Editor’s Note: This is an updated and expanded version of the report published last week
January – December Sales Comparison
As we reflect on 2021 real estate sales data, reports show a steady sales pace into 2021 even from the peak of pandemic buying. While the fever for home purchases may have slowed in 2021, buyer demand still far outweighs residential inventory. The lack of homes for sale added pressure to the market, and this pressure is not expected to let up in 2022. The total number of all real estate transactions topped 2,375 in 2021, up from 2,337 in 2020. While residential sales fell 10 percent, all other property types reported double digit gains. With a total market volume now exceeding $883 million dollars transacted in 2021, real estate remains a vital part of the Berkshire economy. Read the full PDF Market Watch report with market commentary, town data and regional reporting. Below is a summary:
Sales were strong in all parts of the Berkshires in 2021, but the lack of inventory stalled sales momentum in the residential marketplace. Despite a decrease in the number of single-family homes sold in 2021, the dollar volume continued an upward trajectory with the largest jump in the central region, specifically Pittsfield’s $16 million dollar increase over last year.
|All Sales||# Sold||$ Sold||#Sold||$ Sold|
The number of single-family residential homes sold in 2021 fell by 10 percent in Berkshire County. The dollar volume rose 4 percent, with $683 million dollars in 1,570 Berkshire County home sales. While sales slowed in all regions of the Berkshires, the lack of inventory in popular price ranges was the prevailing cause. Buyer demand still remains high and properly priced homes sell quickly. Average selling prices continue to climb as a reflection of this market dynamic.
Condominium sales continue upward trends and sales continue to grow in this sector dependent on the availability of condo units. Average sale price of condos now tops $369,935 countywide a slight retraction from last year. Condo prices are significantly higher in southern Berkshire with recent condo conversions leading the way. This is an affordable market alternative for price ranges that lack available inventory.
Overall, the multifamily sales soared this year, and are reflecting the highest sales rates in our history. Each region reported strong multifamily sales, with inventory and availability driving the market. As the market expands, this helps fill a void left by a lack of inventory in the single-family residential market. In looking specifically at northern and central Berkshire, multi-family units are affordability priced and an accessible option for many.
Hold on to your hats, northern Berkshire, land sales jumped a staggering 244 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. With only 5 land lots transacted in 2009 in north county, the jump to 55 transacted in 2021 is an immense change. With building costs an unknown going forward, it will be important to maintain a close eye on permits and building opportunities to help alleviate some pent-up buyer demand for lack of inventory of existing homes. As of this report, we had 300 parcels listed for sale compared to 348 listings of dwellings (residential, condo, multi) combined.
Despite a commercial market heavily impacted by work-from-home and business closures, commercial sales rose in all parts of the region except for central Berkshire County. South County commercial sales were especially robust the past two years and northern Berkshire dollar volume is soaring.
2022 Market Forecast
According to Danielle Hale, REALTOR.com chief economist and consistent with most local forecasts, nationwide listing prices, rents and mortgage rates are all expected to climb while incomes rise, so 2022 will present both housing affordability challenges and opportunities.
“With more sellers expected to enter the market as buyer competition remains fierce, we anticipate strong home sales growth. Affordability will increasingly be a challenge as interest rates and prices rise, but remote work may expand search areas and enable younger buyers to find their first homes sooner than they might have otherwise. Below you’ll find our forecast and housing market predictions on key trends that will shape the year ahead.”
Realtor.com® 2022 Forecast for Key Housing Indicators
|Housing Indicator||2022 Realtor.com® Forecast||2021 Realtor.com® Data|
|Existing Home Median Sales Price Appreciation||Up 2.9 percent||Up 12 percent|
|Existing Home Sales||Up 6.6 percent||$6 million|
|Existing Inventory||Up 0.3 percent||Down 18 percent|
|Single-Family Home Housing Starts||Up 5 percent||Up 15 percent|
|Home ownership Rate||65.8 percent||65.5 percent|