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2016 is now history and it is time to see how Berks County home sales fared for the year and how things are shaping up for the next. So here is your Berks County Real Estate Roundup.

Think 2016 went by fast? Like most years, it did, and it was a leap year so even had an extra day. Most new years bring hope for the coming and reflection of the latter. It is at this time I like to reflect on how Berks County home sales fared for the previous year and how we compare to other regional markets.

By the numbers…

As of December 29th, 2016 there were 4,881 homes sold in Berks County. An increase of 6.3% over the 2015 total of 4,593 and 20.1% of the 4,035 homes sold in 2014. Sales were pretty evenly split throughout the year with 2,398 sold from Jan 1 to June 31 and 2,483 from July 1 to Dec 29. The breakdown…

Berks ~ Jan 1 to Dec 29 Sales

2014

2015

2016

$0-$100,000

1,153

1,259

1,237

$101,000-$200,000

1,811

2,042

2,161

$201,000-$300,000

780

958

1,056

$301,000-$400,000

199

236

298

$401,000-$500,000

52

53

75

$501,000-$750,000

26

33

39

$751,000 & Up

10

11

12

Comparing Berks County home sales to Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh and Lancaster Counties…

Jan 1 ~ Dec 29, 2016 Sales

Berks County

Montgomery

Chester

Lancaster

Lehigh

$0-$100K

1,237

815

290

806

787

$101K-$200K

2,161

2,314

1,026

2,656

1,669

$201K-$300K

1,056

3,263

1,930

1,618

955

$301K-$400K

298

2,131

1,480

528

421

$401K-$500K

75

1,017

938

181

160

 $501K-$750K

39

959

921

101

93

$751K & Up

12

379

335

31

27

More numbers…

Through November of 2016, the year-to-date median single-family home price in Berks County has risen from $150,000 in 2015 to $156,000 which is about a 4% increase. Approximately 49.66% of all sales in Berks included a seller credit. There are no statistics on how much the average credit was but consider the maximum credit is 6% of the sale price. It may be safe to assume the average seller credit would be half or 3% of the sale price. This credit would make the net sale price of half the homes 3% less. Home inventory is down around 23% from last year.

The outlook…

The mortgage interest rate outlook is on the rise. Higher rates and rising property taxes are likely to offset most price increases that would occur from lower than normal inventory which should continue in 2017. While upper-end homes are showing some signs of improvement, they lag the overall market and without a drastic change in the job market will likely continue to do so. Well kept homes in popular school districts in the $200K price range could be the biggest winners of 2017.

So there is your Berks County Real Estate Roundup for 2016. Make sure you're local, and state legislators know how you feel about property taxes. Lower taxes could make a dramatic difference in Berks County property values!

All data derived from the Trend MLS, Keystone MLS, and LVAR MLS.

Knowledge is Power!

Happy New Year!

Jeffrey C. Hogue