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MARKET WATCH: January–June 2023 real estate market update

The operative word is “down” for inventories, sales and dollar volume, but differences among areas of Berkshire County do exist, as do opportunities..

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As we wrap up the second quarter of 2023, we note that Berkshire County housing sales are down from the same period last year and inventory issues continue to challenge the market overall. As of June, 706 sales in all property types were recorded in the MLS countywide. This is a 25 percent decrease from 937 sales recorded last year.

Consider that in June 2023, there were 569 residential homes on the market at some point during the month, compared to 593 last year. That equates to only 269 homes countywide available for purchase by the end of the month as properties sold, went under agreement, were withdrawn or expired from the market. For historical perspective, just 10 years ago in June of 2013 there were 1,616 listings on the market, and inventory rose in the summer of 2014 to an all-time high of over 1,800 homes on the market. With inventory a fraction of what it used to be, the market is churning at a rate of 1-3 months of inventory countywide at any given time.

The dollar volume transacted from January to June countywide topped $353 million dollars, with $270 million in residential sales. This is down 18 percent overall when compared to the first two quarters of 2022, due to the decrease in the number of homes available for sale.

With 449 residential sales year-to-date, the middle registry still accounts for the majority of homes sold and total dollar volume transacted. South county leads the region in the highest median sale price, yet those sales also take the longest time to sell, from listing to closing date. North county remains the most affordable region for home sales, with low median prices running on average at $232,000 this year, compared to $300,000 in middle Berkshire and $542,500 in the southern region.  The multifamily market is robust in both north and middle county, with $21.8 million of the $22.5 million in sales transacting there.

Residential sales are down 24 percent compared to the same time last year, multifamily sales are down 26 percent, condominium sales are down 19 percent yet the dollar volume of those transactions has increased over last year.  Land sales showed a decrease of 30 percent in the number of parcels transacted, but the dollar volume of those parcels at $12 million dollars is on par with the same time last year. The number of commercial sales fell slightly yet recorded a 21 percent increase in the dollar volume sold of $21 million transacted compared to only $17 million last year.

The far majority of homes sold, 80 percent were sold to buyers represented by a firm that did not list the property for sale, but cooperated on the sale through the MLS. Our statistics show that cooperative sales have a higher median sale price that is closer to the asking price, and they sell faster from first listing to deed transfer as well (DOM / Days on Market).

For a look ahead, we can see there is a 14 percent decrease in inventory compared to last year, which was already at historically low levels.  Going into the third quarter, there is a 19 percent reduction in the number of homes currently under agreement, indicating a slowing third quarter to start. The inventory in multifamily is also down by 14 percent yet the number of units under contract is higher than last year, with 121 units under contract, an increase of 8 percent. Condominium activity is on par with last year, but the number of pending sales has dropped by 10 percent. Land sales continue to struggle and inventory has retracted by 24 percent.

Berkshire REALTORS are meeting with legislators this month to discuss this ongoing housing crisis and what can be done to spur growth, redevelopment and investment in the community’s most prized asset; housing for the citizenship. We are also engaged and contributing to the Massachusetts Real Estate Community Alliance, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization created to support and protect property owners and the communities they help build. Join us and the efforts of all communities in making the Berkshires a place to live for all.

The full market update with historical data can be found at http://www.berkshirerealtors.net/.

 

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