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The data through the end of the 3rd quarter is significant in that it includes closed sales for the busiest segment of the year. Traditionally, the “height of the market” is considered late spring through summer. The ongoing story in the national and regional market is the contraction of inventory for sale, so it is remarkable that closed sales through the 3rd quarter faired as well as they did. Closed sales of Single-Family homes remain flat across the region while sales of condos, land and multi-family properties show healthy increases over the same period last year. The median price of sold, single family homes continues to rise while prices of Multi-Family homes surged as investors clamor for properties in a tight market.
With mortgage interest rates increasing recently – and additional increases expected, sellers and buyers would be wise to stay in the market during the 4th quarter of 2018 and 1st quarter of 2019, while properties may be in the most demand and at their most affordable.
The median and average sale prices continue to post healthy increases across the county. Condominiums are a popular choice among buyers interested in ease of maintenance and more affordable pricing compared to single-family homes.
The number of condos sold through the 3rd quarter continues to rise as many newly listed options come on the market.
The large majority of multi-family sales across the region are in Chittenden County. An 8% decrease in available properties, coupled with a 32% increase in closed sales drove the median and average sale prices up 11.5% and 22% respectively.
The Median and Average Sale price for single family homes rose a modest 3% likely affected by fewer properties for sale as well as the sale of 5 luxury property in Addison County so far in 2018.
Still, with a median sale price of $265,000 and days on market (DOM) of 4 months, buyers may find their dream home at a reasonable price without the pressure of multiple offers so common in Chittenden County.
Land sales continue to increase year over year as homeowners opt to build when options for existing homes remains challenging.
Summer is the time for Grand Isle County to shine – and the record warmth and sunshine bode well for the County. Luxury homes sales are a big part of the story as well – with 6 properties in the luxury price range selling so far this year.
Single-family and land sales posted increases – while condominiums and multi-family properties are scarce in Grand Isle County.
The average days on market (DOM) from listing to closing, at 178 days, is the longest among the 4 counties in this report – however, at 6 months, it is still a reasonable period of time. Homes priced closer to the median price of $244,900 and homes in good condition will be of interest to savvy buyers and will likely sell in far less time.
Sales of luxury properties remain strong so far this year. In the 3rd quarter alone – the number of properties sold increased by 29% with the median sale price increasing 7%. Year to date, the median price has declined slightly.
Lakefront properties in Addison, Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties continue make up a good portion of the closed sales. However, the trend toward properties away from the lake, newer construction with amenities, views, and proximity to the greater Burlington area employers continues with sales of homes in South Burlington and Shelburne for example.
While inventory of luxury homes has declined slightly over the past few years, architecturally designed lakefront and hillside homes with stunning views are available for the discerning buyer.
Despite the increased demand and decline in newly listed parcels available for sale, inventory remains strong. Buyers can choose from large or small parcels; with views or rural; at a variety of price points. The median sale price has remained stable throughout 2018 at $82,000.
Permitting, development, and building costs can contribute to higher than average prices for homes when complete – however, homeowners benefit from new, energy efficient and lower maintenance options.
The median and average sale prices soared across Chittenden, Addison and Franklin Counties as supply could not keep up with demand.
A few high-priced sales in Burlington, earlier this year, pushed the average sale price to over $500,000.
Historically low vacancy rates in the greater Burlington area may have eased slightly with the construction of newer apartment buildings, however continued renter demand across the region makes real estate a good choice for savvy investors.
The Mid-Year point is an important milestone for real estate trends, especially in northwest Vermont. We are in the midst of the traditional “height of the market.” Closings on real estate sales surge in June, July, and August in between the school year, vacations, holidays – with new household formation and other life events that typically drive the market. Our Mid-Year report recaps the inventory and sales of property during the 1st six months – and provides a snapshot of trends we may see in the Fall of 2018.
The number of properties sold, across all categories including single family, condos, multi-family, land and luxury properties, in northwest Vermont increased over the 1st half of 2017. This positive trend reflects strong buyer demand and is a welcomed sign after a moderate, but long-term decline in unit sales. The median and average sale prices continued to rise for single family, multi-family and land sales. Single-family unit sales were up 2.1% over 2017 in the first half. Newly listed properties declined by 6.7%. While inventory levels are still at near record lows, the 2nd quarter showed some moderate improvement.
Condominiums remain a popular choice, often for ease of maintenance and affordability. Newly listed condominiums were up 21.3% year to date with 507 listings. This helped spur a 12.4% increase in sales in the first half of 2018. The median and average sale prices had slight declines at 3.0 and 2.0% respectively.
Days on market dropped to 99 days in the single-family market, down 4.8% from last year and condominiums declined by 21.3% to 72 days on market. Chittenden County is reflecting a 3 months supply on hand in single family and condominiums. A balanced market is considered 5-6 months supply.
Our Vermont market reflects the current national trend of low inventory levels. Lawrence Yun, Chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says a solid economy and job market should be generating a much stronger sales pace than what has been seen so far this year across the country.
Rising mortgage rates are also a factor. “This year we saw a move up in mortgage rates, from 4 to 4.5%, which increased the urgency of some buyers to purchase. Combined with limited inventory, a tight rental market, and an uptick in economic activity, we saw increased competition in the first time home buyer/affordable price range. Even with credit standards loosening to encourage more activity these other factors are stretching the budgets of some prospective buyers. Mortgage industry experts say that providing credit is not the problem but rather the current supply of housing not meeting the demand,” says Ranjit “Buddy “ Singh of Spruce Mortgage in Burlington.
Our sales associates have seen continued strong buyer demand, especially in price segments below $350,000. Often these buyers are facing competing offers made on new listings resulting in purchases above asking price, waived inspections, substantial deposits or even cash sales. Some sellers are identifying new properties prior to committing their property to sale and making the successful next purchase a contingency of the sale of their existing property. Timing and coordination are key, and your Realtor can be of great assistance in a tight market.
New housing development in our region, although limited, is a very welcome addition to our market and has given some relief in a few market segments. We expect the current market conditions to continue throughout the 2nd half of 2018.
Chittenden County as a whole posted moderate increases in the median and average sales price of single-family homes with the continued decline in newly listed homes affecting the closed sales.
A number of cities and towns had well above-average increases in pricing including Burlington, Charlotte, Richmond, and Westford. The city of Winooski is a bright spot, as homeowners are attracted to its lively downtown, affordability, and proximity to Interstate 89 or Burlington. In Shelburne, the single home market is recovering; posting healthy increases in listings and sold homes after a weak first half in 2017.
The condominium market in Chittenden County remains healthy with a 13% increase in sales and a 23% increase in new listings. This available inventory has kept pricing stable – except where new construction projects are driving the inventory such as in South Burlington and Williston – which posted a 21% and 7% increase in median sales price over the same period in 2017.