Vol. II No. 21 11/1/2021
Stockbridge Real Estate... Homes, Sweet Homes
by Lis Wheeler
Real estate sales in Stockbridge have been very busy in 2021. According to the third quarter report provided by the Berkshire Board of Realtors and based on properties listed and sold through the REALTOR'S® MLS database (Link to Market Watch: http://berkshirerealtors.net/wp-content/uploads/2021-3rdQuarter_BerkshireMarketWatch.pdf), thirty residential homes were sold, nine pending, three under contract, and nine others still active and awaiting their new owners. The number of houses sold by this time last year only increased by one (3%), the change in the total dollar amount of sold properties has gone up 66%.
How can that be? Well, twelve of the homes sold to date ranged from $1,000,000 to $4,025,000. If one were to take a look at pre-Covid prices, you would see the clear difference: before higher priced homes were on the market for longer periods of time and there were fewer of them. Why? These days we have seen an influx of people from cities where our local prices are bargains — larger square footage on nice parcels with privacy.
Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic brought a lot of people here but we were beginning to see this trend in 2018 when the sale of residential homes in town rose 76% from the previous year and the total dollar amount of sold residential homes went up 70%. The pandemic is not the only reason we see more sales but also climate change. The northeast is a very attractive place to live with storms and fires threatening other parts of the country.
Land is a different story. There are sixteen active parcels on the market, many more than there have been in a long time. Six have sold this year alone. Twenty-one parcels have sold since 2018. If you look at the previous years from 2014 until 2017 there were only 5 parcels sold in town.
Why build when our older homes offer the history that drew many here and were more readily available? Some speculate the houses available aren't large enough, too close to town center, or not as modern as wanted, noting the building of larger houses and the rehabilitation and enlargement of older properties especially around the Stockbridge Bowl.
It will be very interesting to follow the market in the next few years to see whether this market holds or levels out as the country gets closer to our pre-pandemic norm. Will people start flocking back to the cities or be enticed by the beauty and sense of community that led them to this beautiful town? Time will tell.
Editor's note: Elisabeth Wheeler has been a Stockbridge resident for 53 years. She returned to real estate sales in 2017 after 27 years as a mental health counselor.
Photo: Patrick White