Buyer Demand Continues to Fuel the Real Estate Market
It’s been an extremely busy summer and fall in our area, and despite the pandemic, buyers continue to flock to Vermont due to the growing appeal they find in this area. Buyers remain engaged and are still eager to pursue real estate purchases regardless of inventory shortages. As a result, properties are flowing through the market at a rapid pace and the average days on market were in single digits in most cases. Current conditions can be somewhat challenging for buyers, yet they understand that there are still opportunities available to take advantage of. The number of building permits has increased substantially, providing some additional inventory in the way of new construction for home seekers. Condominiums and additional properties outside of Stowe offer more affordable choices as well.
Patience is a virtue, and buyers have found that having an agent dedicated to their needs is more important than ever in this market. Having access to resources unique to this profession, knowledge, and expertise; agents are equipped to provide their clients with up to the minute market data information, and new listing alerts from MLS, helping clients to make informed decisions in an effort to achieve the best outcome. All this along with leading technologies render support and advice that is critical for Sellers to have as well.
Although buyers remain poised to put anything under contract that they can, the actual number of residential sales dropped in Q3 throughout the region, compared to last year at this time. The reason for this is most notably the sheer lack of inventory available. The number of active listings by the end of Q3 was down as much as 37% in both Stowe and Lamoille North, and by 20% in Waterbury.
Even though the average and median purchase prices rose again in Stowe, there were still a number of homes that sold under $500K. The average sale price at the end of the quarter increased to just over $2M, largely influenced by one sale transferring at $33.7 million. The average price without the $34M sale was $1M+, which was a similar figure seen in Q2. Most sale prices were either at or over the list price. There were 17 pending homes sales at the end of Q3, a high amount, ranging from $459K to $1.750M. Most of them were listed over $1M. The average number of days on the market lowered dramatically, by 87%, and the median number of days on market was only 9. Only 35 new listings were added from July 1st through September 30th.
Similar trends were revealed for the luxury market in Stowe - homes that sell for over $1M. The sale of these homes represented roughly a third of all home sales in Stowe. And the dramatically lower number of days on market, in comparison to last year, highlights the striking demand for this category. This presumably impacted the overall number of sales which decreased by over 30% as well.
These homes were absorbed by the market on average as quickly as homes selling under $1M. And like the rest of the residential sales in Stowe, most of them transferred at, or over the list price. There was one unique sale in the mix - a 184-acre parcel on Edson Hill with 2 houses and a barn - which transferred for $33.7 million. This had not been an active listing in MLS, indicating perhaps that it was something like a family transfer, or similar. The same property was sold in 2018 for $10.5M.
With most properties transferring at or over the list price the average and median prices increased significantly from last year during the same time period. Luxury properties sold on average for just under $1.7M, and the median was $1.3M, these figures exclude the $33.7M sale.
Unlike home sales, the same number of condominiums sold in Stowe for Q3 of 2021, as they did in 2020. This was perhaps due to a few more listings being available to consumers. Condominiums provided some more affordable pricing options, yet the increase in the average sale price, even though lower than single-family homes, was extremely high as well ($712K). The median sale price of $536K was a 50% increase from Q3 of 2020. 12 condominiums were pending at the end of the quarter, the large majority of which were the Trapp Villa Triplex units, these had an average price of $810K.
Building a new home has become a more popular alternative, due to the dearth of homes available on the market. But the same issues of inventory exist with land parcels. There were only 9 lots on the market in Stowe by the end of Q3, which was far fewer than the 21 that were available back in Q3 2020. This shows the high level of demand here too. The stats were skewed like the luxury sales because there was a 42-acre parcel in Robinson Springs which sold for over $6M. This purchase was made by the same buyer who bought the 184-acre property for $33.7M. The number of pending sales was sparse, as there were only 3, as compared to 12 last year.
Homebuyers continued to push the geographic boundaries beyond Stowe in search of additional and more affordable properties with great success. The number of home sales dropped in Lamoille North by only 2 units, thereby slightly lessening the urgency buyers felt, and the number of multiple offers taking place in some cases. This area comprised of 9 other towns in addition to Stowe, provides much more affordable home values. The average sale price increased by over 69%, remaining in the upper $300k range, still much lower than that of Stowe and Waterbury. Properties went under contract in fewer days than ever, with the average number of days on market decreasing by almost 80%. There were almost 10% fewer listings, and only 40 homes were left to sell at the end of September.
Unlike every other category throughout the region, land in the rest of Lamoille North saw the largest increase in the number of sales, upwards of 61%. Like everywhere else, prices increased, and days on market dropped markedly. As a result of still being able to purchase a nice piece of land in any one of these towns, this opportunity is further accentuated by many affordable options for purchase. Again, a clear and additional option compared to the prospects of buying a pre-existing house or condominium.
The number of homes sold in Waterbury in Q3 lessened by virtually the same amount as they did in Stowe. The 34% drop was expected, as a result of a limited number of available homes, despite that number having increased from Q3 2020. There were only 20 new listings added in the 3rd quarter. The average sold price in Waterbury was much more moderate as compared to Stowe, with only a 15% increase up to slightly over $500K, and the median price was even less, offering more affordable options at times. As seen in the rest of our area, the number of days on market was much lower for the quarter.
Overall, there are not a lot of condominiums in Waterbury, so not that unusual that there was only 1 condominium sale, which was 2 less than in 2020. The sale price for this 2 bedroom condo at Huntington Place was $177,000.
As for Land sales, there were only 4 in Q3, which was one less than in 2020. The average selling price of $186K, was almost the same as last year. There were only a few building lots available at the end of the quarter, and there were 3 pending sales, the same number as last year, but with an increased average price to $291K.
As we move toward closing out another significant year in real estate, it has become ever more apparent that having a local expert is paramount to having a successful real estate transaction. Our team at CBCRE has successfully helped over 131 buyers and sellers transact year to date.