Welcome to the 2019 Mid-Year Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate Market Report; our current examination of the real estate market in the Stowe area. This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in during 2018 in the Multiple Listing Service and compares them to sales that took place during 2018.
Median Sales Prices Continue to Rise in 2019. We have officially passed the mid-year point, and have entered the height of the selling season, which typically extends through the fall. Real estate market activity remains consistent and similar in many ways to what we’ve seen over the past couple of years. Strong buyer demand and low inventory continue to be influences on our market resulting in increased sales and prices in many cases.
One notable change from last year at this time is that mortgage rates have become more favorable after recent reductions. A mortgage rate as low as 4% for a 30 year fixed with no points, was available mid-July. This was a 2 year low. As always, depending on an assortment of economic factors, there are bound to be some fluctuations during the upcoming weeks and months, but most reports indicate rates will remain very attractive. Low rates are particularly beneficial to first-time homebuyers who are faced with rising real estate prices.
Median prices for residential homes in our area continue to rise, as they have been nationally as well. The increase of 4% in Stowe was moderate compared to that of past quarters but rose more significantly in the rest of Lamoille County and Waterbury. The number of homes that sold in Stowe and Waterbury for the first six months of this year increased as well, 24% and 14% respectively; yet the number was actually down slightly in the rest of Lamoille County.
By the end of Q2 inventory shortages increased once again in Stowe and the rest of Lamoille County, although the lack of inventory was not as significant as we saw the year prior. There were only 50 homes available to purchase in Stowe by the end of the quarter, yet there was more of a selection in northern Lamoille, with a total of 142 homes to choose from, pushing buyers northward to purchase in some cases.
2018 Market Trends Continue in Q1 of 2019. The first quarter of 2019 was marked by one of the best ski and ride seasons in recent memory, and a whopping 10 feet of snow which was still at the top of the mountain. Skier days were surely up to this winter, and memories of epic powder days will definitely endure. Whether all this influenced rising home sales and prices in both Stowe and Waterbury we can’t say for sure. We can confidently report that due to continued buyer demand, and inventory levels still dropping in most areas, the market overall remains strong and steady.
According to the National Association of Realtors existing home sales and pending sales have fallen in many parts of the country over the last few months, yet much of the Northeast has remained healthy. The lack of inventory available, and affordability remain challenging for home buyers, but as we get closer to the spring and summer seasons, more properties will be listed for sale. Overall, buyers continue to benefit from low-interest rates which have in some ways helped to offset rising prices. Residential home sales are still on the upswing for the most part. An increase was seen in both Stowe and Waterbury for the first quarter as compared to last year’s. The number of sales was up as much as 46% in Stowe and 11% in Waterbury for Q1. In northern Lamoille County, home sales were actually down slightly, and there was an increase in the amount of inventory there, counter to recent trends.