Luxury Homes See a Robust Increase Sales Over 2018

This spectacular Contemporary Craftsman home, in Shelburne, was carefully designed by renowned architect Marcel Beaudin to take in stunning views of Lake Champlain! | MLS# 4755150
Luxury Homes  
Median Sale Price:Units Sold:Days on Market:
$990,000 (-1.4%)29 (+70.6%)120 (-46.7%)

Across the country, the luxury home market has stabilized with the median sale price remaining near $1.4 million. Nationally, analysts agree, the luxury market’s slowdown is related to world trade activities and geopolitics. Affluent investors coming from countries with political and financial uncertainty still find North America to be a highly desirable destination although demand is softening. Vermont’s housing market, in general, has not been impacted by foreign investors for good or bad. Locally, the sales of luxury homes* has continued to grow.

After an increase of 4% in total sales in 2018, the number of luxury homes sold in the first half of 2019 jumped 70.6%. The number of homes for sale during the same period dropped 15% over 2018 and dropped nearly 28% in 4 years- meaning the inventory of homes continues to be absorbed by the market. The DOM (days on market) for the Luxury homes sold so far in 2019 is only 120 days- or 4 months. Homes in need of renovation may stay on the market for considerably longer as today’s buyers search for turn key options to suit their lifestyle.

According to “The Report – State of Luxury 2019” published by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, “preferences for tangible features of a home such as architecture and interior design vary from person to person, but the essence of what wealthy buyers seek in a luxury home is a sanctuary that promotes their security, serenity, and overall well-being—whether the property is a gated beachfront home, an urban pied-à-terre, or a working winery sprawled across hundreds of acres. Compared to other asset classes like stocks and bonds, high-end real estate is unique in that it provides not only an investment, but also security, comfort, and enjoyment as a place to live.” On a local scale, the luxury homes sold since January 2019 reflect these qualities – homes on Lake Champlain, properties close to downtown and country properties with views and acreage.

*Luxury is defined as homes sales at or above $850,000

 

 

 

 

 

A Strong Increase in Newly Listed Multi-Family Homes for Sale in 2019

This Duplex, in Vergennes, is a GREAT opportunity to live in one side and let your tenant in the other side pay your mortgage. MLS# 4759119
Northwest Vermont    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$306,000 (-1.3%)$371,786 (-17.1%)66 (-16.5%)126 (+26%)61 (-43.5%)
Chittenden County     
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$390,000 (+2.7%) $480,981 (-15.7%)43 (-17.3%)79 (+36.2%)55 (-35.3%)

Newly listed investment properties posted a healthy increase over the same period in 2018 – the highest in the past 3 years. Still, demand is strong with no sign of letting up as properties are closing in less than 2 months from listing.

Long term investors, interested in realizing their gains, are opting to part with portions of their portfolios contributing to the uptick in inventory levels. If the supply of newly listed properties continues on this trajectory, we should see stabilization or growth in sales for the remainder of 2019.

Investors that are new to the market – or first-time buyers who may be challenged with affordability in Chittenden County, may want to consider multi-family properties in cities to the north and south, like Vergennes or St. Albans. “Owner – occupying” part of the property while a tenant contributes to your mortgage payment is a great way to achieve your dream of home ownership and to build equity.

 

 

 

Land Sales See Mixed Results Across Northwest Vermont

This beautiful building lot just become available. Lovely mountain views, sunsets, pastoral setting & 31.7 acres of common land in Williston. | MLS# 4758527
Northwest Vermont    
Median Sale Price:Average Sale Price:Units Sold:Newly Listed:Days on Market:
$100,000 (+22%) $128,185 (-4.7%)80 (-15.8%)265 (+3.1%)280 (+3.3%)

While land sales have increased across northwest Vermont over the past 2 years, there is still plenty to choose from. Land prices vary greatly based upon location, permitting, and infrastructure. With a shortage of homes available for sale, the idea of buying land and building a home has been a solution for some. However, for many, the land, permitting and development costs combine to make new homes more expensive than older, existing home stock. 

Chittenden County posted the largest number of land sales with a 15.6% increase over 2018. Although Chittenden County’s median sales price – at $122,500 – is the highest in the region, available lots include a building lot in the New North End of Burlington to multiple acres in nearby communities with mountain views.

Franklin and Grand Isle Counties recorded healthy increases in new land listings coming on the market – providing many affordable options for the right buyer. Still, land owners can plan on a year, on average, for their property to sell.

 

The Rental Market in Chittenden County Continues to Evolve

The rental market in Chittenden County is evolving due to the continued construction of new units with higher-end finishes and amenities.

