Franklin County Market Rebounds After Slow Start to the Year

Meticulous & well-maintained do not even begin to describe this 4 bedroom Colonial on .5 acre lot in the very desirable hill section of St. Albans. MLS# 4687255

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$204,500 (+1%)$215,586 (+3%)264 (+16.8%)448 (+6.2%)111 (-5.9%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$175,000 (-15.4%)$192,169 (-10.4%)29 (+31.8%)31 (-3.1%)188 (+39.3%)

After a slow start to 2018, home sales in Franklin County rebounded during the 2nd quarter of 2018 – increasing nearly 17% over the first half of 2017.

With inventory for sale still at historic lows, the number of newly listed properties improved – providing new options for buyers searching for affordable living. Franklin County has the lowest median sale price among the four counties in northwest Vermont. Town by town the data varies. Fairfax, situated between Burlington and St. Albans, has the highest median sale price at $282,000 while St. Albans and Swanton had the most closed sales.

 

 

Franklin County offers homebuyers more home for their money

Meticulous & well-maintained do not even begin to describe this 4 bedroom, 4 bath Colonial home located on .5 acre lot in the very desirable hill section of St. Albans. MLS# 4687255

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$184,000 (-6.2%)$201,289 (-3.2%)93 (-7.9%)161 (+10.3%)129 (+12.2%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$171,450 (-27%)$191,359 (-12.8%)12 (+9.1%)16 (+14.3%)228 (+48.1%)

Home buyers find affordability and options across Franklin County.

The number of new properties listed during the start of 2018 has increased, and the total number of homes available to purchase has stabilized.

Buyers are finding more home for their money in towns and cities close to Interstate 89 like Fairfax, St. Albans and Swanton– while vacation home purchases are driving median price increases in towns in the northeast part of the county.

 

Franklin County remains the most affordable market in Northwest Vermont

Enjoy easy living in this 3 bedroom, 3 bath Colonial with nice deck off the dining area and attached 2 car garage in Fairfax.| MLS# 4672830

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$214,950 (+ 5.3%)$215,399 (+3.4%)530 (-6.4%)785 (-3.3%)120 (+11.1%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$214,950 (+ 5.3%)$215,399 (+3.4%)530 (-6.4%)785 (-3.3%)120 (+11.1%)

Inventory continues to tighten in Franklin County, which remains the most affordable market in this northwestern Vermont report.

The median sale price of a single-family home in Franklin County is $214,950, up 5% from 2016, and the median sale price of a condo is $196,438, up 1%.

However, the number of single-family homes sold dropped nearly 6.5% (to 530) while the number of newly listed homes dropped 3% (to 785). Single-family homes are staying on the market longer, too — up 11% to 120 days.

In 2016, Franklin County benefitted from the shrinking inventory in nearby Chittenden County and posted an 18% increase in residential sales. In 2017, St. Albans and Swanton slowed from their highs of the previous year, while some of the outlying towns — such as Enosburgh, Sheldon, Richford, and Montgomery — posted double-digit increases in sales, perhaps due to their proximity to the Jay Peak ski region and Canada.

Fairfax saw a 7% increase in the median sale price of a single-family home — one of the highest in the county, though still quite affordable.

 

After 2 Years of Growth, Franklin County See 12% Drop in Home Sales

Picturesque brick farmhouse situated on 5 acres in Highgate. | MLS# 4634801

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$212,500 (+2.2%)$214,728 (+3.3%)393 (-11.9%)651 (-8.6%)122 (+15.1%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$196,688 (-0.7%)$211,761 (+3.6%)34 (+30.8%)52 (-17.5%)129 (-40.3%)

Franklin County remains the most affordable county included in this report. The median price of single-family homes sold YTD is $212,500, compared to $322,500 in nearby Chittenden County.

The tightening of Chittenden County inventory during the past few years has sent buyers north to Franklin County and south to Addison County, in search of more affordable properties.

While the number of homes sold in Franklin County has jumped by 20% since Q3 2014, inventory of available homes for sale has not kept pace with demand. Since Q3 2014, single-family homes available for sale has declined 30%.

After two years of healthy growth in terms of sale price and units sold, single-family home sales dropped nearly 12% YTD – an indication of market normalization and low inventory. Construction of new condominiums in the county have remained in demand, with a steady increase of 30% in the number of transactions closed.

Franklin County offers Buyers the lowest median sale price in Northwest Vermont

Built in 1830 on 5 acres with rolling mountain views this home boasts 6 bedrooms, 3 fireplaces & 3 wood stoves | MLS# 4642075

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$200,000 (-2.68%)$207,617 (+2.16%)220 (-17.91%)420 (-9.87%)118 (+18%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$206,750 (+8.39%)$214,419 (+14.65%)22 (+37.5%)32 (-17.95%)135 (-33.5%)

With a surge in home sales during 2016, the decline in single family homes sales in 2017 may be viewed as a “normalizing” of the market versus a decrease in buyer interest. Sales are still up over 2015 and prior years. 

