Ray Mikus

Impact of the Pandemic on the Housing Landscape in Vermont

Impact of the Pandemic on the Housing Landscape in Vermont

August 2020

Photo by Mika Baumeister

 

I was recently asked to be a presenter to Governor Scott’s Community Solutions and Local Recovery task force.  A version of this detailed report was shared with many state and local leaders, including regional planning directors, leaders of non-profits, leaders of statewide businesses, and more. 

Figured everyone else might be interested in it too.

 

Methodology

First, These numbers are statewide, and come only from sales reported through the New England Real Estate Network (the MLS), and they reflect only Realtor-assisted transactions. They do not include FSBO data, as that data is VERY difficult to come by. The latest statistics, published by the National Association of Realtors, show that nationwide 89% of all sales are Realtor-assisted, so this should be representative.

 

Second, we’re not talking about SALES here, but rather CONTRACTS. This is so that we examine market conditions in the very near past.  Similarly, we’re not talking about SALE PRICES, but LIST PRICES. It can take two months or longer for the close of escrow. Looking only at sale prices would only allow us to study buyer and seller behavior going back to April or May. Using Contracts, we can see what is happening through the end of July.

 

And last, these numbers are for single family homes (except one section about land). It’s not commercial or multi-family properties. However, it was not possible to determine if these are going to be owner-occupied, if they will be primary residences, if they were bought by people from out of state, or why buyers bought them.

 

Number of Single Family Homes AUC (Active Under Contract) 

Looking at Jan-July over the past five years, the 2020 numbers aren’t unheard of. But they are significantly higher than we’ve seen since 2017. The 40% increase over Jan-July 2019 is remarkable.

 

Drilling down a little deeper, let’s talk about what happened month by month. Comparing to 2018 and 2019, January and February 2020 contracts were up almost 20%, signalling a busy market, with lots of activity. As Realtors, we were getting ready for a great spring market.

 

 

2020 looked exactly like the average of 2015-2019 for January and February, in terms of new contracts on single family homes in Vermont.

 

March and April saw significant decreases in the number of contracts. In May, enough ground was gained that we were in the exact place as we were the past few years.

 

But that steep growth curve just kept continuing. In June we were 58% ahead what we would have expected for a “normal” June. And in July we had 136% more contracts than a “typical” year.

 

 

New Listings

The astronomic increase in the number of contracts in June-July coincided with a dramatic decrease in the number of new listings (homes that are newly available for sale).

January through March 2020 looked similar to the previous five years in terms of new listings. That curve is relatively flat, ranging from 1600 to 2300 new listings.

 

 

Again, the April-July period was starkly different, representing a 74% decrease compared to the five year average. See the graph below.

 

 

So, we had much fewer houses coming on the market for sale. And simultaneously we had many more houses going into contract for purchase. Supply and demand is doing what it does, and buyers are having a hard time finding houses. Multi-bid situations are very common, and we have a lot of frustrated home buyers.

 

Remember that when someone sells, they usually still need to live somewhere else. So the sellers who are happy to get multiple bids often experience the same frustration and friction when they try to buy their next house.

 

Sales by price range

I looked at contracts written across $50,000 intervals. Over the past three years, the number and the percentage of sales across different price ranges. Across the board, the activity appears consistent.

Until you get to properties listed at $1 million and above. Since 2015, those sales have been between .5% and 1.5% of each month’s sales (Jan-July). In June 2020, that moved to 2.2%, and in July a whopping 5.16% of contracts were for single family homes listed at more than $1,000,000. (43 out of 833).

 

 

Another way to look at the data is that since March, the percentage of million dollar contracts has increased by nearly 300% as compared to the previous five years. Again, without going through each town’s land records, it’s not possible to say where these buyers came from, or whether they are the buyers’ primary residences. Additionally, this market activity is unlikely to be spread evenly throughout the state.

Land sales

The number of parcels of land that went into contract in the period Jan-Jul increased by roughly 65% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2015- 2019.

In 2015-2019, January through July, the average number of pieces of land that went under deposit was 649. In 2020, there were 1068. Without going to each town clerk and reviewing the property transfer tax returns, it’s impossible to say if these were bought by Vermonters or out of state residents, or if they were bought by people planning on moving here.

 

 

I also want to make clear that there’s no way of determining why there was this huge increase. There are infinite motivations. Those motivations have existed over the past five years as well. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has coincides very neatly with several huge changes in the Vermont real estate market.

 

Out of state buyers? The elephant in the room.

