Is it a Buyer’s Market or A Seller’s Market?

To understand the real estate market in Berkshire County, it can be helpful to know how close to a “balanced market” we are – when the inventory of homes for sale and the pace of sales are in balance.  In a balanced market, neither the buyer nor seller has an advantage.  We have created a one page report that shows our market related to region and price range.  We also have a 3 minute video to show you how to create a custom absorption rate report.

First, what’s balanced?  We need to find the “absorption rate’ – or how quickly would it take to sell all of the homes on the market based on past sales history. Nationally, 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market.  In the Berkshires, our market typically has a bit more inventory, we have found that a healthy range for us is between 7-9 months.

  • Buyer’s Market: When inventory is high and sales slower, buyers have an excess of homes to choose from and sellers have to make their home competitive in pricing against many others.
  • Seller’s Market: On the other hand, if inventory is scarce and buyers active, sellers can have an advantage.  When there are many buyers competing for a few properties, offers must be competitive and buyers can’t wait to act or they will lose the opportunity.
Central 11 months
North 17 months
South 24 months

Overall, it is a buyer’s market with only the low end sales range in balance.  That said, pockets of the market are better / worse than others.

As of September 30th, our MLS data shows: [Full Report]

  • While the full report is a good guide below, drilling down to individual town data or data for specfic property markets can be most effective when trying to determine pricing strategies. See our video on “How to Create a Custom Absorption Report in Under 3 Minutes
  • Residential home sales under $250,000 are the closest to a balanced market countywide, with sales moving quickly for a properly priced home in that range, especially in central Berkshire.
  • North county absorption rate in the $300-350K range is the most saturated with an absorption rate of 6 years, not months.
  • In southern Berkshire, statistically the 3-4 million range is the most challenging, with only 1 sale YTD and 9 active listings. That said, in the field you will see that the mass of inventory is in the $500,000-750,000 range, making that the most competitive. With only 32 sales YTD, and an inventory of 124 homes for sale in that range, that is almost a 3 year absorption rate.

View  2-page Printable Absorption Rate Report


How-To create a Custom Absorption Report in Under 3 Minutes

Watch the video to run a custom report or follow these steps:

In FlexMLS…
1. Click Statistics
2. Click My Market
3. Select the report named “Inventory”
4. Click Full Search or Saved Search you wish
5. When Done, Click ‘Select Dates & View Results
6. Click Search
7. Viola!