 

Rental Options are Increasing
The Allen, Brooks, and Minor June 2019 Report identified an anticipated 661 apartments to open in 2019. Assuming projects are completed on time, this year will be the second highest on record (behind 2016). The highest concentration of growth is expected to be in Burlington (217 units) and South Burlington (193 units). Together, these two communities account for 62% of the anticipated new apartment growth in 2019. Williston holds the third largest contribution at 96 anticipated units.

Low Vacancy Rates Make for a Tight Rental Market
With the completion of new construction projects, vacancy rates in Chittenden County have gradually decreased to 1.8% over the last 18 months – returning to rates seen in 2015 and 2016. With that said, the vacancy rate in Chittenden County continues to fall behind national averages near 4.8%. It is expected the rate will increase by the end of the year once the remaining anticipated 661 apartments become available to renters.

Adjustments in Current Aging Rental Options
New construction projects have provided tenants with welcomed amenities such as: central air conditioning, covered parking, secure storage, in-unit washers/dryers, fitness rooms, tennis courts, outdoor pools, and clubhouses. These newer units have led competing landlords to consider strategies for attracting and retaining tenants. Some landlords opt to invest in renovations to modernize aging properties in response to changing expectations from tenants.

Chittenden County Apartment Rental Rates
The below chart reflects rental rates in new multi-story buildings which opened in the last three years.

 

 

 

 

 

If you need help navigating the Chittenden County rental market, start the process at www.HickokandBoardman.com/vermont-rentals. Resources such as recommended websites to start your search, as well as up-to-date rental market information can all be invaluable to you during your search.

Wire Fraud Alert

The National Association of REALTORS is raising awareness of increased reports of wire fraud schemes that involve hackers stealing email addresses and sending fraudulent bank wiring instructions to various parties involved in a real estate transaction.

The cyber-criminal scheme takes on many variations, often tricking the unsuspecting user into inputting their information or clicking a link that allows the criminal to steal login, password, or other personal information. The criminal then uses the stolen information to send fraudulent wire instructions disguised to come from a professional you’re working with, including real estate agents, attorneys, lenders or consumers.

If you receive an email with wiring instructions, do not respond. Financial institutions advise that email is not a secure way to send your financial information. Here are a few ways to help protect yourself against wire fraud:

  • Never wire funds without personally speaking with the intended recipient of the wire to confirm the routing number and account number.
  • Verify that the contact information for the wire transfer recipient is legitimate. Call to verify the request using a phone number that has been independently obtained, not the phone number contained in the email containing the wiring instructions.
  • Never send personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card numbers, unless it is through secured/encrypted email or personal delivery to the intended recipient.
  • Take steps to secure the system you are using with your email account such as using strong passwords and secure WiFi.
  • Act immediately if you suspect that you have been victimized by wire fraud. Contact the Vermont FBI district office at 802-951-6725 or file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at bec.ic3.gov

 

This important notice is not intended to provide legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer if you have any questions.

First Quarter Market Report 2019

Functioning B&B with attached apartment, guest cottage, spacious barn, and ample storage. in Shelburne  MLS# 4733212
 Median Sale PriceAverage Sale PriceUnits SoldNewly ListedDays on Market
Single-Family$290,000 (5.1%)$323,786 (10.3%)353 (1.2%)599 (2%)91 (-22.2%)
Condos$230,000 (12.2%)$256,677 (6.2%)113 (-6.6%)151 (-16.6%)77 (-6.1%)
Multi-Family$315,000 (1.6%)$377,274 (-19.4%)23 (-41%)57 (72.7%)59 (-50.4%)
Land$120,000 (42.5%)$149,432 (-14.4%)31 (-26.2%)103 (4%)288 (9.5%)

Historically, the first 3 months of the year represent the slowest period for sales. With a smaller number of sales, data within this report can be affected in a positive or negative direction without truly representing a trend in the market.

Our skilled Realtors® can provide you with a more in-depth analysis on specific price points in towns and neighborhoods. Given our market leading position, we are prepared to provide unparalleled service to our clients.

The same market dynamics that we have reported over the past 2-3 years continue to play out in northwest Vermont. Shrinking inventory of homes for sale and pent up buyer demand have resulted in an increase in median and average sale prices across most market segments. Mortgage interest rates have declined recently after an uptick during 2018, keeping buyers in the market and willing to pay more for updated homes. With limited cash available for renovations, buyers are willing to take on a higher mortgage payment for homes with renovated kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and other amenities. Sellers may want to take advantage of this opportune time to list their home while demand is strong.