As a broker, nearly everyone I’ve talked with over the past few months has wanted to talk about out of state buyers. Everyone has a story, and there have been several articles full of anecdotes and one-offs used as examples to prove a point.

 

The only way to know with certainty is to go to the town clerk in each town in Vermont, and search through the Property Transfer Tax Returns, or alternatively, for each town to digitize or otherwise collate that data. Incidentally, digitization of land records would reduce the need for Realtors and attorneys to do in-person title research, perhaps reducing the chances for spreading viruses.

 

While we can’t say with certainty that there has been a surge in out of state buyers, we can say that since 2015, the average number of contracts from May-July has been 1087. In 2020, there were 1844 contracts, which is an increase of nearly 70%. This number is not explained by “pent up demand” of buyers deciding not to purchase in March and April.

 

Anecdotally, our office in Montpelier has not seen a “surge” in out of state buyers. We always have out of staters. Now, as in the past, they remain people who had been planning a move beforehand, are moving for work, to come back to be closer to family, etc. 

 

But all of these new buyers are coming from somewhere. It could be that they are Vermonters buying second homes, or buying single family homes as investments. It could be that there is a surge in apartment vacancies as renters are deciding to buy. But clearly, the most logical reason appears to be that there has been significant out of state activity.

 

Further Observations and Questions

 

Internet access as critical

In March, when schools shut down, and people who could work from home had to work from home, it became very clear, very fast, that having reliable high speed internet was critical. We’ve heard the stories of the “digital divide” between those areas and those houses with these utilities, and those without. Often those stories describe, or allude to rural areas. Poorer areas, remote areas, and the “colder hollows” that The Eye on the Sky talks about. It’s important to remember that there are households across all income lines that either don’t have reliable cell service or high speed internet.

 

Lack of high speed internet is actually preventing some home sales. Many buyers are immediately dismissing houses that don’t have reliable high speed internet.  Buyers are now very attuned to the present and future realities of working and schooling remotely, and are not settling for subpar internet. Gone are the days when buyers were satisfied with, “Yes, you can usually watch Netflix, except it’s a little spotty when there are clouds, or when other houses are already on.” 

 

Now, they know they want (or need) the ability for each adult in the house, and each child in the house to be on a Zoom call at the same time. Our brokerage has started using “Zooms Per House” as an informal measurement of internet quality. And “one” or “zero” isn’t cutting it. This effectively decreases the value of property, as a direct result of the pandemic. This forfeiture of value (equity and net worth) affects the affluent who have second homes as well as the working class and poor whose only avenue for homeownership (or renting) was outside the areas with reliable, high speed internet. Property owners in communities and areas that have worse internet connectivity are going to pay a very real monetary penalty in terms of equity and when they sell their homes.

 

Housing Market as an Ecosystem

What will happen if the economy doesn’t recover? Will it be more difficult for purchasers in the lower ranges to qualify for loans? Will $150,000 starter homes be able to be sold? Those $150,000 sellers are the $250,000 buyers. Which free up the $350,000 buyers. But if the lower priced homes can’t sell, that will ripple through the housing market.

 

How Will Landlords Respond to the Effects of the Pandemic?

How will landlords respond? If economic uncertainty continues, or worsens, how will landlords weather non-payment of rents? Will they increase dependency on tenants with housing assistance to get what looks like guaranteed rent? Will they look to improve their units to attract higher income tenants (who are often information workers who can work remotely), and increasing rents?

 

Will this change the way people think about entering into nursing homes?

Will this change how people think of nursing homes and assisted living? If seniors are uncomfortable going into nursing homes, will they stay in their houses? How will they get the care that they need? Will that cause a choke point in the real estate market? Any choke point ultimately affects first time buyers.

 

We know that nursing home facilities are doing great work in providing safe, comfortable care for seniors. I would be interested in knowing if there are any changes in the number of people entering into nursing homes, since the pandemic began in March. If the number has declined, then where are these seniors living? Most likely still at home. If concerns over the safety of nursing homes exists (and/or continues), and seniors put off selling their homes, that could disrupt the “normal” cycle of home sales and apartment vacancies, decreasing the supply of housing at different price points.

 

Closing Thoughts

Data shows us that contracts are at very high historical rates and that new inventory is coming on very slowly.  Data shows us that the number and percent of million dollar homes going into contract is three times what it has been in recent years. Contracts for land have also spiked. It’s getting harder for everyone to be able to buy a house in Vermont. As with most troubles in this world, what is an annoying inconvenience to those at the top can be catastrophic to those at the bottom.

