SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 24, 2013

Let the bidding begin

Lack of inventory leads to multiple offers on many North Shore properties

(Continued)

Wallick said inventory is tight “across the board,” especially for multifamily properties and starter homes.

An increase in interest rates over the past few months helped spur the market, Wallick said.

A survey of rates on Freddie Mac’s website put the average for a 30-year fixed mortgage nationally at 4.37 percent on July 18.

On May 16, it was 3.51 percent.

Home closings picked up in June as people anticipated rates rising, Wallick said. While rates have always played a part in the market, Wallick said rates are still affordable.

Wallick recently put under agreement a Cape on the dead-end street of Goldsmith Avenue in the Ryal Side neighborhood of Beverly. The home, which abuts a golf course, has three to four bedrooms, refinished hardwood floors, a new front deck and fresh landscaping. It was listed at about the state median home price of $350,000. While Wallick cannot say the closing price because it is under contract, she had three offers on the home after it was on the market for three weeks. Some properties are selling after less than a week on the market.

“Agents are having the busiest open houses they have had in quite some time,” Wallick said.

Marcotte said the condo market is not quite as robust as that for single-family homes. The median sale price for condos in Salem is $235,000, while the median price for condos under agreement is $229,000.

What can you get for around that price in Salem? Marcotte is the agent on a first-floor condo conversion on Hazel Street. The first-floor, two-bedroom unit has been completely remodeled, with hardwood floors and 1,100 square feet of living space. The condo sports stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops.

The list price of $219,000 has already been reduced. Still, Marcotte said the condo market is “holding its own” as the market for single-family homes continues to heat up.

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