October 2023 Market Update

What you need to know At-A-Glance:  Residential, Condo, Multi-Family, Commercial and Land Overall
Year- to- Date (January – October) 2023 Compared to the Same Period 2024

?   Are # sales up or down?  Down. 1,394 sales YTD 2023 compared to 1,670 YTD 2022  (Jan-Oct)
o   The # number of real estate sales are down overall by 17% compared to 2022
o   Residential down 16%, Multi down 17%, Land down 18%, Commercial down 16%, Condo down 12%

?   Is dollar volume up or down? Down $575 million YTD 2023 compared to $647 Million YTD 2022  (Jan-Oct)
o   The $ dollar volume sold is down overall by 11% compared to last year
o   Residential down 15%, Multi down 2%, Land UP 10%, Commercial UP 7%, Condo UP 6%

?   Is inventory up or down? Down On average there were 2,710 properties active in MLS YTD 2023  (Jan-Oct), compared to 3,118 last year
o   Inventory was down slightly from last month and down 13% compared to last year
o   Residential down 8%, Multi down 18%, Land down 22%, Commercial down 4%, Condo down 11%

?   Are prices up or down? Up. Countywide median sale price in all property types is $290,750 this year compared to $277,000 YTD 2022  (Jan-Oct)  
o   Median sales prices are up 5% compared to last year
o   Residential UP 2%, Multi down UP 9%, Land UP 11%, Commercial UP 11%, Condo up 17%

?    Are residential ‘days on market’ up or down? Down. 91 Days on Market in 2023 | 95 Days in YTD 2022  (Jan-Oct)
o    DOMs overall are down by 7%, quicker in residential transactions by 4%. Everything is quicker to close this year except commercial.

In studying the real estate housing market at the beginning of November, we look to trends that have happened year-to-date and also in the past month of October. We studied sales that took place as reported in the Berkshire County Multiple Listing Service, the most widely used database for all property transactions.  There were 931 sales of residential, single-family properties this year, down from 1,117 sales last year to date, a decrease of 16%. The dollar volume dropped from $511 million to $434 million; a 16% decrease. There was a marginal increase in the median sale price overall of 2%, with the current median sales price tracking at $335,000 year to date. Listings are still taking a quicker pathway to closing, down 4% now only 91 days from list to deed transfer. Inventory continues to decline, with an 8% decrease overall with only 1,511 homes on the market year-to-date throughout the county.

In looking at multifamily sales year-to-date, the total number of multifamily units of five or less tracked at 157 sales this year compared to 190 sales last year, a 17% decrease. The sold dollar volume of multifamily homes minimally decreased from $40 million to $39 million countrywide. It should be noted that in the South registry of deeds area, we reported the biggest gains in multifamily transactions.  Sales jumped from $1.5 million to $3.2 million year-to-date. The northern Berkshire registry also reported gains in the total dollar volume transacted of multifamily homes, from $11.5 million up to $13 million this year so far, a 13% increase. The sale price of residential homes continues to rise with the current median of $205,000, compared to $187,000 the same time last year. While the days it takes to close a multifamily home is longer than a single-family home, it is still much quicker than last year, with 97 days from list to close, compared to 116 days. Inventory in the multifamily market is again reflective of a falling listing market, down 18% with only 277 multifamily homes on the market throughout the year of 2023 to-date, compared to 339 last year.

The number of land sales also fell this year, down 18% to 142 land transactions reported this year compared to 174 last year. Despite this decrease, the sold dollar volume rose considerably, up 10% to $21 million compared to $19 million last year. The sale price for land parcels rose 11%, currently at $72,500 compared to $65,000 last year. Land listings stay on the market considerably longer, many times for a year or more. On average the days from listing to close decreased to 301 days on the market compared to 375 last year. It should be noted that the quicker land sales are taking place in the middle registry area, specifically Pittsfield. South county land sales take considerably longer to sell. The number of land parcels listed for sale throughout the year fell 22% down to 554 parcels compared to 719 the previous year.

Condominium sales fell 12% over the previous year, down to 123 units sold compared to 140 last year. Despite the falling number of sales, the total dollar volume rose to $55 million up from $52 million. You can also see a significant rise in the median sale price up 17%, with and median condo selling price of $346,500 compared to $294,050 last year. Condos move it clip much like residential and are closing quicker than they did in previous years. Currently, it takes approximately 100 days from listing to selling a condo unit. Inventory of units available for sale during the year was down 11%, with 173 units coming on the market in total so far this year, compared to 196 last year.

Overall, our market mirrors statewide and national trends with inventory struggles, impacts from economic, and interest rate pressures, and an overall leveling after a few extremely high sales years during the COVID transition. We report 575 million dollars in sales total this year down 11%, overall including residential multifamily land commercial and condominiums. There were 2710 transactions countrywide in real estate as reported by the Berkshire county multiple listing service January through October of 2023.

Pending sales at the end of October were recorded at 105 residential properties under agreement compared to 116 in October of last year. It’s interesting to note that our market stays fairly steady through the end of the year and then starts to retract a bit in the deep winter months of January and February and begins the upward climb into the spring market thereafter.

In October, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate surpassed 8%. However, at the beginning of November, potential homebuyers enjoyed a brief reprieve as the benchmark rate experienced its most significant weekly decline since 2022. Industry experts noted this brought relief to the markets.

A decline in mortgage rates, alongside moderating inflation and a rise in wage growth, holds the potential to reshape the landscape. According to a November 8th survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association, home loan applications surged by 2.5% in just one week. There remains long term uncertainty regarding whether the recent decrease in mortgage rates will have a lasting impact.

Link to Data Referenced in this report, but County registry region.

Sandy J. Carroll

CEO, Berkshire County Board of REALTORS, Inc., and Multiple Listing Service, Inc.