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2013 Mid-Year Smith Macdonald Report | Stowe Real Estate Market Analysis

2013 Mid-Year Smith Macdonald Report

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Smith Macdonald Report

Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our examination of the 1st six months of the Stowe, Lamoille County and Waterbury's residential and land real estate market.  This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in the first six months of 2013 and compares them to closings that took place during the first six months of 2012.  Closings usually occur four-to-eight weeks after a contract is signed for that reason, the sales activity charted here reflects transactions that closed during and through the end of the 1st  & 2nd Quarters, and does not include contracts signed that have not closed.

As the economic recovery continues to take hold and markets around the country rebound; the Stowe market is starting to follow suit.  As many of us know the Stowe and Vermont markets tend to lag behind many of these national markets.  The market saw gains in units sold of 39% compared to the same time period in 2012.  39 total residential homes sold in the 1st six months of 2013, exceeding market high sales volume from 2007.  While the majority of the sales remain below $500K, 61%, down from 68% a year ago, the $500K to $1 million price point almost doubled from six to 11 sales, increasing its market share to 28% from 21% a year ago.  We also saw the median and average prices only slightly decline by 2% and 4% respectively. There was a slight uptick in inventory, due to seasonality and a strengthening market, of 9% from a year ago.  The more positive market indicator is the overall months of supply have decreased from 23 months to 18, equaling a 22% decline.

Lamoille County continued to improve in 2013 compared to 2012 with a 34% increase in residential sales volume.  It did however see a slight decrease in median and average prices, dropping 3% and 5% respectively.  Inventory in Lamoille County continues to be a concern with over 298 units available, with 221 units being priced from $300K and below.  Waterbury residential sales volume had a strong turn-around, with an increase of 67% in units sold compared to this time a year ago.  This did result in declines in median prices of 20%, but increases in average prices, 7% compared to the first six months of 2012.  Sales between $200K and $300K helped anchor the market in Waterbury, with 7 of the 35 total sales happening in this price point, thus causing the median prices to decrease.

The recent movement in interest rates will require further monitoring before its full affect is known.   The Smith Macdonald Group and Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate have started to take a different approach to positioning homes in this ever strengthening market by looking at absorption rates and odds of selling, a key factor to helping you buy or sell.  Contact us to understand how this affects your property.

One factor will always remain; we are your trusted real estate advisors and are ready to provide you with unmatched expertise and advice. We hope you find the Smith Macdonald Report helpful and we welcome any questions you may have regarding it.

Click here to access the 2013 Mid-Year report and other Smith Macdonald Report's.

Sincerely,

Peggy Smith                                                          McKee Macdonald

President/Broker                                                 Broker

802.793.3566                                                       802.375.5009

 

Smith Macdonald Group of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate

25 Main Street, PO Box 300 Stowe, VT 05672

FHA Announces Plans to Sell Discounted, Delinquent Loans to Investors | DSNews.com

While Vermont and Stowe remain mostly isolated from massive amounts of foreclosures, they still do exist and what happens elsewhere can have an impact on our local market.  The FHA has announced plans to sell discounted and delinquent loans to investors starting in September.  The program will open up homes in certain markets and neighborhoods, but not be a wholesale of those areas.  This is another opportunity for home owners to stay in their homes.

To read more, click below.

FHA Announces Plans to Sell Discounted, Delinquent Loans to Investors.

Banks to Face Tough Reviews, Details of Mortgage Deal Show - NYTimes.com

As we continue to wade out of the economic downturn and clear many of the bank owned properties from the market the government has made a deal with many lenders in regards to several unethical practices that were seen leading up to the housing collapse.  Fortunately for many Vermonters this does not come into play because of the local lending that has always taken place and the general attitude Vermonters carry of ownership of responsibility.

To read more about how this deal will impact banks please click below.

Banks to Face Tough Reviews, Details of Mortgage Deal Show - NYTimes.com.

