Vermont Land Market Results

South Bingham Street, Cornwall, VT ~ This 37-acre land offering is a wonderful mix of an old orchard, returned back to its natural state, to the west and a maturing woodland habitat to the east with a healthy 5-acre pond in the middle.

Single-Family January-June 2023
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$144,500 -3%92 -28%162 -14.7%130 -18.2%

The number of land parcels that have sold during the first half of 2023 declined sharply over the same period last year, on top of the 27% decline in 2022. This period of decline follows amplified sales realized in 2021. However, this year’s results do not accurately reflect buyer interest as much as the same shortage in available inventory we are seeing in other segments of the real estate market. The number of days on the market for land is just over 4 months, down from 5 months in 2022 and 8 months in 2021 demonstrating that buyers were ready to make a move when the right property hit the market.

Franklin County’s median price jumped nearly 28% to $126,000 yet remains more affordable than other northwest Vermont counties.  Addison County and Franklin County, with more undeveloped land, posted the most sales in the region with 30 and 29 closed respectively. 

Long term, the solution must include more and larger development to meet demand. Reputable and well-established builders are working hard to roll out new projects and additional phases of established communities. Extensive permitting and labor shortages are impacting cost, ultimately absorbed by purchasers. More action by state and local officials is needed to satisfy demand, address affordability, and positively impact our aging housing stock.

Chittenden County$208,000-13.3%25-34.2%36-43.8%124-34.3%
Addison County$148,0008.8%30-33.3%5121.4%124-33.3%
Franklin County$126,00027.3%290.0%52-13.3%120-34.1%
Grand Isle County$93,7503.7%8-50.0%23-4.2%211-45.5%

Warning: According to American Land Title, real estate transactions have been a prime target of cybercrime over the past decade. There is little sign of this slowing. Instead, fraudsters continue to evolve their scam and money laundering tactics to avoid detection.

This latest trend involves vacant lots or unencumbered properties (no mortgage). Fraudsters impersonate property owners to illegally sell commercial or residential property. Sophisticated fraudsters use the real property owner’s Social Security and driver’s license numbers in the transaction, as well as legitimate notary credentials which have all been fabricated. Commonly, the real owner of the property does not live nearby and is not aware of the sale.  While many of these properties are posted on national websites as “for sale by owner” (FSBO), scammers are beginning to connect with real estate agents to list the property while posing as the real seller.

To combat schemes like this, South Burlington residents can now register to be notified by email whenever a document (sale of house, lien, mortgage, etc.) is filed in the South Burlington Clerk’s office. Other municipalities may be considering programs like this.

According to American Land Title, a monitoring system like this doesn’t prevent fraud from happening, at least you will be alerted if or when a document is filed. Be extremely wary if you find a land parcel for sale below market price, with a seller who is urgent to sell, and not available to meet in person.