According to the’ RE/MAX of New England 2014 Housing Forecast, single-family home transactions increased’ 14.6 percent in’ Vermont,’ the largest jump in sales in New England in 2013, while the median price increased 3.7 percent. Condominium transactions rose 15.2 percent with the average median price rising 2.6 percent. Multi-family home transactions were down -3.3 percent while pricing on these units climbed 19.2 percent to $207,768.
Vermont’s housing market demonstrated continued signs of recovery during 2013. Single-family homes and condominiums experienced encouraging year-over-year growth in the total number of units sold when compared to 2012. Average median price also showed stabilization, posting important year-over-year increases over 2012 figures.
According to NNEREN data, the total number of single-family transactions increased 14.6% year-over-year, the largest increase in this category in New England. Average median price increased 3.7% to $211,262.
Condominium transactions increased 15.2% year-over-year and the average median price also rose 2.6% to $182,718. Multi-family homes experienced a slight decline of -3.3% in total transactions year-over-year. The average median price of $207,768 represents a 19.2% increase over 2012. This is the largest multi-family category increase in New England.
Limited inventory in Vermont paved the way for price increases in the state with even higher inventory shortages anticipated for 2014.
‘Vermont is driven by an anti-development mentality,’ said Chad Jacobson, Sales Associate at RE/MAX North Professionals in Colchester. ‘We have limited housing availability particularly in Chittenden County which represents about 25% of the state’s population. It makes it challenging to keep up with demands on housing.’
Chittenden County, which borders Lake Champlain, posted single-family home transactions up 17% and 11% in condominium sales year-over-year. According to Jacobson, ‘The best news is that while we are seeing double-digit increases, the average and median prices are up in the low single digits. This is a critical statistic as it’s a signal to buyers that they can and should buy again.’
With the lowest unemployment rate in New England at 4.5% according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Vermont’s economy is anchored by jobs in both higher education and healthcare.
Jacobson says strong consumer confidence coupled with low interest rates allowed entry-level buyers to come into the market in 2013. However, he notes that the government shutdown in October did stall Vermont’s fall business. ‘We literally came to a standstill in the fall because the number of funding mechanisms literally shut down with the government. It wasn’t until the end of 2013 that we experienced a surge of activity as buyer confidence returned.’
Jacobson says there are several trends to watch in Vermont during 2014. Low interest rates will continue to entice buyers into the market as long as the trend of low increases in value continue. ‘My biggest concern is the interest rate risk. After a number of years of artificially low interest rates, those who make money lending money will want to make money again.’
Move-up buyers also continue to be largely absent from the market again in 2013 and the supply in higher price points is more significant than in other segments. ‘I’m hoping for a continued neutral, balanced market. We have low foreclosures in Vermont as we are more conservative than the rest of the nation.’
Concluded Jacobson, ‘People need to buy homes. We have had three good years of economic recovery and housing is, and will continue to be, the best investment anyone can make. I can guarantee that if you buy a home in 2014, your payment will never go up. However, I cannot guarantee that if you rent in 2014, that your landlord won’t raise the rent.’
Meanwhile, New England will continue to experience a significant shortage of inventory and consumers should expect to see higher interest rates as we head into the second half of the year.’
New England will continue to experience a significant shortage of inventory and consumers should expect to see higher interest rates as we head into the second half of the year.’
RE/MAX of New England cites low interest rates and rising consumer confidence in propelling the New England housing market into solid recovery throughout 2013. An ebbing supply of inventory coupled with low interest rates and pent-up demand fueled the market and drove-up pricing throughout the region.
According to the report, single-family, condominium and multi-family home transactions were strong throughout New England in2013. With the exception of Vermont, which experienced a -3.3% decline in multi-family home sales, each state experienced growth in all three categories of transactions. This is reflective of a larger trend throughout the northeast and nation, where single-family home sales in the region are up 9.9% on average according to MLS data.
In Connecticut, where the average median price of a single-family home was $216,105, sales increased 10.1% year-over-year. Condominium sales rose 15.1%, and multi-family homes rose 5.3% according to CTMLS data. In Fairfield County, the news was even more positive. Single-family home sales increased 18.4%; condominium sales rose 30.2% and multi-family homes were up 5.4% over 2012 numbers. The average median price of a single-family home in Fairfield County was $390,955 in 2013.
The average median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts increased 8.8% from $287,841 to $313,109 in 2013. Home transactions in all three categories all surged ahead. Single-family home sales increased 8.8% and condominium transactions increased 11.9% year-over-year, while multi-family home sales grew 4.2%.
At $215,655, the average median sales price of a single-family home in New Hampshire was up 6.9% over 2012 figures. Single-family home transactions increased 10.9% year-over-year, while condominium transactions grew 17.8%. Multi-family home transactions were up 2.9%.
Rhode Island experienced significant growth in 2013. Single-family home sales posted solid gains in 2013, up 10.7% year-over-year. Condominium sales increased 32.5%, and multi-family home sales grew 2.1%. Average median price for single-family homes increased 7.4% compared to 2012, reaching $206,870.
Single-family home transactions increased 14.6% in Vermont, the largest jump in sales in New England in 2013, while the median price increased 3.7%. Condominium transactions rose 15.2% with the average median price rising 2.6%. Multi-family home transactions were down -3.3% while pricing on these units climbed 19.2% to $207,768.
‘The significant improvement in median price we saw in most market segments across the region is the result of reduced inventory,’ said Dan Breault, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England. ‘While interest rates did rise upwards of one point over the summer of 2013, it did not dissuade buyers from moving forward. In fact, it appeared to have the opposite effect of creating competition and driving prices up in key markets.’
Strong home sales during 2013, especially in the second half of the year, bode well for the 2014 housing market. ‘The traditionally slower fall and winter months showed very strong activity in key markets across the region,’ continued Dan Breault. ‘This is an excellent bellwether of how we can expect the first quarter of 2014 to shape up.’
To read the entire RE/MAX of New England 2014 Housing Forecast, visit’ www.remax-newengland.com.