Vol. IV No. 4 2/15/2023
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) Survey of Second Homeowners
by Christine Rasmussen
Starting in April, the population of Stockbridge and other towns in Berkshire County shifts as the second homeowners return. Wanting to learn why almost 9,000 homes are being used as second homes, the Berkshire Regional Planning Agency conducted a survey to understand why second homeowners have a home here, how they spend their time and money in the region, and what their plans are for their properties. Additionally, questions were asked about how they used their home during the pandemic and how that use differed pre-and post-pandemic.
Postcards were sent to each property, and 731, about 8%, responded. Overall, the second homeowners are wealthy, educated whites from major urban areas, primarily New York City. They have a home in the Berkshires mainly for cultural activities, scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation. Many have owned their homes for over 20 years. Still, a significant portion purchased homes during the pandemic in the last two years.
During the pandemic, most used their Berkshire County home as a second home; however, 10% used it as their primary home. Over the next year, the number who use it as their primary home will go down significantly, but the region will see an increase in the number that will rent for part of the year. In 5 years, more respondents plan to make their second home their primary home, with this number increasing over the next 20 years. Many respondents plan to hand their homes down to other family members within that timeframe. Overall, 20% plan to move permanently to the Berkshires in the future. Most of these folks will be retirees, but some plan to continue working, usually part-time, with their existing employers or in their businesses.
The results and analysis of each question in the survey are available in the full version of the report here:
Editor's Note: Rasmussen is Stockbridge representative to BRPC.
White Pines/Music Inn Clock. Photo: Patrick White