July 2020 Real Estate Market Report

Sandra Carroll of the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS reports that home sales are up but inventory is low.

As we wrap up our July 2020 real estate sales for Berkshire County, we first focus on residential single family homes: Closed sales in July are up 11% countywide compared to last year, with 158 sales reported to the MLS service. Year-to-date sales are on target with last year with 697 sales of homes compared to 700, despite several months of limited market activity in early spring of 2020. The dollar volume of home sales has jumped 16% year-to-date compared to last year. There was a 68% jump in July residential sales to $59 million dollars transacted compared to $35 million last year. This appreciation has caused median sale prices to rise by 20% compared to last July – and year-to-date the median price of $231,873.

In home inventory, we continue to lack residential homes available to meet buyer demand. In July, countywide inventory fell to below four months with 511 homes on the market compared to 913 last year, a 44% decrease.  Pending sales going into August are robust with a 22% increase over last July with 248 sales marked as pending in the MLS. (Click here for the full report.)

Here’s a trend you should keep your eye on: Surging demand is backing up the closing process for lenders, appraisers, inspectors, lawyers and all closing professionals involved in the transaction.  It is critical that REALTORS acknowledge this and maintain high levels of communication with all parties involved.  Interest rates are historically low and buyer demand is historically high.  We see that our “back on market” rates are high, over 21 home sales fell through in the past week in Berkshire County.  With multiple offers on properties and a rush-rush-rush mentality, it is wise for REALTORS to caution clients to consider decisions carefully, to make sure the home is a good fit for their needs, and to be clear about what work a home might need (and that the price is based on) so that there are no surprises during inspection.

Much like the residential market, condo inventory at the end of July, 2020, is down to four months of supply. In 2019, there were 89 units on the market. In 2020, with only 52 condos currently on the market, that is a decrease of 42%.  Our closed sales in July of 2020 are up 23% compared to the same time last year, with 16 units transacted this July valued at over $7.3 million compared to 13 units in July, 2019, valued at $3,717,900.  Year-to-date, 59 units have been sold in 2020, compared to 61 in 2019, but the value of these transactions in 2020 is higher — at $26,484,111 in 2020 compared to $17,411,700 in 2019. The median sales price of condos is also higher —at $343,339 in 2020, up from $227,585 last year. Going into August, pending sales are slower, with only 27 pending sales recorded, down from July of last year when 30 pending sales were recorded.

Here are other segment reports: