renewed decline (in 2019 inventory was increasing until June).

Housing Inventory

The second chart shows the decline YOY each month since July 2019.

The number of condos for sale increased YOY from June 2018 until August 2019, but since then there has been a consistent decline which has accelerated somewhat in 2020:

These two charts show numbers since 2017 for January to June, and July to December.

The first chart shows the decline in 2020 YOY, while in 2019 inventory was increasing in the first 6 months of the year.

Condo Inventory

The second chart shows inventory has been declining since October 2019, with the rate of decline accelerating in 2020..



The scarcity of supply has become even more pronounced, with less than one month at all price levels up to $1 million, while it remains abundant at the top end:

Housing Supply


The market in recent weeks has been characterised by the twin challenges of diminished inventory and increased demand, with buyers from Boston adding to local demand, both aided by record low mortgage rates.

We are back to the most basic economic equation: when demand exceeds supply, prices rise. In housing, that often results in bidding wars, as we are seeing frequently now.

Goodbye Boston, Hello Marblehead
Mortgage rates dip below 3% – where to next?

“If you’re interested in Marblehead, you have to visit the blog of Mr. Andrew Oliver, author and curator of OliverReports.com. He’s assembled the most comprehensive analysis of Essex County we know of with market data and trends going back decades. It’s a great starting point for those looking in the towns of Marblehead, Sale, Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.”

Andrew Oliver


Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty
One Essex Street | Marblehead, MA 01945
m 617.834.8205


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