Early 2020 Market Report

Custom Home on 10+ acres in the remarkable countryside of Shelburne! MLS# 4771575
Single Family
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$303,500 +3.6% $345,361 +6.1%2,530 +11.3%3248 +4.9%73 -16.1%
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$245,000 +6.5% $276,300 +6.4%756 -0.1%835 -6.9%65 -7.1%

Last year at this time, we provided our recap of 2018 and projections for 2019 based upon analyst predictions for the national and local real estate market. Limited inventory of homes for sale remained the top story. The stock market was volatile; a government shut down impacted the economy and housing market for a short time; mortgage interest rates were projected to reach 5.25% by the end of 2019; and there was talk of a looming recession. Despite those predictions, 2019 was a strong year for real estate. 

While the supply of homes coming on the market remained lower than buyer demand, many parts of our region reflected an increase in inventory. The median sale price grew, enticing home owners to sell in order to maximize their equity. Interest rates dropped in 2019 by .75-1.0% points and will remain low in 2020 – likely somewhere between 3.7% and 3.9%.

With low mortgage rates, low unemployment, and continued wage growth, home buyer activity is expected to remain healthy in 2020.

Millennials, many saddled with heavy student loan debt, have made their mark on the real estate market after many years on the sidelines. At the start of 2019, Millennials accounted for 45% of home buyers. This group is expected to dominate the market again in 2020. Realtor.com expects millennials to make more than 50% of all home purchases in 2020. As home prices increase, Millennials look toward more affordable places to put down roots – namely smaller locales on the outskirts of cities and towns. This has led to the term “hipsturbia communities” – live-work-play communities. Vergennes and Bristol in Addison County & Winooski, Jericho and Hinesburg in Chittenden County are examples of towns with healthy increases in homes sold – perhaps as result of Millennials buyers entering the market.

Baby Boomers, on the other end of the housing spectrum, are staying in their homes longer than ever; 10-13 years on average vs 7 years, historically. These home owners are willing to sell their large family homes but are having trouble finding new home that are right-sized, with easy maintenance so that they can enjoy the lifestyle they have worked so hard to achieve. Their large, family homes may not appeal to energy conscious Millennials also seeking life balance.

New construction projects play a key role in easing the inventory shortage, delivering homes that today’s buyers are looking for and stabilizing pricing. Builders face challenges in land, permit and materials cost as well as shortages in labor which puts the price of new homes in the area well above $400,000. Some communities are challenging new developments, with neighbors raising concerns about the loss of green space and wildlife habitats. The quality of life that draws people to Vermont needs to be carefully balanced with the cost of living in our beautiful state.

2020 will remain a seller’s market in most of the region, with a true buyer’s market not on the immediate horizon. Multiple offers on homes priced near the median for the market and located in sought after towns will continue through the year; however, conditions are favorable for real estate.

Buyers and sellers alike should have these best practices in mind: identify your wants and needs, learn about the market, form reasonable expectations, perform your due diligence, and be prepared to act – with the assistance of a skilled and trusted Realtor.

Addison County Single-Family Home Sales Increased 10% over 2018

This completely remodeled home is just a few blocks from downtown Vergennes, amenities.| MLS# 4792020
Single Family
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$262,000 -2.4% $299,352 +0.9%383 +10.1%506 -1.0%115 +1.8%
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$197,000 -5.7% $229,759 +2.8%27 +58.8%28 +16.7%48 -22.6%

The number of single-family homes sold in 2019 jumped 10% in Addison County, while newly listed properties and sales prices remained stable. Condominium sales rose from 17 units in 2018 to 27 units in 2019. An increase in condos available fueled this growth along with more affordable price points and ease of maintenance.  

Buyers are attracted to the relative affordability compared to neighboring Chittenden County – along with the quaint Vermont feel of restaurants, galleries and small shops that make up the downtowns of many of the towns in Addison County.

Topping the list of closed sales in the county were Middlebury, Bristol, Ferrisburgh, and Vergennes.

A 25% increase in homes available for purchase in Vergennes resulted in a 23% rise in single family homes sold through the year. Undoubtedly, Vergennes’ thriving downtown and proximity to Lake Champlain appeal to many buyers including Millennials searching for a work-play lifestyle.
Cornwall, Panton and Weybridge lead the county with the highest median sales price.