 

Buyers are focusing on internet access and cell coverage, which is a trend I firmly believe will continue long past the pandemic. Very few people in transactions seem to be concerned about what the near future will bring. Confidence and trust are very high, which is great for business. That also shows that people tacitly have faith that policy makers, business leaders, and community leaders can keep the economy, the housing market, communities and families and individuals strong and healthy.

 

That was a lot of information! Any questions? Want to discuss? Get in touch.

 

Call 802-225-6425 and speak with any of our awesome agents and brokers

Or email Info@GreenLight-RealEstate.com.

Make sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram and check out our listings on www.GreenLight-RealEstate.com

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    How Does a Buyer's Agent Get Paid?

    How Does a Buyer's Agent Get Paid?

     

    Photo by Jesus Kiteque

     

    There are two main ways that I get paid for the

    professional services and solutions that I provide.

     

    Buyer Broker Fees Paid By Seller: 

    First, when you buy a house, I get a commission. The commission is usually a percentage of the sale price, and I get that at the closing at the same time that you get your keys to your new home.If a property is listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service, then that seller has almost always agreed to pay my fee themselves. 

     

    With a house that’s a “for sale by owner” we always start by asking the seller to pay the buyer brokerage fee. Most of the time they do. If they don’t, then you may be asked to make up a difference. Most importantly, none of this will surprise you. We’ll know what terms we’re dealing with before we have you in contract on your new home.

     

    Introductions and Referrals:

    The second way that I get paid is through introductions to people you know who are looking to buy or sell real estate. The numbers change from year to year, but on average 65%-70% of my clients come to me by word of mouth and by personal or professional referral.

     

    Benefits to You:

    When you introduce me to those people, and recommend me, then that frees me to spend more time providing top tier professional solutions to my clients, and less time calling and emailing internet leads (it might surprise you to know there are so many people named “Mickey Mouse” in Central Vermont).

     

    The more time that I’m able to spend scouting properties, negotiating, and problem solving for my clients, the happier they are.  It also shows that you care, that you wanted them to have the best experience, and not just pick someone off the internet and have them show a house.

     

    So, I’ll ask from time to time who you know that I should talk with, who could use my help.

     

    Benefits to the Community:

    Green Light Real Estate will also make a contribution to a group, charity, or organization of your choice when you introduce your friends, family, and coworkers to us. We’ve made donations to school PTOs, child care centers, the food shelf, the American Cancer Society, domestic violence relief groups, little league baseball, and many more organizations.

     

    When you recommend me, I’ll send a reminder note asking which group you’d like Green Light Real Estate to support.

     

    Have more questions about the home buying process?

     

    Call 802-225-6425 and speak with any of our awesome agents and brokers

    Or email Info@GreenLight-RealEstate.com.

    You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram or check out our listings on www.GreenLight-RealEstate.com

      Comments

      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

      Green Light Core Value #2

      Core Values: #2

       

      At GLRE we have a set of core values that keep us focused on why we’re Realtors, how we treat our customers, and what the community means to us.

       

       

      When I first started as an agent, in 2009, I asked a colleague, friend, and veteran Realtor (Charlie Clark) what did he like best about being a Realtor. Without missing a beat, he said it was the friendships. At the time, I thought that was just a friendly thing to say over Manhattans.

       

      But it’s true. At Green Light Real Estate, we’re not only friends (family even?) with each other, but we’ve become friends with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, Rita who delivers the mail, Sam at Pho Thai Express, and more.

       

      It’s really common for our customers and our clients to become our friends too. During a transaction, we get to know a lot about people’s lives. Which makes sense when you think about it. For those couple months, buyers and sellers spend more time with and more time talking to their Realtor than just about anyone else in their lives.

       

      Here are some recent examples of sincerely caring about the people in our community:

      We recently had buyers who were interested in keeping an AirBnB gig going, but they couldn’t because they didn’t have a property manager. Well, I happen to know someone who does just that. So, we made the introduction. That helps the buyers, the sellers, and the manager. And it comes from sincerely caring.

       

      We have another transaction where the seller’s situation changed dramatically from when she got into contract. The best thing for her to do was to not sell the house. While some real estate brokerages might have tried to talk her out of that, we changed gears and, in our client’s best interest, worked at unraveling the sale so she wouldn’t have to sell.

       

      Our company holiday party this year was at Twin City Lanes. Why? Because with kids, bowling, laser tag, and the arcade is more fun than just dinner! We’re all a big family, and all ages of the Green Light family had a great time. 

       

      Just this week we even had a company virtual happy hour. I know everyone’s lives are busy and unpredictable. Even so, many of the Green Lighters took time out of their days to have a social hang with our colleagues.

