While Burlington continues to appeal to a diverse professional base, the city recorded fewer residential transactions, reflecting tight inventory.
The city’s median price rose 8.6% in the second quarter, although the number of transactions slipped by 27.8%. A lack of inventory may be pushing up prices while also crimping the number of residential transactions, given the smaller number of available homes.
New listings slipped 4.2% in the quarter, which indicates that inventory will remain tight for at least part of 2014.
For the first six months of the year, residential sales slipped by one-quarter, while median pricing gained 11%.
With employers including the University of Vermont and Burton Snowboards hiring, that’s spurring increased demand for housing, especially among reasonably priced properties.
Given the lack of inventory and strong demand for housing, homeowners required an average of only 52 days to market their properties in the second quarter, down from 89 days a year earlier. That significant decline indicates that buyers are quickly moving on desirable properties.
Forty-four single-family homes sold during the second quarter, down almost one-third from a year earlier. Still, median sale pricing rose 8.6%. Stand-alone homes sold after an average of 56 days, rather than the 73 required a year earlier.
Condominium sales slipped to 34 transactions from 42 a year earlier, while median pricing jumped by 25.2% to $245,100.
With Burlington’s strong economy and steady enrollment at local educational institutions including the University of Vermont and Champlain College, the city’s rental market continues to be competitive.
The city’s vacancy rate typically hovers between 1% to 2%, or less than half the second-quarter national vacancy rate of 4.1%. That’s helping to attract investors to Burlington’s multi-family home market, although some are hampered by the segment’s tight inventory. Given a lack of attractive alternative investments, some current multi-family homeowners are opting to maintain their holdings.
Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty, the leader in multi-family home sales, represents more buyers and sellers in this segment than any other competing office in Chittenden County. Its market share stands more than double its next two largest competitors.
During the first quarter, 17 multi-family homes sold, little changed from the 19 recorded a year earlier. The median sale price slipped 5.3% to $405,000. Year to date, sold listings are little changed, while median pricing is up 8.7%.
With mortgage rates still low and pent-up demand from investors, sales could pick up later this year if more inventory goes on the market. Still, new listings in the second quarter were little changed at 23 new properties, compared with 22 a year earlier. Whilevacancy rates hover between 1% to 2% -- well below the first-quarter national average of 4% -- investors have been boosting their investments in multi-family homes and other rental properties.