As MerryFox Realty once again closes its year-end books on a high, broker/owners Betsy Merry and Dan Fox look back on 2017 as a year of “interesting trends” in not just Salem, but in and around the entire North Shore.

“When we look at the numbers, we look at Salem and the North Shore as a whole and what we have been seeing this year is a substantial increase in condo and multi-family pricing (12 percent and 7 percent respectively in Salem and 9 percent in surrounding towns). At the same time though, we have also seen a whopping 25 percent decline of available condo units on the North Shore,” says Fox. “Of course, this all supports an overwhelming lack of supply. As of the writing of this story, we have just 33 condos and only five multi-family homes on the market in Salem. This lack of inventory is significantly more prevalent this year than last.”

According to MLS statistics through Dec. 5, the average sale price of a condominium in Salem was $318,400, up from 2016’s average of $284,494. Furthermore, time on the market was down from 30 days to just 20. As for multi-family sales, the average price in the city this year was $478,190 versus $445,179 last year with only five buildings currently on the market. As for the North Shore overall, data paints a very similar picture.

Both Merry and Fox feel strongly that it is, more than ever, a “sellers’ market,” particularly here in Salem. “The big change that we have seen recently is that buyers are choosing product over location,” says Merry. “This goes against the old real estate theory of ‘location, location, location.’ People are valuing the city as a whole with variety overriding any small neighborhood differences. Because they love the access to the train, the walkability of downtown, and the culture, they are willing to pay top dollar for quality.”

While the current numbers show a rather distressing inventory shortage, Merry and Fox are confident that as Salem rings in the New Year, there will be some new and exciting projects on the horizon. “We are definitely seeing more and more outside developers looking to invest here. They can’t help but show interest when they combine the high absorption rate with the ease of transportation, the increase in sale prices and the high quality of life,” says Fox.

In full agreement with her partner, Merry adds, “It has been under the strong and diligent leadership of Mayor Kimberley Driscoll that we have seen such resurgence here. Salem has become such a hip place to be that empty nesters and millennials alike are seeing our city as ‘Boston North.’ If you long for the culture and excitement that only a city can offer but you’ve been priced out of the market, this is where you want to be.”

Betsy Merry and Dan Fox specialize in the buying and selling of single-family homes, condominiums and commercial property on the North Shore. For guidance or more information, call Betsy Merry at 508-641-6241 or Dan Fox at 978-808-8064.

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