Because Franklin County has the lowest median sale price in Northwest Vermont, with many cities or towns easily accessible from I-89 – homebuyers have been turning to the county over the past 2 years as they seek available inventory and more home for their money.

The construction of condominiums, particularly in St. Albans Town, Swanton, and Fairfax, has given buyers additional choices to own a newly built home. For the first time, the median and average sale price of condominiums surpassed that of single family homes in Franklin County.

The median price of condominiums reflects the costs of brand new product often with upgrades and features desired by today’s consumer.

The pace of the market is reflected in the “Days on the Market until Sale” which shows that it will take approximately 4 months from listing to close for the average home. Sellers and Buyers alike need to be prepared to act when they decide to enter the real estate market.


First-time Home Buyers Continue to Extend their Search into Franklin County

Large bright rooms in this lovely Ranch style home in St Albans Town. | MLS# 4627983

Single Family    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$194,500 (+2.4%)$207,945 (+8.1%)100 (-17.9%)144 (-29.8%)110 (-32.9%)

Condo    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$235,000 (+20.7%)$259,481 (+17.3%)11 (+83%)14 (-40%)147 (-32.3%)

Because Franklin County has the lowest average and median sale prices in Northwest Vermont, some homebuyers have been turning to the county over the past year as they seek more value for their money. 

After a surge in home sales during the first quarter of 2016, with a 37% increase and 18% increase for the year overall, the decline in single family home sales at the start of 2017 may be viewed as a “normalizing” of the market versus a decrease in buyer interest.

The pace of the market is reflected in the “Days on the Market until Sale” which has dropped from 164 days to 110 days for single family homes during the first quarter of 2017. Sellers and Buyers alike need to be prepared to act when they decide to enter the real estate market.

Condo sales rose – but a change in the small number of transactions can have a large impact in the percentages.


 

Affordable Homes Draws Buyers into Franklin County

Discriminating taste is evident throughout this entire 3296 sq foot home in St Albans City. | MLS# 4504938
County Averages   
Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$206,483 (+7.6%)610 (+18%)933 (-10%)114 (-5%)


 

 

 

 

 

 

First-time homebuyers and professionals who are seeking more for their money are turning to Franklin County as an alternative to pricier Chittenden County. 

With an average sale price of $206,483, Franklin County is the most affordable county among the four in Northwest Vermont. Nevertheless, pricing and demand varies considerably from town to town. Our Agents note that towns on the eastern side of the county – which are more remote and farther from I-89 – typically are in lower demand than those closer to the Interstate.
Homes sold for an average of 97.3% of their listing price, illustrating the growing demand for properties in the county. Our Realtors note, homes that are in good condition and well-priced are selling extremely quickly.

Tighter inventory, higher prices

Inventory in Franklin County grew tighter in 2016, pushing prices higher. Buyers seeking properties in the sub-$220,000 range have been the most challenged, especially when seeking homes in good condition.

The I-89 corridor

Buyers are seeking properties in towns along the I-89 corridor, since it provides a quick commute into Burlington and Chittenden County. Sales in Georgia, for instance, surged more than 56% last year.

St. Albans is getting a second look

St. Alban’s City is drawing praise and new buyers after a $3 million renovation to its Main Street. Sales in the city jumped by one-third last year. St. Albans Town is also benefitting, with sales increasing 20%.  Expansions and renovations to the North Western Medical Center also improve the quality of care offered to area residents.

Surge in land sales

Franklin County also saw a surge in land buyers, with the number of sold parcels jumping almost 52 percent last year. The average sale price rose more than 31 percent to $113,361.


Franklin County has More Than 11 months of Inventory on Hand

Beautifully designed 2007 home in private country location yet close to all services and I-89. Fairfield. MLS# 4476342
County Averages  
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Days on Market:
$204,900 (+7%)461 (+22%)
165 (-9%)

Franklin County is increasingly popular with first-time homebuyers and professionals who are seeking more space for their money than in neighboring Chittenden County. With gas prices remaining stable, the county is a more affordable option for professionals who commute into Burlington or other locations than in previous years.

Franklin County has more than 11 months of inventory on hand, although that marks a decline from a year earlier, when the market had almost 16 months of inventory.

Affordability: Still A Draw

  • With tighter inventory in both Franklin and Chittenden counties, buyers are pushing up prices. The median sale price in Franklin County rose 3.1% to $202,000, marking a rare instance of the county’s median sale price tipping above the $200,000 mark.
  • The median sale price of $204,900 is the lowest among the four counties in Northwest Vermont.
    Pricing and demand varies considerably within Franklin County, however. Our Realtors note that buyers are gravitating to towns on the western side of the county, such as Georgia and St. Albans, because they’re closer to I-89 and attractive to commuters. Towns on the eastern side of the county are seeing both lower pricing and demand.
  • Homes are selling at about 97% of their listing price, illustrating buyers’ demand for moderately priced housing in the region.
    Demand is driving up prices. The median sale price through September jumped 7% to $204,900, while the number of sales rose 22%.

