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North Shore Massachusetts, 2023 Real Estate Market

Market in review for North Shore Massachusetts (Essex County MA). Year over year numbers and a a few things to note about living in the North Shore. 

Check out the updated post for a recap on 2023 & predictions on the North Shore real estate market in 2024.

What Makes up North Shore MA?

North Shore Massachusetts is kind of loosely defined so I’m going to describe it as solely Essex County versus just the towns along the coastline. 

North of Boston, working your way up the coast, you have communities like Revere, Saugus, & Lynn which are more populated largely due to their proximity to Boston. Furthermore Salem, Peabody, Danvers & Beverly which to me are classically the heart of the North Shore. If you go further up 128, You’ll end up in Gloucester & Rockport- Gloucester famed for its picturesque harbor & rich fishing history, and Rockport for its ‘as the name might suggest’: rocky coast line and it’s charming downtown. 

Salem Waterfront
Salem Waterfront shown in photo by drone

Continue North through Essex & Ipswich where you’ll find Crane Beach and the rich history of Ipswich with its quaint & lively downtown full of small shops and restaurants. Past that, you have what’s considered Greater Newburyport with Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, & Amesbury. Each town having its own traits and characteristics, but all sharing Newburyport as their lively downtown. 

State St, Newburyport MA
Downtown Newburyport

If you were to follow the Merrimack River inland just south of the New Hampshire border, you’ll eventually land in the buzzing streets of Haverhill; much more of a city atmosphere, then Methuen & Lawrence before heading south into the Andovers: of course that being Andover and North Andover. 

That’s a brief overview of the towns if you were to go up along the coast from Greater Boston and in on the Merrimack to what I consider makes up the North Shore. Of course that doesn’t cover every single town, but I’ll go into much more depth on each town within Essex County down the road. 

Essex County Real Estate Market Review (Year Over Year)

Number Of Sales – In the past 12 months (Last Year), there was a total of 5,079 single family sales, down from 5,979 the year prior- a decrease of roughly 15%. As for condos there were a total of 2,347 condos sold down from 2,914 the year before or a near 20% decline!

In total, there were 7,246 sales in Essex County down 1,467 from the year before or a 16.5% drop in number of sales!

Lynn had the most single family sales at 451 for the year, followed by Methuen at 386, and Haverhill at 375 – All of which make pretty decent sense considering their size. Salem had the most Condo sales at 336, followed by Haverhill at 268, & Lynn at 178- again all making decent sense with Salem introducing its large condo developments.

Average Sales Price & Price/SFDespite the media headlines, The average sale price in Essex County increased last year from the year prior. For single family homes, it was $767,975, up from $714,336- a roughly 7.5% jump. As for Condos, it was $482,129 – up from $433,529.04 over an 11% increase!

This means there was roughly a $50k increase in average sales prices in Essex County across the board in 2022!

The Averages for price per Square Foot tell a similar story, for single families at $367.50 and condos $357.39 both at around a 10% increase from the year before
If you’d like the full stats straight from MLS, send me an email!

Notes for Living on the North Shore of Massachusetts

The North Shore is a really desirable place to live hence, prices are fairly high. Highlights are its proximity to Boston yet offering a wide variety of atmospheres, anything from a small rural town like Boxford or Rowley, to a more downtown setting like Newburyport or Salem.

Plus stating the obvious part of North Shore MA is that you’re on the shore which means you have your choice of beaches. A few of my favorites if you’re in the area: Wingaersheek in Gloucester, Plum Island off of Newbury & Newburyport, & Crane Beach in Ipswich.

There’s a Variety of Housing types!

The North Shore has a wide variety of housing types. Given its historic past, there’s lots of historic homes and home styles: colonials, antiques, tudors, gambrels, etc.

If you’re ever in Newburyport, it can be a great way to spend an afternoon driving along High Street admiring the historic federalist mansions.

Old and New, there’s a wide variety of homes so if you’re looking for something with more charm or more of a story, I can guarantee you that the North Shore has it. I think there’s really something for everyone on the North Shore, whether you’re looking for a small condo or multiple acres with an equestrian property- It’s here

2023 Real Estate Market Prediction 

That brings me to “where do I see the Essex County Real Estate market heading in this coming year?” Last year was certainly interesting with the volatility in interest rates. As the year went on, consumers became more selective than previously. We really haven’t seen the steady inventory to say that the market is favorable for buyers just yet and I of course don’t have a crystal ball, but here’s what I’m thinking:

  • We’ll see a larger increase in supply than previously
  • Prices will be fairly stable with perhaps a slight decrease (Less than 10%)
  • Demand has been very strong and I see that continuing

The factors at play are two if/then statements in my opinion:

  1. If the interest rates keep increasing, then prices will continue to be forced down, and
  2. If supply is dramatically increased, then that could also drive prices down, but should help meet the demand
I don’t have the foresight to predict either of those factors, but I think given the writing on the wall and the general direction of the economy, neither would be surprising to me.
I think Massachusetts and North Shore MA specifically is somewhat protected compared to the rest of the country considering its strong demand & desirability. What happens in Florida, Texas, and Arizona will be different from what’s happening here in Massachusetts and it’s important to keep in mind that real estate is always local.

Regardless of market conditions, people will always have to buy and sell homes as life doesn’t wait! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for up to date real estate content! Video for this post below:
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