       

      The list goes on and on. It’s great to keep “good news” in mind. At Green Light Real Estate, our core value of “sincerely caring” makes sure we’re doing the right things, and we hope, makes people’s lives just that much better. 

       

      Call Green Light Real Estate at 802-225-6425 and speak with any of our awesome agents and brokers

      Or email Info@GreenLight-RealEstate.com.

      You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram or check out our listings on www.GreenLight-RealEstate.com

       

        Comments

        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        FAQ: Are you on Zillow?

        FAQ: Are you on Zillow?

        One question that sellers ask us from time to time is “Are you on Zillow?”

         

        The short answer is yes.

         

        Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Homesnap, and countless other real estate sites get their information directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 

         

        Green Light Real Estate participates in the MLS. If you really want to go deep, the MLS that Vermont is in is the New England Real Estate Network, or NEREN. That means that all of our listings can be found on sites such as Zillow, as well as any other real estate site that buyers use.

         

        We know that many buyers like to use Zillow to look for homes. We post all of our listings and our past sales on Zillow, as well as all of our reviews from past clients, because this is the type of information that buyers like to see.

         

        And when your house is for sale, you want your real estate brokerage to do the things that buyers like!

         

        Last, we have just a couple of cautions about using real estate portals such as Zillow.

         

        First, they’re not always accurate. Sometimes they show a house is for sale when it really isn’t. If you’re ever unsure, just call, text, or email Green Light Real Estate and we can verify. 

         

        Second, their estimates of value are not always very accurate. The value of a house is not simply an algorithm. It’s not just a mathematical function of the square feet, zip code, number of bedrooms, and lot size. Condition, layout, micro-location, updates and much, much more factor into the value. 

         

        We recently listed a house for sale at 174% of the Zestimate, because that’s what the local market and recent comparable sales indicated.  

         

        It went under contract in two days. At full asking price.

         

        Yes, we do put our listings on Zillow.

        Yes, we do get inquiries from buyers through Zillow.

        And yes, we do everything we can to get our sellers’ houses sold. 

         

        For more information, call 802-225-6425 and speak with any of our awesome agents and brokers

        Or email Info@GreenLight-RealEstate.com.

        You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram or check out our listings on www.GreenLight-RealEstate.com

         

          Comments

          1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

          March Market Report

          So, How’s the Market?

          March 2020

          Photo by Kevin Wiegand

           

          We’ve just about made it through another winter, and into another mud season. Congratulations to us all--hearty, brave, unflinching Vermonters!

           

          By the Numbers--Snapshot

           

             Sales Past 12 Months   Median Sale Price   Median Days on Market 
           Barre City  92 $149,450 33
           Barre Town  93 $191,000 41
           Montpelier  72 $261,500 17
           U32  89 $269,000 46
           Nfld/Wmstwn  88 $177,550 40

           


          We’re still seeing a strong market in Central Vermont, that’s kind of old news.

          So, with this month’s real estate report, we’re going to look at how these numbers have changed over time.

           

          Five Year Numbers--Median Sale Price

          3/2015 to 3/2016

          3/2016 to 3/207

          3/2017 to 3/2018

          3/2018 to 3/2019

          3/2019 to 3/2020

          Total % Change Over 5 Years

          Barre City

          $129,950

          $145,000

          $135,700

          $141,250

          $149,450

          15.01%

          Barre Town

          $185,000

          $172,000

          $196,100

          $200,515

          $191,000

          3.24%

          Montpelier

          $216,000

          $210,000

          $245,000

          $245,000

          $261,500

          21.06%

          U32

          $211,000

          $247,500

          $226,375

          $269,125

          $269,000

          27.49%

          Nfld/Wmstn

          $159,500

          $172,370

          $164,950

          $199,000

          $177,550

          11.32%

           

          Since 2015, sale prices in Central Vermont have risen substantially. It is interesting that every single market had years of increases and years of decreases. On the whole, though, it’s clear that home prices are going up.

           

          Days on Market

          Home sales in Barre City have very steadily sped up, moving from a median days on market of 96 in 2015 to 33 days by March 2020. That’s an incredible change! Also, the bump up in days on market for U32 towns deserved a little more research. If we take out the two properties that took the longest to sell (770 days and 437 days--both with out of area real estate brokerages), the median days on market greatly improves.

           

          Aside from numbers…

          The teams from Green Light Real Estate and Stone and Browning Property Management got together at Cornerstone in Barre. It’s always good when we get to know the people we work with at different companies. And not only was it a great lunch, but Tasha Adams won a drawing for a $25 gift card for liking and commenting on Facebook!

