Good News for the Berkshire Real Estate Market. What follows is an up to date Market Report.
Sales are up 25% in residential sales. Breaking it down Southern Berkshires up 24%,
Central Berkshire 23%, and 36% in Northern Berkshire.
Here is the full report by the Berkshire Country Board of Realtors.
Berkshire County Quarterly Market Watch Report
In 2012, Berkshire REALTORS managed a real estate market of over $314 million dollars in sales, up from $262 million transacted last year. Sales rose over 2011 rates in all parts of Berkshire County, with a total increase in residential market of 25%, of which there was a 23% increase in central Berkshires sales, 36% in northern Berkshire and 24% in Southern Berkshire. These signs of strong improvement mirror what we hear our Realtors reporting from the field. Richmond sales set the record for the largest increase in sales for the county. Lenox, Lee, Lanesboro and Pittsfield showed strong gains this year. Windsoralso showed strong gains.
Historically, the Berkshire real estate market peaked in 2005, with a gradual decrease in following years. Sales data indicates that 2009 was the bottom of the market, which was our lowest point in sales for the preceding 10+ years and following 3 years. The market turned with bump in sales in 2010, and again shows strength with solid growth in 2012. While our overall market peaked in 2005, the southern Berkshire residential market peaked in 2004, the northern Berkshire residential market peaked in 2005 and the central Berkshire in 2006. All markets saw the same increase in 2010 and 2012.
Despite slow growth from our low in 2009, prices continue to be more affordable and interest rates are at historical lows. The combination of these two things makes it very beneficial for people who are in the market to buy. Interest rates are expected to remain low through 2014 improving unemployment rates, favorable buying conditions, low interest rates, and slow but steadily growing confidence, 2013 has the elements for a positive year.
Northern Berkshire Highlights
Central Berkshire Highlights:
Southern Berkshire Highlights:
In Berkshire County, seller’s equity in their home depends on the market they are in, the length of time the home has been owned and the financing history. While sellers can’t expect the same return on their home sale today than during the peak of the market, properly priced homes are selling quickly in many areas of Berkshire County. While it is true that in the very high end range (over 1M), there is too much inventory putting a downward pressure price, we also see that 67% of our sales were under $250,000 – and inventory in that price range is very competitive. The market in many popular locations and price ranges offer a balanced selection.
A look at the sales data broken down by average selling price reveals that most markets improved over the sales in 2011. While the 400-500K market lagged a bit behind last year, the significant increases seen in the Under 300K and over 1 million was very encouraging.
While many areas in the state and nation are dealing with pockets of very low inventory putting pressure on the sales market and driving prices up faster than expected, our inventory is only slightly lower than last year. Our inventory in all price ranges far outpace the sales in that price range, so such a pressure isn’t felt here unless it is a very specific condition or neighborhood buyer demand.
Lots & Land Report
Commercial Sales Report
Getting approved for financing continues to be an issue. People in the past who would have received the best rates, are having difficulty getting approved for a loan today. Local lenders are working with buyers to prepare and position them for a safe and sound buying experience and nationally many are reexamining the current regulations to find a healthy balance.
Our housing market differs from town-to-town and from tales you hear on the national news. It’s very important that buyers can look to their local Realtor to understand the “in the field’ market conditions, review sales and listing trend data to properly know the market, and access community and lending information to make sound decisions for their unique situation. Much of this will be included on our revamped website, BerkshireRealtors.com, but Realtors throughout the county are the #1 best resource for that data right now.
A significant economic engine in Berkshire County is the real estate sector. The economic impacts of home sales include two components: 1) the incomes that are generated by real estate service professionals, lenders, lawyers agents, title companies, inspectors, appraisers, etc… as a result of sales and purchases of homes. 2) expenditures on new homes that did not exist previously and the expenditures associated with trading up. The National Association of REALTORS study reports that a home built, bought or sold pumps $60,000 into the local economy on average. The improvement in the real estate market is a good thing for our region as a whole.
Cheers! Great news to start a great year.
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