BY LILLIAN SHAPIRO
DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE ADVERTISING
---- — Should recent activity in and about the North Shore be any indication of what is to come, 2014 promises to be a banner year for real estate, according to Betsy Merry and Dan Fox of MerryFox Realty in Salem. With vast and consistent increases across the board, the brokers have seen a surge in single-family, condominium and revenue-generating property sales, particularly during the last quarter of the year.
The robust activity, say the partners, is thanks in part to various factors, such as the number of available units for sale and the positive economic indicators of late.
“We’ve been seeing that a lot of people who were sitting on the sidelines are now starting to move,” says Fox. “Buyers who may not have been able to get financing before, or were apprehensive about buying, are believing in the market again.”
At MerryFox alone, end of the year MLS (Multiple Listings Service) findings show a 20 percent increase in 2013 sales (based on dollar volume). Though the Realtors report that current inventory is low compared to two years ago, Merry expects the availability to increase in the coming months.
“Prices are up, interest rates are down, the stock market is good. These are all signs of a promising year ahead,” says Merry. “Those people who bought in 2005 and 2006 when the market was softer are finally digging themselves out from underwater. This past year, they began to see that they could now sell their properties easily where they couldn’t before. We found, particularly in the past six months, that some of these listings were even sold within one or two days of being listed. We expect to continue to see lots of people moving up from condos to single families and then the flip side of that, others downsizing from larger homes to more manageable, maintenance-free condominiums.”
Also attributing to this positive local upswing, the brokers say, is the lifestyle that Salem and surrounding towns have to offer. “We are seeing an ‘urbanization’ trend where people are looking for good, high-end products in ‘walkable’ areas,” says Merry. “Our North Shore communities are easily accessible to the commuter rail, the arts, the waterfront, and fine dining and shopping. Buyers are willing and now able to pay the price to have all that.”
Likewise, MerryFox Realty has seen a refreshed interest in commercial real estate, further proof of a recovering economy.
“We are watching very closely, the re-entry of investors to the market. There is suddenly a huge demand for income-producing products in and about Salem,” says Fox. “The overall curve has definitely shifted, and I don’t see it reverting anytime soon. As long as the economic indicators continue the way they have, I think we will see more of the same in 2014. It is a very promising, very exciting time.”
For more information on the buying and selling of residential and commercial property on the North Shore, call Betsy Merry and Dan Fox at 978-740-0008 or visit www.merryfoxrealty.com.
AT A GLANCE