           

          As we get further into spring, the Montpelier and Barre area real estate markets are really going to start heating up. If you or anyone you know is thinking that 2020 is the year to buy or sell a house, give us a call or an email. The experienced team at Green Light Real Estate can help you put a plan together to give you an edge over other buyers and sellers.

            Comments

            1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

            February Market Report

            So, How's the Market?

            February 2020

            Photo by Kevin Wiegand

             

            The spring market is actually starting to begin! Typically we see an increase in buyer and seller activity beginning in February as a runway to the busier spring and summer seasons. 

             

             

             # Sales Past 12 Months 

             Median Sale Price   Median Days on Market 

            Barre City

            90 $148,450 33
            Barre Town 91 $195,000 36
            Montpelier 75 $256,000 19
            U32 85 $270,000 46

             Northfield/Williamstown 

            84 $176,250

            39

             

            We can see that houses in Central Vermont continue to sell relatively quickly. But...I always take these numbers with a grain of salt. They show the results from the properties that have actually sold. The other side of the story is those properties that haven’t sold yet. They’ll become data points, they just haven’t yet.

             

            Here’s the grain of salt:

               Active Listings   Median List Price   Median Days on the Market 
            Barre City 27

            $139,000

            84
            Barre Town 23 $234,500 142
            Montpelier 10 $304,500 10
            U32 27 $339,000 160
             Northfield/Williamstown  24 $201,000 115

             

            The properties that are for sale right now have substantially longer days on market than those that have sold in the past 12 months. I don’t have any grand conclusions to draw from this. I do have a couple observations. Some of the active listings are “unique”, which sometimes causes them to take longer to sell. 

            Also, being honest, some of the listings that have been on the market the longest are listed with brokerages from outside of the area. For example, in Barre Town, three of the four listings that have been on the market the longest are with firms from outside Barre/Montpelier. Local knowledge and local expertise goes a long way.

             

            New Curveball for Transactions:

            Oil tanks need to be inspected at least every three years. We’re now advising our selling clients to go ahead and get those inspections done, so there are no problems with the sale, or with delivery after the sale. We’re also advising our buyer clients to make sure the tanks are inspected as part of the due diligence process. Your local oil provider will be able to do the inspection for you.

             

            And Speaking of Local…

            Green Light Real Estate is embarking on a local restaurant tour/review campaign. We started by getting the crew together at Ladder One Grill in Barre. Situated in an old fire house, the restaurant is an attractive mix of firefighting mementos and twinkling lights. It’s our way of getting out and supporting local businesses, as well as having a good time together as a team. 

            Of course, we also had a drawing for a gift card. Next up on our review is Cornerstone in Barre-- Follow us out on Facebook and Instagram to see how you can win next time!

             

            The Best Time Is Now!

            If this spring or summer is the time for you to buy or sell a house, do yourself a HUGE favor, and talk to a real estate professional soon. The listing experts and buyer specialists at Green Light Real Estate can help you make a plan and prepare for success. Nothing’s more frustrating than losing out on your dream home because you weren’t prepared. And nothing’s more aggravating than putting a house on the market without a clear, well-thought plan on how you’re going to sell it. Don’t be those people. Be prepared. Call, text, or email Green Light Real Estate.

             

            Have a great February folks, spring is around the corner! Right?

            In the meantime, call 802-224-6425 or email us to buy, sell or chat real estate!

             

            Is your curiosity about the local real estate market still not satisfied? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or check out our listings on www.GreenLight-RealEstate.com

              Comments

              1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

              February Art Walk: Bill Barnard

              February Art Walk: Bill Barnard

               

              Friday February 7 is Art Walk in Montpelier! Organized by Montpelier Alive, Art Walk is a fun, free way to see the work of talented local artists. It’s also a great way to see your friends and neighbors as you walk through town.

               

              There will be several venues throughout Montpelier showcasing different artists.

               

              Green Light Real Estate will be hosting Bill Barnard. Bill will showcase his wildlife wood carvings, which are stunningly life-like. Bill is a retired Norwich University professor. He lives in Northfield which is also where his studio is.

               

               

              Bill is also a member of the Brandon Artists Guild. To see samples of some of his work, here’s a link to his page with the Brandon Artists Guild.

               

               

              Art Walk is February 7, from 4:00-8:00. Stop by to see Dr. Barnard’s work, to talk with him about process, about inspiration, about technique, or just to talk. Light refreshments, including beer, wine, and soft drinks will be served at Green Light Real Estate.

