Is It Still a Sellers' Market? Yes, but there are early indications of a shift in favor of buyers. June numbers are not available yet, but the May numbers show a slight change in our local and national real estate markets. According to the Berkshire Board of Realtors, the median home sale price in Berkshire County declined by $30,000 in May compared to April of 2022, and the number of homes sold decreased by 17%. After a year of the median home price rising nationally, the May housing data shows that the median listing prices have also slowed.
Another indicator of a slowing market is the days on the market. The industry uses days on the market as a measure of demand and supply. If the supply (the number of homes for sale) is higher than the demand (the number of buyers), days on the market is likely to be high. Similarly, days on the market are expected to be lower if supply is low and demand is high. We have been in a period of high demand and low supply for over a year; prices are higher, and homes are selling quicker.
Locally, in April, we saw days on the market decrease (indicating more demand than supply) to 70 days. In May, this number declined again to about 66 days, meaning that supply is still low, and demand is still high. However, last year's days on the market were 53 in May; thus, homes are selling slower this May than last year. Nationally days on the market were just 39 days in May.
This indicates that the Berkshire market may slow over the next few months. Naturally, as the market stalls, prices will decline, as we saw last quarter. However, sellers and buyers should keep an active watch on the days on the market number as an early indicator of increasing supply. At this point, sellers are still in the position of power; however, prices are declining (3% locally in the 1st quarter of 2022 compared to the 1st quarter of 2021), and interest rates are increasing. Thus, the demand curve will eventually shift in favor of buyers.