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Keeping Your Home Exterior In Shape | REALTORS® Identify Exterior Replacement Projects

An Example of a Home in Poor Condition

We are often asked what are good projects and items to do to increase or keep the value of your home.  In the following article you will see what exterior projects are the most important in terms of an investment by homeowners.  Curb appeal is key, not only from the actual street, but from the web as well.  If your home does not present itself well in either the likelihood it will be shown and sold is greatly reduced.

In Vermont with the weather we get it is important to take care of exterior features to maintain value.  Roof's and siding can easily fall into disrepair if they are not cared for.  These are two areas we see sellers having to fix or address after a building inspection.  Keeping those items up to date and in good shape will help sellers realize great returns on their homes.

To reach more about exterior replacement project, click below.

REALTORS® Identify Exterior Replacement Projects as Best Investment for Homeowners.

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        3rd Quarter Smith Macdonald Report Released -- Analysis of the Stowe Area Real Estate Market

        Stowe, VT Real Estate Market Data

        It is our pleasure to inform you that Smith Macdonald Group of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate has released its 2011 3rd Quarter Report, our survey of residential real estate sales in Stowe, Lamoille County and Waterbury. This report compares data based on deals that closed by the end of Q3 2011 (January 1 through September 30) with those closed in the prior quarter and in the 1st three quarters of 2010.

        The momentum generated by the Stowe area real estate market last year and in the first two quarters has continued.  Market-wide, sales transactions increased 23% versus a year ago.  This represents a 121% increase in sales volume in Q3 from Q3 in 2009, which represented the bottom of the market. 

        The Smith Macdonald Group ranks number one in all Lamoille County residential sales transactions during the first three quarters of 2011 and top ten statewide year to date.  Additionally, Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate represented 31% of all sales in markets reviewed in this report more than any one office location. 

        As always, we continue to follow closely this area's sales activity and trends in residential and land real estate, and would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the report or the market generally.

        Looking forward to speaking with you soon and we hope you had a nice summer.

        Click here to request a copy of the report.

        Recognizing REO, Foreclosure and Short Sale Opportunities

        It is difficult to understand all of the terminology that is thrown out today. Many people do not want to admit that they have no understanding of these terms or they do not understand the difference between them.  Here are some short explanations that might help: 

        • Bank-owned properties are called REOs, meaning real estate owned by the lender.
        • Foreclosure - A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make principal and/or interest payments on the mortgage, causing the lender to seize and sell the property as stipulated in the terms of the mortgage contract.  The process of foreclosure can be rapid or lengthy and varies from state to state.
        • In a Short Sale the bank writes down the debt and the buyer buys the property assuming the debt.  The bank and the Seller avoid Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Expenses.  The Buyer gets financing on terms frequently better than conventional financing.  But the seller is likely to get hit by Recapture tax, and the Lender is going to have to take a loss.

        Bank owned properties take the least amount of time to close on a property. They can be listed with a real estate agent and purchasing them works just like a regular sale. The advantage to bank owned properties is the bank has no attachment to the property and they want to get it off the books as quickly as possible. Usually this results in a good deal for the buyer.

         Foreclosures can be a bit problematic. Sometimes the bank or mortgage holder will auction off the property. It will be necessary to have your financing secured and a ten per cent deposit at the time of the auction. One thing to be aware of on foreclosed properties is the condition of the property you are purchasing. Many times the foreclosure process takes so much time and the homeowner might be angry that his property is being taken away. The house might not be in good condition. There may have been burst pipes, damage to the plumbing, wiring or the like. A thorough inspection by a qualified contractor should be done before the auction or a condition of the sale at auction

        With short sales, be prepared for a possible wait when making an offer on a pre-foreclosure/short sale home; very few can close in 30 days or less and in my experience they take over nine months to close. If the owner has not completed a bankruptcy procedure, the bank has the right to go after the difference between what the property is selling at and what the owner owes. It is very hard to do a short sale without the cooperation of the owner.  It does have advantages for everyone but a great deal of patience is required.