Addison County$262,000 -2.40%38310.10%506-1.00%115
Addison$261,000 -17.70%228333.00%28-6.70%213
Bridport$257,000 -10.80%1566.70%15-11.80%167
Bristol$260,000 8.50%3110.70%4017.70%87
Cornwall$428,500 7.50%1440.00%12-50.00%217
Ferrisburgh$277,300 -10.10%4157.70%4914.00%98
Goshen$133,868 0.00%40.00%716.70%146
Granville$340,000 -20.00%566.70%5-28.60%175
Hancock$182,900 94.60%2-60.00%716.70%105
Leicester$192,000 9.10%15150.00%29163.60%88
Lincoln$204,000 -18.70%17-5.60%23-20.70%149
Middlebury$285,500 2.90%724.40%8912.70%70
Monkton$294,000 -7.60%17-29.20%30-6.30%66
New Haven$301,750 -9.40%10-33.30%14-33.30%144
Orwell$205,000 -8.90%1741.70%19-5.00%160
Panton$460,500 11.60%1220.00%14-26.30%173
Ripton$197,500 -7.60%6-25.00%7-46.20%161
Salisbury$365,000 43.10%12-20.00%210.00%163
Shoreham$207,450 -24.60%16-5.90%24-14.30%146
Starksboro$247,000 3.50%12-33.30%17-19.10%54
Vergennes$222,500 -5.00%3223.10%4025.00%60
Waltham$340,000 21.50%566.70%740.00%64
Weybridge$468,750 7.80%6-14.30%80.00%149

Chittenden County saw double digit gains in single-family homes sold.

Enjoy seasonal lake & mountain views from this beautifully upgraded townhouse in the Burlington Hill Section’s Overlake Condos. | Burlington Condos
Single-Family Homes
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$355,000 +4.4%$408,623 +7.2%1403 +13.7%1720 +12.4%45 -27.4%
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$255,000 +8.5% $283,855 +6.9%669 -0.9%738 -8.7%59 +1.7%

The housing market remains hot in Chittenden County posting double digit gains in the number of single-family homes sold.

The 12% increase in homes listed during 2019 was quickly absorbed by the buyers in the market. With mortgage interest rates dropping in 2019, many new buyers entered the market after remaining on the sidelines. Multiple offers in key areas and price points, continued to push the median and average sale prices up. Shelburne, Charlotte and South Burlington posted the highest median prices in the county while Winooski, Bolton and Milton offered homes below the county median. 

Condominiums remain a more affordable option than single-family homes in Chittenden County. The 8.5% increase in median price may be a result of newly built condos, at higher prices, in addition to the normal affects of supply & demand. Ease of maintenance, the “right size” floorplans and energy efficiency of new condominiums are attractive to families and empty- nesters alike.

In South Burlington, Hillside at O’Brien Farm welcomed 23 new homeowners with 13 more awaiting their dream homes to be completed in 2020. South Village, off of Spear Street, may introduce the long-awaited Phase 3 of their “agri-hood” community. Additional new construction projects in Shelburne, Essex and Williston may ease the inventory shortage slightly.

With “days on the market” (the time from listing to closing) at only 1.5 months, buyers must be well prepared to act fast with the assistance of their REALTOR if they want to achieve their dream of home ownership in 2020.

