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We have reached the middle of the calendar year and the Reading, PA, and Berks County real estate market statistics are in. Let's see if things heated up during the spring and summer seasons.

Wow! It's August already, and the summer home selling market is quickly drawing to a close. The summer season has brought its share of rain to our area, but it did not seem to dampen the spirits of home buyers and sellers here in Berks.

Inventory remains at historic lows which often precipitates a rise in home prices. According to Trend MLS statistics, at the end of June, there were 1,770 single family homes for sale here in Berks, which is an almost 18% drop from the 2016 number of 2,152 during the same period. The drop in overall home sales was much thinner coming in at 2,296 units, which is 1.67% lower than the 2,335 units sold during the same period in 2016. The Berks median home price was up 3.95% to $158,000 over the same period in 2016.


Berks County By the Numbers

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Seller credit to home buyers was present in a staggering 54% of all sales through the period. Between the price ranges of $100,000 to $200,000, the seller credit average was an even more astounding 65%, or almost two out of 3 home sales. It's hard to ascertain what the average seller credit amounted to without looking at every home sale individually. It may be safe to estimate the average credit to be somewhere around 3% since the allowable limit for many deals is as much as 6%. A 3% average seller credit on 54% of all home sales here in Berks County would lower the median price increase from 3.95%, which I call the gross median, to around 2.40%, which I call the net median.

For comparison sake, seller credit in Montgomery County is present in almost 39% of all home sales and only 35% in Chester County.

One of the other key factors is the sale price to offer price percentage which is up to 94.61%. The Sale to Offer percentage is a calculation of how much a home was listed for and how much was offered. Example using the above percentage; A home is listed for $100,000 and sells for $$94,610. The higher the number the closer a home seller gets to asking price. Before 2008 the Sale to offer percentage held pretty steady at 97.2%. After 2008 the percentage dropped to nearly 90%.

Overall the Reading, PA, and Berks County real estate market is doing fairly well. I am hopeful that the second half of the year is even stronger. After all, few places in America can rival the scenic beauty of Berks during the autumn months. Imagine how good it would be if we get those property taxes under control. Vote well this fall!

Knowledge is Power!

Jeffrey C. Hogue