Median Average Sale Prices Continue to Rise in Chittenden County

The Cascades offer easy living in the heart of Winooski’s thriving downtown.
 Median Sale PriceAverage Sale PriceUnits SoldNewly ListedDays on Market
Single-Family$333,950 (5.9%)$390,601 (12%)196 (1.6%)323 (5.9%)62 (-23.5%)
Condos$235,750 (8.6%)$263,245 (4.4%)104 (0%)137 (-15.4%)78 (18.2%)
Multi-Family$456,000 (13.4%)$452,664 (-23.6%)16 (-36%)40 (110.5%)38 (-60%)
Land$120,000 (-5.9%)$150,538 (-54.4%)13 (-7.1%)33 (-15.4%)208 (-27.5%)

Newly listed single-family homes showed a slight uptick over the same period last year while condo listings declined. . 

New developments throughout the county, which include condominiums, may be affecting the flow of inventory year over year. Residential sales were relatively flat while median and average sale prices rose during the 1st quarter. Buyer demand is still strong for well positioned properties coming to market – as demonstrated by the average days on market (DOM) of just over 2 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addison County Slight Increase in Homes for Sales after Several Years of Declining Inventory

Well maintained 3 bedroom Ranch, in Vergennes, with many exterior upgrades over the years. MLS# 4711457
 Median Sale PriceAverage Sale PriceUnits SoldNewly ListedDays on Market
Single-Family$235,000 (-7.8%)$261,828 (-2.4%)57 (23.9%)91 (5.8%)127 (-31.7%)
Condos$115,000 (-27.8%)$145,000 (-2.4%)3 (-40%)5 (66.7%)67 (9.8%)
Multi-Family$150,000 (-46.4%)$150,000 (-55.9%)1 (-66.7%)3 (-40%)0 (-100%)
Land$103,750 (56.6%)$123,840 (8%)10 (-37.5%)21 (-38.2%)451 (67%)

Inventory of homes has stabilized – even posting a slight increase in early 2019. Single home sales increased while median and average sale prices declined.

Due to the relatively low number of transactions during the 1st quarter, it may be too early to draw conclusions. Addison County continues to draw buyers who may be working in Chittenden County – but see affordability and quality of life in Addison as desirable.

Responding to seller and buyer demand in the county, we are pleased to announce that we are opening a Real Estate Sales Center on Main Street in Vergennes. While we are not new to the area, our Vergennes location expands our presence in Addison County and extends the level of service we are able to give our clients.

New Addison County Office
268 Main Street
Vergennes, VT 05491

Franklin County Sees a Declines in Sales, But an Increase in Median Sale Price

Immaculate lakefront home with westerly sunset views and a perfect shale beach in Swanton. MLS# 4722769
 Median Sale PriceAverage Sale PriceUnits SoldNewly ListedDays on Market
Single-Family$208,300 (13.2%)$216,370 (7.4%)79 (-16%)151 (-7.4%)118 (-8.5%)
Condos$185,500 (8.2%)$198,671 (3.8%)6 (-50%)8 (-50%)67 (-70.6%)
Multi-Family$210,835 (-1.9%)$214,112 (-3.3%)6 (-45.5%)13 (62.5%)126 (-22.2%)
Land$81,750 (31.9%)$101,667 (36.4%)6 (-40%)42 (90.9%)95 (-55.8%)

 

While the number of units sold in Franklin County declined during the 1st quarter, the median and average sale prices increased.

Inventory tightened a bit with new properties coming to market declining. The harsh winter and traditionally slow months of the year may not provide enough data to determine trends that will be seen in Franklin County during 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Isle County Sees an Increase Sales Over Slow 1st Quarter in 2018

This is an once in a lifetime opportunity to own an incomparable family compound on 1279 feet of lake frontage and 8.65 acres in South Hero. MLS# 4743290
 Median Sale PriceAverage Sale PriceUnits SoldNewly ListedDays on Market
Single-Family$255,000 (55%)$272,443 (12.1%)21 (31.3%)34 (3%)158 (-42.6%)
CondosN/AN/AN/A1 (N/A)N/A
Multi-Family*N/AN/AN/A1 (N/A)N/A
Land$413,500 (548%)$413,500 (548.63%)2 (0%)7 (75%)574 (102.1%)

The 1st quarter shows a healthy increase in the number of homes sold in 2019 versus the same period last year, however this is compared to a sharp decline during the 1st quarter of 2018.

The Average Days of Market (DOM) from listing to closing has dropped to 158 days – or just over 5 months. While this is the longest days on market out of the 4 counties in the report, desirable and well-priced homes are selling in considerably less time than average.

Historically, the strength of the market in Grand Isle County is during the spring and summer months. A preponderance of second homes has a clear impact on the sales cycles. Activity in the next 2 – 3 months will dictate what the 2019 market has in store for the county.