Chittenden County$355,000 4.40%140313.70%172012.40%45
Bolton$282,500 2.00%10-23.10%11-31.30%66
Buels Goren/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
Burlington$347,000 2.40%21823.90%26027.50%36
Charlotte$522,000 0.40%6622.20%9013.90%109
Colchester$363,500 7.70%16638.30%21636.70%43
Essex$339,950 6.20%2029.20%2394.80%35
Hinesburg$349,000 1.80%5130.80%51-15.00%57
Huntington$325,500 14.30%2426.30%21-32.30%50
Jericho$385,000 4.10%6930.20%8630.30%38
Milton$289,950 0.00%1166.40%1346.40%41
Richmond$350,000 8.40%3114.80%4446.70%29
Shelburne$597,500 51.50%7610.10%88-3.30%54
South Burlington$430,000 6.70%169-2.90%2249.30%43
St. George$434,393 36.80%814.30%1137.50%120
Underhill$326,500 -18.30%365.90%5031.60%35
Westford$314,900 1.60%2920.80%388.60%68
Williston$397,000 5.90%84-5.60%1082.90%45
Winooski$266,750 -5.20%4820.00%490.00%27
Chittenden County$255,000 8.50%669-0.90%738-8.70%59
Bolton$131,500 22.90%11-8.30%8-50.00%88
Burlington$268,500 2.70%1065.00%12917.30%46
Colchester$224,000 8.70%739.00%915.80%48
Essex$247,450 21.90%1387.80%139-17.80%58
Hinesburg$272,450 71.60%80.00%7-36.40%201
Jericho$291,357 24.00%1157.10%1066.70%64
Milton$213,725 6.90%2833.30%310.00%69
Richmond$212,000 -29.30%350.00%30.00%60
Shelburne$375,000 31.60%2315.00%3447.80%45
South Burlington$241,000 3.90%183-10.70%210-9.90%55
Williston$320,530 3.10%73-9.90%63-35.10%79
Winooski$250,000 -15.30%12-47.80%12-47.80%86

Franklin County Saw Strong Growth in Median Sale Prices

Go big and come home to this magnificent & well laid out 4 bedroom home in St. Albans Town! MLS# 4825853
Single Family
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$233,500 +11.8% $233,234 +7.6%595 +6.6%796 0.0%97 -6.7%
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$195,000 +4.0% $210,741 +1.7%58 -9.4%67 +4.7%134 -34.6%

The most affordable county in northwest Vermont – Franklin County continues to draw buyers and investors seeking home ownership options. Town by town data varies widely with median prices and sales fluctuating based upon proximity to interstate 89, Lake Champlain or in second home areas.  

Accounting for nearly half the sales in the county, St. Albans and Swanton, together, posted healthy improvements in the median sales price after slight declines in 2018. Fairfax and Fletcher continue to thrive with the number of closed sales increasing year after year.

Franklin County$233,500 11.80%5956.60%7960.00%97
Bakersfield$162,250 -14.10%1633.30%2566.70%56
Berkshire$187,000 41.10%1110.00%1926.70%120
Enosburg$179,000 15.50%23-8.00%38-13.60%136
Fairfax$302,000 5.60%7011.10%88-3.30%68
Fairfield$293,000 39.50%150.00%258.70%90
Fletcher$264,000 6.90%2426.30%27-3.60%107
Franklin$168,000 4.40%15150.00%2722.70%162
Georgia$263,500 -5.90%5013.60%610.00%85
Highgate$222,500 23.30%26-35.00%47-4.10%106
Montgomery$155,000 -23.50%18-5.30%3042.90%150
Richford$117,500 26.30%3512.90%44-20.00%191
Sheldon$200,000 9.00%297.40%369.10%57
St. Albans$242,000 16.90%1638.00%200-3.90%98
Swanton$229,000 14.50%1004.20%129-1.50%75

Grand Isle Homes Sales Rebounded in 2019

Remarkable 4 Bedroom Champlain Waterfront property with a 5 bedroom Guest House in Grand Isle!  Grand Isle County Waterfront Homes
Single Family
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$269,900 +10.2% $315,690 -7.7%149 +12.0%226 -12.7%131 -22.5%
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$278,500 +8.0% $278,500 +7.5%2 +100%2 +100%67 -14.1%

The number of homes sold throughout Grand Isle County rebounded in 2019 after a decline in 2018. The natural confines of the islands geography coupled with development and permitting restrictions naturally limits growth in the county. With the smallest number of sales and inventory available throughout the 4 counties in this report, Grand Isle County statistics can vary widely from season to season. 

5 home sales, over $850,000, are included in the Luxury section of the report. This is down from 10 sales in 2018 which undoubtedly affected the average sale price in the county.

Savvy buyers seek the county’s access to Lake Champlain, Interstate 89 – and substantially lower property taxes than luxury, lakefront homes to the south.

