As the end of 2018 quickly approaches, Betsy Merry and Dan Fox of MerryFox Realty reflect back on a year that was filled with lots of activity but relatively few surprises, particularly in the Salem condo market. As the brokers have seen over the past few years, the lack of supply has led to a higher demand - consequently ensuing soaring prices and soaring frustrations.
“Betsy and I sometimes feel as though we sound like a broken record, spouting positive news after positive news, but the real estate climate is super strong all along the North Shore,” says Fox. “One of the key components fueling it is that we continue to have historically low inventory which drives the absorption rate lower and lower. Right now in Salem, we have less than a one month supply of inventory. If you go back four years, we were at a three month supply. This just goes to show how the market continues to be under supplied. The only real solution to bridging this gap is new development”.
According to Merry, “Salem in particular has become very desirable thanks to its history, culture, waterfront, and proximity to Boston. Everyone today, from the young professional to the empty nester, is looking for ease and walkability. They want beautiful residences with high end amenities. As long as we have them to offer, we can sell them. The good thing is that we have some wonderful condo conversions projected for completion over the next couple of years including the old Salem Court House (61 units), the former Knights of Columbus (18 units), and the former senior center (proposed 13 units).”
“This is all especially exciting because on the buyer’s side, we also have some very positive news,” she continues. “Prices seem to have softened a bit, days on the market are longer, and people are generally being a little more cautious in response to the slight increase in interest rates. All of these variables point to another profitable year ahead.”
Another trend the partners are watching is the popularity of multi-families. According to Fox, savvy investors are finding this category, which has seen a 14% price increase in 2018, to be a smart place in which to diversify their portfolios. But like their condominium counterparts, as the demand increases, the inventory diminishes. “Over the years, Salem has become a better product with a better environment. There should be no question as to why we are seeing this resurgence in our city,” says Fox.
If you are interested in learning more about making a lifestyle change on the North Shore, call Betsy Merry at 508-641-6241 or Dan Fox at 978-808-8064.
AT A GLANCE:
· MerryFox Realty
· 224 Derby Street, Salem
· Betsy Merry, 508-641-6241
· Dan Fox, 978-808-8064