Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman's Northwest Vermont Spring 2016 Real Estate Market Report is an analysis of Northwest Vermont's first quarter market results. Read on to find out current market trends in your town. Contact me today with questions on your LOCAL real estate market!
This report provides detailed real estate market information on Chittenden County, Franklin County, Grand Isle County and Addison County counties. Having up-to-date information on current real estate market conditions in your area can help you both as a Buyer and a Seller! If you have any questions about this report or want to talk about a specific property or locale, please contact me today!
Market Overview for Northwest Vermont
It was a strong real estate market in Northwest Vermont in 2015. So far, demand and pricing hint toward another solid year, although with a caveat: since the first three months of the year typically represent the slowest period for our market, the trends may not be clearer until sales pick up during late Spring and Summer.
Nevertheless, demand was strong in the first quarter, with residential transactions jumping by 10 percent. Median sale prices were little changed, which may indicate a shift to lower-priced properties during the winter months.
Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Reality is forecasting continued steady growth in pricing and sales for 2016. Based on current trends, we believe sales volume may rise about 6 – 8 percent, while pricing could gain about 1% to 2%, or similar to the national forecast from the National Association of Realtors.
While Chittenden County is the most active real estate market in Northwest Vermont, the first quarter represents the slowest season for residential sales. Coming off of a strong 2015, the first three months of 2016 saw some mixed trends, with demand continuing to rise but with buyers looking for slightly lower-priced housing. Buyers are most interested in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range, which is especially true for first-time millennial homebuyers. Inventory for reasonably priced housing in Chittenden County remains tight.
With a growing professional class in Chittenden County and continuing low mortgage rates, however, buyers are once again returning to the over-$500,000 segment. Still, sales can take longer to close in this price range, given that there’s more inventory available.
Read more on the current Chittenden County Market by clicking here!
BURLINGTON/ SOUTH BURLINGTON
Burlington and South Burlington were the most active towns during the first quarter, with 50 and 52 transactions, respectively, or almost one-third of the county’s sales. Still, the number of sales and median pricing slipped slightly in Burlington, which could be due to affordability issues as well as deferred maintenance, which provides buyers with more bargaining power.
The luxury market tends to slow down during the first quarter, and this year proved no exception. Because many of Northwest Vermont’s luxury properties are located on Lake Champlain, buyers often wait to begin their search until the late spring or summer months.
Still, the luxury market witnessed a strong 2015, when the number of transactions for homes priced above $800,000 increased by 25%.
The luxury segment continues to be a buyer’s market, with some high-end homes requiring years before they find a buyer. Some sellers have also had to lower their price expectations given the market dynamics, which include a three-year inventory of homes listed for more than $800,000.
This additIonal luxury inventory is providing excellent choices for high-end buyers, ranging from waterfront estates, to neighborhood or city properties and mountain homes with large amounts of acreage and amenities, as well as the opportunity to negotiate a good price.
Since there’s so much competition in the over $800,000 segment, sellers should prepare their homes for summer showings by making sure they are in excellent condition. That means attending to deferred maintenance, and landscaping.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME STAND OUT
As always, well-priced homes in good condition tend to see strong demand from buyers. Sellers should consider upgrades to their homes that would make them more attractive to potential buyers, ranging from taking care of deferred maintenance to installing “smart home” technology, such as Nest’s thermostat, to help your property stand out.