St. Albans: A Revitalization

  • A $3 million renovation to St. Albans City’s Main Street has drawn praise from the likes of the Montreal Gazette, which said in a recent article that the city “has never looked so good.”
    Sales in St. Albans City jumped 47% during the first 9 months of 2016. St. Albans Town is also benefitting, with sales rising 26%.
  • The I-89 Adjacent Towns
  • Buyers are also turning to Georgia and Fairfax, which both offer quick access to I-89. Residential sales in Georgia rose 41% for the first 9 months of the year, while Fairfax’s sales jumped 10%.

Land and Multi-Family Sales

  • Land purchases are heating up. A stronger economy and tight inventory are prompting some professionals and retirees to buy land and custom-build homes.
  • The number of land sales jumped 59% this year through September, while the median sale price was little changed at $70,000.
  • Stronger multi-family sales. While Chittenden County is the biggest market for multi-family properties, Franklin County has a smaller, but growing, share.
  • The number of sales in the county rose 13% to 18 transactions, although the median sale price slipped 19%.

CBHB_Oct2016.indd

 

An Affordable Alternative to Chittenden County

Franklin County Real Estate
Warm & inviting home with arge family room. St. Albans Town MLS#4486817
County Averages   
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$202,000 (+3.1%)284 (+28.50%)
530 (-9%)105

Franklin County Residential Sale Price rose 3.1%Buyers are turning to Franklin County to search for residential properties in the sub-$250,000 range, especially as inventory has tightened considerably in neighboring Chittenden County. Gas prices remain stable and below $2.50 a gallon, which makes the county a more affordable option for professionals who commute to Chittenden County or other locations.

The first six months of 2016 continued to demonstrate the historical split in pricing and demand for the eastern and western sides of the county. Towns on the western side are witnessing stronger demand and pricing, partly because they are closer to 1-89 and more attractive to commuters. Eastern towns such as Richford tend to record lower median sale prices.

Because of Chittenden County’s tight market, some buyers are looking deeper into the available housing stock within Franklin County, helping to absorb some of the county’s excess inventory. The market currently carries about 7 months of available inventory, or about half the levels seen in January. Because of those trends, prices are rising, with some buyers considering homes that may have been on the market for a while or are in need of upgrades.

Median Sale Prices are Rising

With tighter inventory in both Franklin and Chittenden counties, buyers are pushing up prices. The median sale price in Franklin County rose 3.1% to $202,000, marking a rare instance of the county’s median sale price tipping above the $200,000 mark.

Affordability Remains a Draw

Even with the higher median sale price, Franklin County remains the most affordable county within Northwest Vermont. Buyers who are priced out of Chittenden County, where it can be difficult to find homes in the sub-$250,000 range, often turn to Franklin as an affordable option.

Stronger Economy

Companies such as Superior Technical Ceramics, which makes specialty ceramics for industrial use, and pharmaceutical firm Mylan Technologies are hiring, helping push the unemployment rate down to 3.5%.


Franklin County Homes Sales by Town

Land sales doubled during the first half of the year, rising to 22 transactions from 11 a year earlier. The median sale price rose more than 22 percent to $75,500. With the stronger economy and tight inventory levels, some professionals and retirees are opting to buy land parcels and custom-build homes.

The multi-family market was little changed, with 10 sales in the first half the year, compared with 11 a year earlier. The median sale price slipped 25% to $206,625.

 

 

Franklin County

Year round living on Lake Champlain. MLS#4480738
County Averages   
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$189,000 (+5.6%)125 (+37.4%)220 (+11%)110

Franklin County Real Estate Sale Price 2016Franklin County is benefiting from a revitalized downtown and demand for buyers seeing homes in the sub-$200,000 price range, which has made the county more affordable for professionals who commute to Chittenden County or other locations.

Still, demand and pricing differs considerably between the eastern and western sides of the county. Our Realtors have found that towns in the western section tend to draw more buyers and interest, thanks to their proximity to I-89. Towns in the eastern half of the county tend to see lower demand and median prices.

Affordability is a Big Draw

Because Franklin County’s median sale price is the lowest in Northwest Vermont, it tends to draw buyers who are looking to buy more with their money. Finding homes in the sub-$250,000 range can sometimes be challenging in nearby Chittenden County.

Lower Gas Prices

As noted above, towns closer to 1-89 have witnessed stronger pricing trends and demand, such as Georgia, where the median sale price rose 18.9% in the first quarter.  Gas prices slipped below $2 a gallon in the first quarter, which helps entice some buyers to look for property in the county.

Employers Are Hiring

Institutions such as Northwestern Medical Center and companies such as shipping firm A.N. Deringer are hiring, bringing more professionals to the county.


Franklin County Snapshots

Land sales more than tripled during the first three months of 2016, jumping to 13 transactions from 3 a year ago. The median sale price gained more than 10 percent to $73,000. Some professionals and retirees are buying land in the county to custom-build their own homes.

The multi-family market was unchanged with six sales in the first quarter. Investors sought lower-priced properties, bringing the median sale price down 41 percent to $181,500.