Marblehead Condo Mid-Year Review: Stabilizing

Just like the Single Family (SFH) market, the condo market in 2012 saw a swing to greater sales taking place at lower price levels. And just like the SFH market this caused the median price for the market overall to fall.

And just like the SFH market, the condo market in 2013 has moved on from the high level of sales at lower levels. The result has been that the median price in the first half (H1) of 2013 has recovered to 2010 levels and is very close to all-time highs.

Do remember, however, that the condo market in Marblehead is small, which is one of the reasons I do not publish quarterly figures.

Sales were just 12 in H1, down from 18 in 2012. Since July 1, however, a further 3 condo sales have occurred while 10 more are pending. After reaching 88 in 2004, sales dropped to just 34 in 2011, recovering slightly to 42 in 2012. It looks as though 40 might be the new norm for condo sales in Marblehead.

The median price was $343,000 in H1. Here are the numbers since 2010:

Source: MlS, Oliver Reports

Source: MlS, Oliver Reports

The peak median price was $346,000 in 2007  and the peak half-yearly number $353,500 in the second half of that year.

The following table shows the breakdown of sales by price, as well as the ASR ratio, the ratio of Assessed Value (AV) to Sales Price. If sales take place above AV the ASR is below 100%.

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

This table clearly shows the change from last year, with the number of sales below $300,000 dropping from 9 to just 3. Sales in this price range continue to occur well below AV.

Overall, however, the ASR has improved to just 86.5%, meaning that sales were some 15.6% above AV. And in the $300-499,000 bracket, the middle market if you like, the ASR was just 83.8%, meaning that sales were 19.3% above AV.

Marblehead is not a major condo market like Salem. Not only is the market small, but it is split into two broad categories: old multi-family buildings that were “condo-ed” in the boom days, and purpose-built condos like Glover Landing, Adams House and Marblehead Highlands. The pressure that occurred in the condo market was felt largely in the former category, while the purpose-built condo market has remained relatively stable.