Welcome to the 2018 3rd Quarter 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 the Q1, Q2 and Q3 2018 in the Multiple Listing Service and compares them to sales that took place during the same period of 2017.
New Available Listings at a 3 Year Low. After a long, beautiful, and busy summer, we’ve quickly transitioned to autumn. The real estate market remains strong with continued high buyer demand. Low inventory continues to be the predominant theme, and over the last nine months, new listings being entered into MLS hit a 3 year low.
This has caused many buyers to compete with others for a scarcity of housing choices, driving prices up in some cases. The median price for home sales in Stowe, for instance, rose again significantly for the third year in a row, topping out at the end of Q3 at $620,000. This is an increase of 11 % as compared to Q3 2017.
Some wonder how long this trend might continue. Are buyers beginning to reach a threshold for what they might be willing to pay for a home, and continue to compete in some cases with multiple offers? Some media outlets have recently been reporting that housing markets, in places in other parts of the country, are starting to slow down as a result of these factors. Additionally, interest rates have been on the rise, and have recently hit a 7 year high of 5.0%. Although we haven’t seen that negatively impact buyers – it does reduce their buying power.
These factors may influence the sustainability of what has the potential to be the strongest market since 2008.
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.