Grand Isle County$269,900 10.20%14912.00%226-12.70%131
Alburgh$155,500 -6.60%4011.10%74-7.50%129
Grand Isle$283,750 15.10%4210.50%47-13.00%148
Isle La Motte$235,000 5.90%950.00%254.20%154
North Hero$279,900 6.70%3129.20%46-24.60%83
South Hero$380,000 5.60%27-6.90%34-15.00%157

Luxury Home Sales Continue to Grow in Northwest Vermont

Renovated expanded cape with large 3-story boat barn and waterfront lot with dock across the street in Charlotte.  MLS# 4789298
Luxury Homes
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly ListedDays on Market:
$968,000 -5.7%66 +26.9%113 -5.8%)123 -15.2%

Luxury Home sales, defined as $850,000 and above, in Northwest Vermont have continued to grow increasing 32% since 2016.

Nationally, the luxury market has slowed, but Vermont remains one of the most affordable luxury home markets in New England – which may be bolstering sales here. Local lenders report that Jumbo loans remain remarkably competitive offering favorable options for luxury home buyers, as well.

In Chittenden County, 49 luxury sales were closed, including homes in downtown Burlington, on spacious lots with views in Shelburne & Charlotte, along the popular Spear Street in South Burlington, as well as on the Lake Champlain shoreline.

Luxury sales of country homes in Addison County and lakefront homes in Grand Isle County rounded out the luxury market for 2019.

Many homes in the luxury category went “under contract” within just days of coming on the market demonstrating pent-up demand of buyers waiting for a home in the right location offering the the right amenities. The average “days on market” of 123 days is inflated by some of the special properties on the upper end of the market.

AddressTownCountySale Price
308 South Prospect StreetBurlingtonChittenden$850,000
2952 Greenbush RoadCharlotteChittenden$850,000
35 Cherry StreetBurlingtonChittenden$850,000
258 Summer Point LaneFerrisburghAddison$850,000
33 Burke RoadOrwellAddison$850,000
197 Pease Mountain RoadCharlotteChittenden$855,000
8 Hall RoadSouth HeroGrand Isle$862,000
2385 Shelburne Falls RoadHinesburgChittenden$862,500
345 Morgan DriveShelburneChittenden$870,000
25 Bayview StreetBurlingtonChittenden$880,000
1723 Marble Island RoadColchesterChittenden$880,000
51 Muddy Dog RunWestfordChittenden$890,000
1567 Morgan Horse Farm RoadWeybridgeAddison$890,000
622 Ridgefield RoadShelburneChittenden$892,500
338 Golf Course RoadSouth BurlingtonChittenden$900,000
345 Meadowridge RoadWillistonChittenden$900,000
6 Park RoadSouth BurlingtonChittenden$908,500
404 Staton DrivePantonAddison$910,850
1406 Spear StreetSouth BurlingtonChittenden$920,000
1490 Arnold Bay RoadPantonAddison$939,000
5520 Sand RoadFerrisburghAddison$939,000
127 Prindle RoadCharlotteChittenden$945,000
263 Golf Course RoadSouth BurlingtonChittenden$945,000
108 Brigham Hill RoadEssexChittenden$949,000
203 Nobles Hill RoadIsle La MotteGrand Isle$950,000
4 Fairholt DriveBurlingtonChittenden$950,000
282 Clearwater RoadShelburneChittenden$950,000
480 Staton DrivePantonAddison$961,000
161 Deforest RoadBurlingtonChittenden$975,000
366 Black Willow LaneCharlotteChittenden$989,000
146 Simmons DriveShelburneChittenden$990,000
35 Edgewood RoadCornwallAddison$1,000,000
608 Hills Point RoadCharlotteChittenden$1,015,000
1397 Spear StreetSouth BurlingtonChittenden$1,030,000
582 Autumn Hill LaneShelburneChittenden$1,040,000
7 Surf RoadBurlingtonChittenden$1,050,000
33 East Shore North RoadGrand IsleGrand Isle$1,080,000
3412 Harbor RoadShelburneChittenden$1,100,000
11 Adams Landing ExtensionGrand IsleGrand Isle$1,125,000
3410 Harbor RoadShelburneChittenden$1,125,000
265 Buff Ledge RoadColchesterChittenden$1,136,500
6135 Mt. Philo RoadCharlotteChittenden$1,150,000
274 Pine Haven Shores LaneShelburneChittenden$1,150,000
358 Golf Course RoadSouth BurlingtonChittenden$1,150,358
293 Mead Farm RoadHinesburgChittenden$1,200,000
24 Sunset Cliff RoadBurlingtonChittenden$1,200,000
289 Upper Old Town TrailCharlotteChittenden$1,250,000
294 Pine Haven Shores LaneShelburneChittenden$1,250,000
1283 Cheesefactory RoadShelburneChittenden$1,400,000
40 College StreetBurlingtonChittenden$1,400,000
793 Orchard RoadCharlotteChittenden$1,530,000
301 West Shore RoadSouth HeroGrand Isle$1,625,000
1400 Spear StreetSouth BurlingtonChittenden$1,650,000
321 Crooked Creek RoadColchesterChittenden$1,750,000
1054 Sherman HollowHinesburgChittenden$1,775,000
96 Cliff StreetBurlingtonChittenden$1,925,000
147 Appletree Point RoadBurlingtonChittenden$2,185,000
252 Windmill Bay RoadShelburneChittenden$2,500,000
3611 Harbor RoadShelburneChittenden$2,681,000
222 Deer Point RoadCharlotteChittenden$3,300,000
311 Whalley RoadCharlotteChittenden$3,540,000
203 Pheasant Hill LaneShelburneChittenden$3,710,000

