GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Realtor Association of the Pioneer Valley has released its report on the housing market for February. Home closings have decreased however, they’re still selling for more money compared to February 2021.

“Buyers want to buy. People are looking for homes and we have a housing shortage,” said Corinne Fitzgerald from Fitzgerald Real Estate.

Fitzgerald said with people are leaving the city and moving to western Massachusetts and locals are being outpriced. While that’s still happening, it’s not as much as last year.

Closing sales in February this year were down 16% over February 2021 with 294 homes sold in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties. The median sale price for homes was $285,000, which is about 11.8% higher than last year of $255,000.

“We are expecting at some point this year as we progress that pricing will level off,” said Cheryl Malandrinos, President of Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

Malandrinos told 22News that the rise in interest rates announced by the Federal Reserve was expected and that even with this increase, the interest rate is still pretty low.

A 30-year mortgage averaged at 3.76% with an average .8 points for the last week of February. According to the report, a 30-year mortgage averaged 2.81% with an average .7 points in 2021.

The inventory of available homes for sale in February was down 41.7% with 306 on the market versus 525 homes on the market in January 2021. The average time on the market dropped by 15.1% year-over-year, down to just 43 days.

Malandrinos offers advice to those looking to buy a home, “Reconnect with their lenders. Talk to them. See where they’re at because that will have an impact on what they’re purchasing.”

While western Massachusetts has tons of room to build new homes and plenty of people who want to buy them, there’s a reason why you haven’t heard about many new developments around our area.

“Right now, the cost of building is much higher here, especially in western Massachusetts, than the median income can support,” said Fitzgerald.

And one opportunity from the local real estate market? Malandrinos points to multifamily homes, there are 72 of them for sale in the Pioneer Valley, so now could be a good time if you’re looking to become a landlord.