               

              Other artists Green Light Real Estate has hosted in the past include:

              Joe Latulippe

              Ted Dawson

              Paul Contino

              Danny Hendershot

              Andrew Wible

              Colleen Flanagan

               

              See you there!

                Comments

                1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                2019 End of Year Report

                2019 End of Year Report

                 

                For this end of year report, the main focus is on changes over the past five years. And the trend is strong!

                Sale prices in Barre City increased by over 20%, U32 towns saw appreciation of almost 18%, and every market saw stronger sale prices. Our market as a whole saw price appreciation of 12.24% over five years. 

                 

                While this isn’t the blazing hot increases that many major metropolitan areas have seen, it’s solid, steady price appreciation.

                 

                  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

                % Change

                2015-2019

                Barre City

                 $115,051   $142,500   $131,500   $142,000   $146,250  21.33%
                Barre Town  $186,000   $168,000   $195,000   $199,000   $194,000  4.12%
                Montpelier  $225,000   $212,000   $237,000   $245,000   $256,000  12.11%
                U32  $215,000   $231,750   $221,125   $255,000   $261,500  17.78%
                 Nfld/Wlmstwn   $159,000   $169,000   $161,500   $199,000   $178,750  11.05%
                Total  $172,000   $175,000   $185,000   $197,500   $196,000  12.24%

                 


                Again, we have seen largely consistent increases in the number of home sales over the past five years. The five U32 towns (Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, and Worcester) saw the number of sales grow over 30%, while Northfield/Williamstown grew by just under 30%. These are strong sets of numbers for home sales!

                Barre Town did see a dip the number of sales over the past five years. Also interestingly about the Barre Town real estate market is that it is the only one that has seen somewhat erratic numbers of annual sales. At Green Light Real Estate, we’re not concerned about this at all, there were still 86 sales in Barre Town in 2019.

                 

                  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

                % Change

                2015-2019

                Barre City

                83 89 90 89 88 6.02%
                Barre Town 102 79 109 89 86 -15.69%
                Montpelier 78 87 94 73 73 -6.41%
                U32 71 76 84 83 94 32.39%
                Nfld/Wlmstwan 68 61 68 77 88 29.41%
                Total 402 392 445 411 429 6.72%

                 


                This one blew our minds. Our Central Vermont market, on the whole, has seen a decrease of 38% in the median days on the market. That means sales are speeding up from 63 days on market in 2015 to 39 days on the market in 2019. And look at Montpelier--median days on market was 10 days!?

                  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

                % Change

                2015-2019

                Barre City

                86 88 67 42 44 -48.84%
                Barre Town 59 49 75 29 41 -30.51%
                Montpelier 54 43 35 40 10 -34.29%
                U32 70 68 49 60 46 -34.29%
                Nfld/Wlmstwn 78 66 54 45 35 -55.13%
                Total 63 60 55 43 39 -38.10%

                 

                All of these point to a very strong, fast moving real estate market in Central Vermont!

                 

                 

                Green Light Real Estate Book Club

                 

                 

                We spend a LOT of time thinking and talking about real estate and about customer service. In 2019, we added something else. During the year, as a group, we read and discussed several books. It turned out to be a fantastic way to bring us closer together, to improve our practices, and allow us to better serve our clients.

                 

                They included:

                • The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Customer Service, by Lee Cockerell
                • Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
                • Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson
                • 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication, by Michael Maher

                 

                 

                Multi-Family Report

                2019 was an active year for residential multi-family properties. Here we’ll focus on Barre City and Montpelier, which are the two most active multi-family towns in Central Vermont. And, truth be told, the bulk of the activity is in Barre City.

                Here the number that jumps out is the number of sales. It increased steadily from 2015-2018 and then almost doubled from 18 to 35 sales in 2019. That’s a huge increase!

                 

                Total # of Sales

                2015

                12
                2016 15
                2017 18
                2018 18
                2019 35

                 


                Looking only at duplex sales, there’s a clear increase in per unit sale price over the past five years.

                 

                 

                 

                  Barre City Price Per Unit (Duplex)  Montpelier Price Per Unit (Duplex)
                2015 $34,000 $102,500
                2016 $66,225 $95,000
                2017 $67,750 $124,000
                2018 $41,750 $113,375
                2019 $52,500 $135,000

                 

                 


                Gratitude

                 

                And last, thank you to all of our clients, past clients, friends, and supporters. In 2019, Green Light Real Estate helped with 161 sales, and more than half of those came from past clients, people who know us personally, and referrals. It means a lot when people make the effort to recommend that their friends work with Green Light Real Estate!

                November Market Report

                So, How's the Market?

