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A look at Berks County home sales half way through 2016 and how things are shaping up for the second half.

It is hard to believe that we are more than halfway through 2016. It is at this time I like to reflect on how Berks County home sales are progressing and how we compare to other regional markets. The empirical data mixed with a degree of speculation could also lend insight to what we can expect in the second half.

By the numbers…

As of June 30, 2016 there were 2,398 homes sold in Berks County. In 2015 there were 2,076 homes sold in the same period (an increase of 15.5%). In 2014 1,810 homes sold (an increase of 14.69% over 2015). The breakdown…

Berks ~ Jan 1 to June 30

2014

2015

2016

$0-$100,000

527

622

636

$101,000-$200,000

799

904

1,073

$201,000-$300,000

352

420

492

$301,000-$400,000

86

90

135

$401,000-$500,000

25

20

32

$501,000-$750,000

11

17

22

$751,000 & Up

6

3

6

The following chart displays Berks County homes sold in the second half of 2014 & 15 and a projection for the same period in 2016.

Berks ~ July 1 to Dec 31

2014

2015

2016

$0-$100,000

626

636

650 Est

$101,000-$200,000

1,012

1,138

1,350 Est

$201,000-$300,000

428

538

630 Est

$301,000-$400,000

113

145

217 Est

$401,000-$500,000

27

33

53 Est

$501,000-$750,000

15

16

21 Est

$751,000 & Up

4

8

16 Est

Comparing Berks County home sales to Montgomery County and Lancaster County

Jan 1 ~ June 30, 2016 Home Sales

Berks

Montgomery

Lancaster

$0-$100,000

636

323

599

$101,000-$200,000

1,073

740

1,818

$201,000-$300,000

492

862

1,008

$301,000-$400,000

135

628

336

$401,000-$500,000

32

453

89

$501,000-$750,000

22

438

65

$751,000 & Up

6

151

25

The year-to-date median single-family home price in Berks County has risen from $157,000 to $167,000. This is approximately a 6.4% increase.

The outlook (in my humble opinion). The Berks County home sales market will likely continue to improve. This assessment should be especially true in the $100,000 to $200,00 price range, which is no surprise. While upper-end homes are showing some signs of improvement, they lag the overall market. This lag may be due to, you guessed it, higher than normal property taxes that, unfortunately, may go higher.

It will be interesting to see how close my home sale predictions are. Check back in six months to find out. In the interim, make sure you're local and state legislators know how you feel about property taxes. It is not the only thing holding down our values, but it is a biggie!

All data derived from the Trend and Keystone MLS.

Knowledge is Power!

Jeffrey C. Hogue