How quickly are Marblehead homes selling?

The peak time for listing homes for sale is the spring and the question we then ask is how quickly those homes are selling.

Just over a year ago the MLS changed the way it reported pending sales which also affected Days on Market (DOM) calculations. For an explanation of the impact of the changes read this article  I wrote on the subject.

It is only now that we have a year of comparable data. I have looked at the number of SFHs in Marblehead that have received an accepted offer (or in MLS’s elegant expression “went pending”) month by month:

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

Source: MLS, Oliver Reports

74 homes have sold so far this year with a further 54 pending, taking the total sold and pending to 128. If the offer level of last year is repeated – and if we assume that houses that go pending by the end of October close by year end –  we’d end the year with about 240 sales, which would be second only to 2004’s extraordinary level this century.

One measure often quoted is DOM, but it is one to which I do not pay much attention. Here’s why. In a strong market with limited inventory, houses that have been for sale for some time may eventually find a buyer. A good example would be the top end in Marblehead, where inventory has been large and houses have sat on the market for some time.

In the last couple of weeks two houses listed at $3.5 million have received accepted offers. These houses were on the market for 410 and 775 days respectively. Finally, they have found a buyer, which is good news. But if their DOM are included in the overall market figure it would offer a misleading impression of activity at other price points.

In summary, I would say that the current market shows steady sales, but there are no stories of multiple offers above listing prices as is common elsewhere. As I reported during the great recession, Marblehead didn’t participate in the crazy boom and largely sat out the consequent slump. This year prices will likely be back to or very near peak levels of 2005/6, but this will happen in a quiet and civilized manner – just like Marblehead itself.

If you  – or somebody you know – are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 617.834.8205 or

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty

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