                November 2019

                 

                Photo by Mattie Dube

                 

                The numbers are in for the Central Vermont real estate market!

                 

                Active Listings

                Under Contract

                Avg Sale Price Past 12 Months

                # Sales Past 12 Months

                Avg Days on Market

                Barre City

                43

                10

                $146,769

                86

                77

                Barre Town

                31

                13

                $208,982

                84

                70

                Montpelier

                23

                10

                $282,451

                71

                70

                U32

                50

                11

                $267,742

                87

                99

                  Northfield/Williamstown  

                34

                22

                $193,320

                73

                67

                 

                October saw plenty of sales across all of our local markets. Interesting to note, the average days on market was very similar in all areas, with the one exception being that homes in the U32 towns have taken a little longer to sell than in other towns. Prices remain strong, though.

                 

                 

                  New Listings Oct 2019  

                  Sales / Month  

                  Months of Inventory  

                Barre City

                11

                7.2

                6.0

                Barre Town

                6

                7.0

                4.4

                Montpelier

                10

                5.9

                3.9

                U32

                9

                7.3

                6.9

                  Northfield/Williamstown  

                14

                6.1

                5.6

                 

                Those who study residential real estate markets will often refer to an “absorption rate” which is the number of months of inventory in each market. Generally speaking 1-4 months is considered a sellers market, 9-12 is a buyers market, and in the middle is a nice, tasty equilibrium. Which officially makes our local real estate market yummy.

                 

                Want to check out a full list of the recent home sales in the Central Vermont market? Keep reading! We have all the juicy details at the end of this blog post.

                 

                Screen Time

                Next time you’re in downtown Montpelier, take a look at the brand new Green Light Real Estate TV.  We’ve got info on new listings, recent sales, current events, even the weather. Plus, you can see all of our smiley faces, which is sure to warm your day!

                 

                Congratulations!

                Congratulations to Hannah Dawson for passing her broker’s exam and obtaining her broker’s license! That’s a commitment to studying and mastering material, and it shows once again how dedicated she is to providing top tier service to buyers and sellers.

                 

                Stop Paying PMI

                 

                Photo by Katie Harp

                Here’s a quick tip: If you bought a house even two or three years ago, and if you’re paying PMI (private mortgage insurance), you might not actually have to. Here’s why: property values have risen in the past couple of years. Between that appreciation, any improvements you might have done on the house, and the little bit of principal paydown, you might be getting close to having 20% equity.

                 

                Call or Email Green Light Real Estate, and we’ll help by completing a detailed, free market valuation. If you’re close, go for it! If not, try again next year. You might be able to save hundreds of dollars each year. Did I mention it’s free? Even if you didn’t work with GLRE when you bought your house. We’re that nice.

                 

                People Are Talking About Green Light Real Estate

                 

                 Ray Mikus

                "In a market like Montpelier with few properties on the market and few that are truly comparable, you need someone like Ray in your corner. Someone who knows the area inside out, who understands what buyers are looking for, and who can give you a sense of the relative desirability of locations and  home features. Someone who will help you in the home sale process every small and every big step of the way.

                But beyond those basics, with Ray you also get someone who can crunch the numbers, is savvy about negotiating deals, and who will go above and way beyond to make the process easier and more effective for you." (5 Star Review, Peter in Montpelier)

                 

                  Hannah Dawson

                "We are so glad that we followed up on a friend's recommendation to call Green Light Real Estate when we were ready to find our first home! Hannah's initial meeting with us made it clear that she is a great communicator, knowledgeable and client-centered in her role. Hannah listened to what we were  looking for and assessed the current market with us as we identified houses we wanted to tour. Hannah's professional opinion and experience were invaluable as we looked at homes. When we finally found THE house, Hannah led us through the offer process with ease. After working with Hannah for just a few months we went from actively looking to having closed on our first home! We are so grateful to have had Hannah's guidance and recommend her as an incredible buyer's agent." (5 Star Review, Montpelier)

                 

                 Lauren Gould

                "Lauren was quick to respond, very helpful when needed and a pleasure to work with.  Everything you look for when you’re making big decisions around home buying or selling." (Five Star Review, Barre)

                 

                 

                Stay warm, and we will catch you in December.

                In the meantime, call 802-224-6425 or email us to buy, sell or chat real estate!

                 

                 

                PS. Want to check out those recent sales?