Multi-Family Investor Market Remained Strong in 2019

4-Unit building only one block to the top of Church Street Marketplace. | MLS# 4782590 Historic Multi-Family/Retail property with $58,500 income in Hinesburg. | Multi-Family Homes
All Counties$349,000 7.40%141-10.20%23314.20%87
Chittenden County$398,500 4.80%$90-16.70%14415.20%56
Addison County$220,000 -8.30%$7-41.70%2343.80%499
Franklin County$211,750 10.00%$421670.00%611.70%86
Grand Isle County$322,000 -9.30%$2100.00%566.70%81

The investor market remains strong in northwest Vermont even though statistics may not reflect it. Multi-family properties coming on the market increased in 2019 – for the first time in a number of years. This increase provided options to buyers who may have been on the sidelines in the past. While the median sales price increased across the region, Franklin County offered affordability and investors responded, increasing sales there by 17%.

Buyers will still need to act quickly with multi-family properties closing in less than 3 months throughout northwest Vermont – and closing in only 56 days in Chittenden County which represents 62% of the units sold.

Despite newer apartment complexes becoming available over the last couple of years, and with a number of new projects on the horizon, the vacancy rate for rentals remains low as compared to the national average. Demand from renters remains strong likely due to the shortage in inventory for first time home buyers – and the demand from college students in downtown Burlington.

In 2019, Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman participated in 30% of the multi-family sales in northwest Vermont. Both experienced and first-time investors should hire a skilled Agent with the market knowledge to help them navigate this unique segment of the market.

After 2 years of increases activity, land sales settled down in 2019.

10.1 acre parcel mixed level open field and woodland, within biking distance of Charlotte village. Waste water permits pending.  MLS# 4312692
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$100,000 +14.0% $136,711 -8.7%196 -3.9%443 -4.3%291 +1.4%

After posting increased sales for the past 2 years, land sales settled down in 2019. There still remains plenty of options for purchasers looking to right-size their lifestyle, and build a new, efficient home – or for investors wanting to own their small piece of Vermont for future development.  

With a longer turnaround time and typically higher costs from land purchase to home completion, new construction may not be an option for many buyers. Some homeowners, with time and resources, have found building a viable option. We have begun to see their prior homes come to market as they move to their completed houses.

Our Agents have reported inquiries from investors across the country seeking land with soil ideal for hemp production. According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture 7,800 acres of land has been registered for hemp cultivation—a 137% growth over 2018. While it remains to be seen whether the market demand for hemp and therefore agricultural land will remain hot—a lack of hemp processors has proved to be a roadblock.

Land across Vermont has long been used for agriculture—mostly for milk and maple syrup production.

Chittenden County$139,000 3.00%$8218.80%135-7.50%247
Addison County$70,000 0.00%$53-13.10%100-18.70%413
Franklin County$66,650 19.00%$38-17.40%15012.80%197
Grand Isle County$89,000 12.70%$23-17.90%58-4.90%324