Berkshire real estate sales continue to rise, with the total number of transactions in 2019 topping 1,933, up from 1,896. This is an all-time high since 2004. With a total market volume of $510 million dollars transacted in 2019, real estate is a huge part of the Berkshire economy
Sales were strong compared to 2018 in residential and multi-family transactions countywide. Condo sales rose in 2019, yet the dollar volume transacted fell slightly after a banner year in 2018. Commercial and land sales were down considerably from 2018 sales rates. Central Berkshire reported overall sales that rose over the previous year with the largest gain in the multi-family market. North County residential sales fell, yet there was a boost in a rising multifamily market. Southern Berkshire residential sales were up over the previous year, but a decrease in condo sale prices and a slowing multi-family market reflect an overall dip from the previous year.
The number of single-family residential homes sold in 2019 rose 2% in Berkshire County. The dollar volume rose 5%, with $408 million dollars in 1,436 Berkshire County home sales. While sales lagged in Northern Berkshire, modest gains in both the total number of homes sold and the dollar volume of the transactions were reported in both Central and Southern Berkshire. Central Berkshire had 5% more sales than the previous year, and the highest number of residential home sales since we began tracking 24 years ago in 1996. North county sales dipped 7%, but sales in 2018 had been the highest on record since the peak of 2004. Southern Berkshire had 2% more sales than the previous year, but did not top the sales record established in 2017.
Condominium sales were very region specific in 2019, with steady growth in Northern Berkshire, double-digit gains in Central Berkshire, and an increase in Southern Berkshire’s number of units sold, but a 25% decrease in the dollar volume transacted. With the Southern Berkshire decrease of $10 million in sales, the high average selling price in 2018 of $522,939 fell to $360,783 in 2019. This was due, in part, to a condo sale price spike in 2018, with this year still higher than typical. Condos remain an affordable market alternative for price ranges that lack available inventory.
Overall, the multifamily sales retracted in 2018, yet in 2019, sales rose substantially in Northern and Central Berkshire. The multi-family market in southern Berkshire was strong in 2018, and has retracted in 2019 to level the market to most overall growth when looking back over the last several years Increasingly, the multifamily markets are being used by investors and primary homeowners who are unable to find single-family housing within their price ranges. This market peaked in 2005 when 219 sales valued at over $37 million dollars.
With a countywide increase of 14% in the number of parcels sold in 2019 compared to 2018, it is worth noting that sales in Southern Berkshire jumped by 16% and now represent 76% of all sales countywide. Over $10 million was transacted in the sale of 71 lots in Southern Berkshire during the year, compared to double digit decreases in Central and Northern Berkshire. Consider that in the peak of our market in the early 2000’s, we recorded well over 200 land sales in a year, with less than half today.
After a booming commercial market as reported to the Multiple Listing Service in 2018, the number of transactions fell considerably in 2019. It should be noted that sales this year still reflect a fairly consistent trend, excluding last year’s boom. With 45 transactions and $15 million dollars transacted, this represents a typical commercial market in Berkshire County. * please note: reporting of commercial sales into the MLS are optional.
Overview by Region
- Last year at this time, Northern Berkshire showed the greatest overall increase from 2017, yet slowed in 2019 by 6% overall. Multifamily and condo sales in Northern Berkshire rose but not enough to offset the decreases in single family sales.
- Central Berkshire was the only area of the region that transacted more sales and reported rising sales volume. With a 10% increase, the central real estate market represented approximately $200 million dollars in sales.
- Southern Berkshire had modest gains in the number of all sales, 645 which is up from 643 the previous two years. Dollar volume fell slightly by 3%, with a dip in the average selling price of 3% as well. Residential sales rose by both dollar and number of sales.