                 

                All Recent Sales (September 2019)

                Town

                Address

                  Sale Price  

                Montpelier

                186 Sherwood Drive

                $215,000

                Montpelier

                301 River Street

                $250,000

                Montpelier

                12 Redstone Avenue

                $350,000

                Montpelier

                28 Sibley Avenue

                $371,500

                Montpelier

                209 Barre Street #C101

                $130,000

                Montpelier

                288 Cityside Drive

                $253,750

                Montpelier

                1428 Terrace Street

                $453,800

                Montpelier

                60 Main Street

                $900,000

                Montpelier

                123 North Street

                $366,000

                Montpelier

                10 Independence Green

                $175,000

                Montpelier

                110 Ledgewood Terrace

                $399,000

                Montpelier

                41 Pleasantview Street

                $175,000

                Montpelier

                231 Main Street

                $277,000

                Montpelier

                12 Charles Street

                $318,000

                Montpelier

                247 Grandview Terrace

                $350,000

                Barre City

                79 Camp Street

                $55,000

                Barre City

                26 Cliff Street

                $129,500

                Barre City

                125 Washington Street

                $72,000

                Barre City

                71 Brooklyn Street

                $105,000

                Barre City

                2 Orchard Street

                $18,000

                Barre City

                8 Cleary Street

                $89,000

                Barre City

                135 Berlin Street

                $118,000

                Barre City

                78 Brook Street

                $45,000

                Barre City

                43 Branch Street

                $134,000

                Barre City

                16 Myrtle Avenue

                $173,610

                Barre City

                47 Westwood Parkway

                $199,000

                Barre City

                111-113 Allen Street

                $777,200

                Barre City

                84 Smith and 39 Berlin

                $562,800

                Barre Town

                661 Graniteville Road

                $139,000

                Barre Town

                17 Chestnut Lane

                $273,500

                Barre Town

                14 Skylark Terrace

                $305,000

                Barre Town

                71 Miller Woods

                $345,000

                Barre Town

                380 East Montpelier Road

                $47,800

                Barre Town

                889 Drury Hill Road

                $157,000

                Barre Town

                92 Church Hill Road

                $38,760

                Barre Town

                15 Garden Street

                $181,000

                Barre Town

                35 Wildersburg Common

                $232,000

                Calais

                6979 County Road

                $90,000

                Calais

                1831 Lightening Ridge Road

                $376,000

                Calais

                335 George Road

                $250,000

                Calais

                5235 Route 14

                $149,000

                Calais

                91 Blackberry Ridge Road

                $180,000

                  East Montpelier  

                949 Cherry Tree Hill Road

                $427,500

                East Montpelier

                  1320 Horn of the Moon Road  

                $448,000

                East Montpelier

                155 Quaker Road

                $160,000

                Middlesex

                506 East Bear Swamp Road

                $355,700

                Middlesex

                491 Center Road

                $271,000

                Middlesex

                239 Macey Road

                $190,000

                Middlesex

                266 Notch Road

                $325,000

                Worcester

                9 Worcester Village Road

                $150,000

                Northfield

                400 Windy Meadow Road

                $385,000

                Northfield

                571 Route 12N

                $225,000

                Northfield

                39 Winter Street

                $205,000

                Northfield

                9 East Street

                $251,000

                Northfield

                1477 Turkey Hill Road

                $390,000

                Northfield

                1049 Little Northfield Road

                $175,000

                Northfield

                768 Route 12N

                $85,000

                Northfield

                64 Bellmore Road

                $410,000

                Northfield

                22 Cardinal Lane

                $259,000

                Williamstown

                1046 Hebert Road

                $165,000

                Williamstown

                767 Route 14

                $146,500

                Williamstown

                144 Soucy Lane

                $249,900

                Williamstown

                504 Rood Pond Road

                $92,500

                Williamstown

                1489 Baptist Street

                $263,500

                Williamstown

                677 Route 14

                $225,000

                November Market Report for Montpelier

                Montpelier Real Estate Market Report

                 

                 

                Check out the recent sales In Montpelier real estate:

                Address Sale Price
                186 Sherwood Drive $215,000
                301 River Street $250,000
                12 Redstone Avenue $350,000
                28 Sibley Avenue $371,500
                209 Barre Street #C101 $130,000
                288 Cityside Drive $253,750
                1428 Terrace Street $453,800
                60 Main Street $900,000
                123 North Street $366,000
                10 Independence Green $175,000
                110 Ledgewood Terrace $399,000
                41 Pleasantview Street $175,000
                231 Main Street $277,000
                12 Charles Street $318,000
                247 Grandview Terrace $350,000


                Do you have a home to sell in Montpelier? Looking to become a Montpelier resident?

                Give us a call at 802-224-6425 or email us to get started on buying or selling with trusted Central Vermont experts!