Welcome to the 2018 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 Q1 & Q2 2018 in the Multiple Listing Service and compares them to sales that took place during the same period of 2017.
Lack of Inventory Continues to Drive All Markets. As we close out the first 6 months of 2018 we continue to see the same recurrent themes shape the real estate story in our market area. The story is one you are familiar with - strong buyer demand, and few choices available, as a result of low inventory. This combination of factors has led to multiple offer situations, causing prices to rise in many cases.
As a result, the median price rose in all categories, in every town, except for land sales in Waterbury, which was down very slightly. Although the number of home sales in Stowe and the rest of Lamoille County was up again over the course of the 1st 6 months of the year, the number did not rise as much as we saw in Q1. This may be a result of the scarcity of homes that are available to buyers since the total inventory of homes was down.
By the end of Q2, there were only 52 homes on the market in Stowe, which is 20 fewer than there were during the same timeframe in 2016. A little over 1/3 of that inventory is priced over $1,000,000.
In the rest of Lamoille County, which covers 9 towns, a total of 152 homes were available; and in Waterbury, there were 27. These are similar trends seen in much of Vermont, as well as nationally. Despite mortgage interest rates creeping up a bit over the past year, so far this has not had a measurable effect on buyer demand.
Winter Visitors Increase, as do Home and Condominium Sales. The winter season delivered lots of powder; and many new skiers and riders found their way to Stowe, after taking advantage of Stowe Mountain Resort’s new offering - The Epic Pass - which is Vail Resorts’ signature multi-mountain season pass.
As the snow melts, and we transition to spring, the market conditions begin to be revealed. The general storyline in real estate, both locally and nationally, continues to be that of low inventory; which has actually reached its lowest point in recent memory. There are only 44 single family homes currently on the market in Stowe. This continues to restrict overall market activity, most notably, lessening options for buyers who are ready to purchase.
Despite home sales were up slightly in Q1 2018, as compared to last year, we are still far below the number of sales we saw from 2014 to 2016. Inventory at that time was about 40% higher than it is today.
Strong buyer demand, coupled with the extreme lack of inventory, and multiple offer situations, have caused selling prices to trend higher. The median prices for homes and condominiums in Stowe were both up by 22% and 28%, respectively. This increase is more than double from the year before. As we approach the spring and summer market, all eyes are on whether inventory can begin to keep pace with buyer demand.