Market Watch 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW
GREAT BARRINGTON 413.528.4192 â€¢ LENOX 413.637.4402
A Year In Review
It was a fantastic year for real estate in the Southern Berkshires. Southern Berkshire County experienced an outstanding year in sales, opening 2016 with a tremendous first quarter before settling into a healthy market that consistently saw gains each quarter over the prior yearâ€™s same period. By the end of the year the market stood 12% higher than the calendar year of 2015 in unit sales, and 8% higher in volume. Property sales under $550,000, a segment that includes mainly primary rather than second homes, were the main market driver, representing approximately 83% of all closed sales for the entire year. By the end of the year we also witnessed the twelve-month median sale price decline, a difference from what we saw in the third quarter, where it was up compared to the same time in 2015. We additionally reported last quarter that property sales in the Southern Berkshires typically achieve around 90% of their list price, an indicator of a highly price-driven market that held true in the fourth quarter as well.
The fourth quarter saw a huge surge in the $550,000 to $750,000 range. If the hottest price segment in 2016 was under $550,000, the most popular sector suddenly shifted at the end of the year. The next price level up, $550,000 to $750,000, previously a relatively quiet market, absolutely surged in the fourth quarter. According to Great Barrington assistant brokerage manager Timothy Donnelly, this particular price range currently offers the best value to be found in the Berkshires as many of these properties initially were listed for much higher, but after sitting on the market for an extended period have finally come down to a more appropriate price point. Buyers are snapping these homes off the shelves now, often as a direct result of their significant price reductions.
There is renewed activity in the upper end. Those higher price segments over the $750,000 mark did not experience the same gains in 2016 as the lower segments, and yet at the tail end of the year our Berkshires agents started to report rising interest in the high end. Although all price segments over $750,000 appear to remain challenged on paper, increased inquiries on these properties is an enormously positive sign that the recently dormant luxury market may begin to stir in 2017.
Single Family Homes Closed Sales
Single Family Homes Closed Dollar Volume
Information Source: BCBOR. While information is believed true, no guarantee is made for accuracy
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Pending sales are up since last year, indicating a strong quarter one for 2017. Looking ahead, we are optimistic that the booming sales activity in the Berkshires will continue well into next year. The number of properties currently under contract represents a 16% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015—and considering the substantial first quarter we had in 2016, this growth in pending sales points to a robust first quarter for 2017 indeed. And with new inventory expected to come to the market around March, the usual early spring listing season, we see no reason the momentum will slow anytime soon.
With sales on the rise, inventory continues its downward trend. Across the northern and southern counties alike, inventory continues to decrease, with total active listings in the Southern Berkshires for the fourth quarter approximately 19% lower than the same period of 2015. New listings, too, are below what they were at this time last year, perhaps due to hesitancy on the part of some sellers to list in such a price-driven market, suggests Donnelly.
Single Family Homes Closed Sales by Price Point CLOSED SALES
$0 - $399,999
$400,000 - $749,999
$750,000 - $999,999
$1,000,000 - $1,499,999
Single Family Homes 11-Year CY Sales Closed Sales
Median Selling Price
Thinking of Selling in 2017?
Please call or email us to discuss selling your property. #1 Pittsfield – Highest sale in Pittsfield, 2016 #1 Egremont – Highest Sale in Egremont, 2016 #2 Monterey – Second Highest Sale in Monterey, 2016 #2 Stockbridge - Second Highest Sale in Stockbridge, 2016 #2 Otis - Second Highest Sale in Otis, 2016 #1 in Sold Dollar Volume and Closed Units in Litchfield County, 2016 & 2015 Information Source: BCBOR. While information is believed true, no guarantee is made for accuracy. As per Berkshire MLS Closed residential sales 2016 and per CTMLS closed residential transactions 2015,2016. If you are listed with a broker, this is not intended as a solicitation.
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