How is the Berkshire Real Estate Market?
One of the most common questions that consumers ask REALTORs® is “How is the Market?”. It seems some folks believe it is a buyer’s market and other folks think it’s a seller’s market. The answer lies deeper than just how sales look in the past few weeks or months. Calculations are applied to different market segments based on supply (the number of properties on the market), and how supply relates to the number of sales over a given period of time.
In Berkshire County, we are currently experiencing a robust market. This is attributed to a few different factors. One of the primary factors is the steady or consistent growth rates which have remained fairly stable without huge swings either way. The recent spring-like weather has encouraged buyers to begin their searches earlier in the season. Another factor is the availability of financing. In Berkshire County, we have plenty of mortgage financing available, and frankly some really good product offerings. In many communities, buyers can take advantage of USDA financing which provides for 100% financing with a fixed market rate. Interest rates have remained at historic lows, making affordability even greater.
In 2016*, across the whole county, the number of residential sales volume was up 9.5% for a total of $340,000,000. The number of units, 1307 residential sales, was also up 10.1%. Multi-family properties had a increase in Sales Volume of a total of $14,100,000 and a 17.6% increase in units sold. Land sales and commercial sales have also increased. Land volume was up 73.7% for a total of $16,700,000 with a total of 100 units, which was a slight increase of 1%. Commercial sales volume was up 73% with a total of $13,000,000 with 43 units sold, an increase of 48% from the previous year.
While those segments all saw increases, Condominium sales decreased in volume and unit sales. The total volume of sales for Condos was $23,600,000, down 27.8% over the previous year. Total unit sales were 107, a decrease of 14.4.%
When the data is broken down into the three regions of the County (Northern Berkshire, Central Berkshire and Southern Berkshire), it appears that about 50% of the towns had increases, while others decreased. In North Berkshire, Adams saw significant increases in both sales and volume, where Williamstown saw significant decreases in both. Adams had 50 residential sales in 2015 as compared to 60 sales in 2016. On the contrary, Williamstown saw a decrease in units from 71 in 2015 to 51 in 2016 which resulted in a decrease of 31.6%. In Central Berkshire, Pittsfield, the largest city in the county, had increases in units from 361 in 2015 to 392 in 2016. Southern Berkshire had increases and decreases, although some of the smaller towns had a few less sales, but if a small town experiences 5 or 6 sales in a year, a loss of one sale creates a significant percentage. Tyringham remained consistent with 5 sales in 2105 and 5 sales in 2016, however, the dollar value dropped significantly from $2,343,000 in 2015 to $1,393, 000 in 2016.
Overall, the residential sales trend and volume across the whole county has consistently increased every year since 2011 which had a total of 811 sales with a sales volume of $211,933,116. All indicators indicate that this will continue for 2017!
*Data obtained for sales reported through the Berkshire County Multiple Listing Service and does not include private sales.