A Recap of North Shore Massachusetts Real Estate in 2023 and a Glimpse into 2024

A Recap of North Shore Massachusetts Real Estate in 2023 and a Glimpse into 2024

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the tumultuous yet fascinating waters of the North Shore Massachusetts real estate market. Join me as we reflect on the highs and lows of 2023 and cast our gaze into the crystal ball to predict what 2024 might have in store.


Before we dive into the details, it’s essential to set the stage. For our purposes, the North Shore encompasses the entirety of Essex County, from Saugus to Salisbury, and Newburyport to North Andover. The data we’ll explore includes both single-family homes and condos, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the region.

Looking Back at 2023: Riding the Waves

20%+ Drop in Sales

In 2023, the North Shore experienced a substantial drop in total home sales, with only 5,916 transactions—a plunge of over 20% from the previous year. Zooming out to the last five years, the market has receded by about a third, signifying a challenging period for the region.

Number of Sales Over the Past 5 Years

Total Sales in 2023 Essex County / North Shore MA

Factors Behind The Drop

Several factors contributed to this dip, with inventory scarcity, fluctuating interest rates, and rising prices taking center stage. A noteworthy constraint was the scarcity of available homes for sale, resulting in a natural reduction in sales.

Volatile Mortgage Rates

Interest rates emerged as the headline act of 2023. Rates fluctuated between low 6% to over 8%, significantly impacting monthly payments for potential homeowners. This surge in rates, coupled with the existing inventory crisis, created a challenging environment.

Prices Riding the Crest

Contrary to expectations, prices continued their upward trajectory. The median sale price climbed to $600,000, a 4.3% increase from 2022, while the average sale price rose to $709,703—a 4.7% uptick. This upward trend, fueled by persistent demand and limited supply, painted a challenging affordability picture.

Home Prices in North Shore Massachusetts

Competitive Landscape

The average sale price closely tracked the average original price in 2023, indicating a market still competitive but marginally less heated than the previous year. The average days to offer increased from 17 to 20, suggesting a slightly more balanced environment for buyers.

Volume Tide

Total real estate sales volume in North Shore reached just under $4.2 billion in 2023, down approximately $850 million from the previous year.

Rockport MA - Essex county North Shore MA

Forecast for the North Shore in 2024: A Calmer Sea Ahead?

Inventory Anticipations

Looking forward, there’s a glimmer of hope. It’s anticipated that more homeowners, who have been on the fence due to interest rates and inventory concerns, might finally enter the market. This surge in inventory, combined with potentially more stable interest rates, could offer some relief.

Stable Prices on the Horizon

With a more balanced market, we may see stable prices in 2024. If inventory improves and interest rates remain favorable, the market could avoid significant price fluctuations.

Competitive, But Less Turbulent Waters

Despite the anticipated stability, the market is likely to remain competitive, albeit with fewer bidding wars. The pent-up demand is expected to persist, ensuring that the journey of buying or selling a home on the North Shore remains an exciting endeavor.

Conclusion: Setting Sail for 2024

And there you have it! The real estate voyage on North Shore Massachusetts in 2023 was marked by challenges and triumphs. As we embark on 2024, the horizon appears calmer, promising potential stability and opportunities. Whether you’re considering buying or selling, I’m here to navigate these waters with you. Reach out, and let’s set sail on your North Shore real estate adventure!

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Joe Luciano Realtor

Joe Luciano

Joe Luciano is a dedicated Realtor® with RE/MAX Bentley's and the owner of Joe's Homes, its associated social media profiles, & its additional websites.

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