While our market started the year with pricing and sales gains, the second quarter saw a slowdown in the number of residential sales. The long and late winter affected the real estate market. The normally robust spring season was hampered by the cold and snow, delaying the motivation of buyers and sellers to consider their next move. Still, median sale prices remained relatively steady.
Mortgage rates also remain historically low, providing enticements to both first-time homebuyers and those looking to trade up or move into smaller homes. Some first-time buyers have faced competitive bidding situations when an affordable home in good condition comes on the market.
Vermont’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.3% in May, the second lowest of any state except North Dakota. However, as we write this report, we have not yet heard any update to the speculation that the local IBM facility may be sold. As an employer of approximately 4,000 Vermonters - that uncertainty has a ripple effect, particularly for mid to high priced property in Essex and surrounding towns.
Sales of residential units - mostly single-family homes and condominiums - slipped 9% across Chittenden, Addison, Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Median sale pricing was little changed, at 0.9 percent lower than the second quarter of 2013.
Pricing and demand varied considerably in the second quarter, which underscores the importance of educating yourself about local trends before buying or renting a home or investment property. Our report also provides insights into the rental market, the multi-family home segment, and the market for luxury homes.
Please take a moment to read through the report’s highlights or contact one of our skilled Realtors about their in-depth views on the market. As our Agency handles more real-estate transactions than any competing office in Northwest Vermont, we are committed to providing unparalleled services to our customers.