I’m writing in response to a recent report from Town of Berlin officials regarding increased interest in town real estate, despite this year’s 18 percent property tax increase, 25 percent sewer rate increase, and 5 percent water rate increase.
At a recent meeting of the Berlin Mayor and Council, Planning Director Dave Englehart told officials that his department has so far received seven building permit applications for new homes in 2019.
Somehow, the town presented these seven building permits as proof that these drastic cost increases are not impacting the real estate industry.
Like the rest of the country, our market struggles with inventory shortages and the high cost of new home construction limits our ability to provide our clients with high quality, affordable options. Therefore, we are thrilled to know that more homes are being built in Berlin.
However, our numbers show that the market in Berlin is not doing as well this year as it did last year. According to the Bright Multiple List Service, which is used by all local Realtors to list available properties, the number of new listings in Berlin between January 2019 and May 2019 increased by 13.6 percent compared to the same time period last year.
That’s more Berlin property owners putting their homes on the market. The number of home sales in the Town of Berlin between January 2019 and May 2019 decreased by eight percent compared to the same time period last year. The volume of real estate sold between January 2019 and May 2019 decreased by 5.3 percent. That’s less homes selling in Berlin.
We want Berlin’s real estate market to be successful, not only for our members, but also for the property owners whose rights we are sworn to protect. While it is encouraging that the town is receiving building permits, to allude that the real estate market isn’t taking a hit, despite these drastic cost increases, is incorrect and misleading.
Cameron Drew, Director
Coastal Association of Realtors