        The reward can be an excellent property purchased at a great price, but the frustration level may be greater than the reward. Each side should have a real estate agent experienced in short sales, along with lawyers, and other professionals. Each of the steps along the way can be made easier by seeking out the experts in their fields.

        2011 Mid Year Smith Macdonald Report Featured in Westmount Examiner

        The 2011 Mid-Year Smith Macdonald Report was featured in the out of town real estate section of Montreal's Westmount Examiner on July 14, 2011.  The Montreal market remains an important section of the Stowe real estate market and being featured in this paper is just another level of service that the Smith Macdonald Group of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate bring to their customers and clients.

        Click here to request a copy of the report.

        Click here to view the Westmount Examiner.

        Vermont Comes in #1 In the USA!

        Vermont Life Magazine

        {First We'd Like to Say}

        California has more sand. Texas has bigger hair. New York has more Knickerbockers. But when it comes to certain other things, Vermont is No. 1 in our book.

        Researched and written by Kathryn Flagg Illustrated by Willa Koerner

        Arts & Letters

        ? Vermont has more writers and authors per capita than any other state.

        ? Vermont also has the most libraries per capita in the country, even though it is one of only eight states that do not supply funding directly to the libraries.

        Colleges

        ? More colleges per capita than any other state.

        Sacrifice

        ? More Vermonters died in the Iraq War per capita than any other state.

        ? During the Civil War, Vermont contributed more per capita from its treasury and from its population of young men to the conflict than any other state in the Union.

        Service

        ? Most Peace Corps volunteers per capita.

        Farmers Markets & Local Foods

        ? We're leading the United States in the number of farmers markets per capita.

        ? Vermont also has the most CSAs, the most certified organic farmers, the greatest amount of certified organic farmland and the greatest number of local dollars spent buying local foods. That's per capita for the country.

        Cow Power

        ? Vermont has the highest number of farm digesters, which turn cow manure into energy, per capita.

        Breweries

        ? Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state in the country -- one brewery for about every 30,000 people.

        Artisan Cheese

        ? Greatest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita.

        Dairies

        ? Vermonters lead the nation in per capita production of dairy products.

        Oatmeal

        ? According to Wikipedia, Vermont leads the United States in per capita consumption of cooked oatmeal cereal.

        Tennis, Anyone?

        ? Vermont has the most tennis courts per capita of any state in the country.

        Health

        ? In 2009, the United Health Foundation ranked Vermont the "healthiest state in the country." Vermont ranked first this year for a combination of reasons, including low rate of obesity, high number of doctors and low rate of child poverty. Wildlife Watchers

        ? According to a 2002 study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that compared the states, Vermont had the highest percentage -- 60 percent -- of residents engaged in some form of wildlife watching.

        Preservation

        ? No. 1 per capita in the use of federal historic tax credits for rehabilitating old buildings.

        Patents

        ? No. 1 per capita.

        Green

        ? Vermont ranked No. 1 in the inaugural survey by Forbes magazine of "America's Greenest States."

        Public Safety

        ? Vermont has the fewest state and local sworn police per capita, with 15.5 per 10,000 residents. However, the state is ranked the third safest in the country based on the number of violent crimes per capita.

        Moonlighting

        ? Highest percentage of population who work more than one job (9.4 percent) among all New England states, and well above the national average of 5.2 percent.

        Maple

        ? Vermont has the highest percentage of sugar maple trees of any state in the nation and is the largest producer of maple syrup in the country.

        Home Value

        ? The foreclosure crisis continues to batter much of the United States. But in the third quarter of 2010, Vermont's largest city, Burlington, led all metro areas nationwide in percentage increase in the median price for the sale of existing homes -- 17.6 percent.

        Rural Rides

        ? Highest percentage of unpaved roads in the nation.

        WE JUST MISSED

        Close only counts in horseshoes and the Olympics, but here are some categories where Vermont finished near the top.

        2nd

        ? High school graduation rate.

        ? Hunters per capita, behind Alaska.

        ? Golf courses per capita, behind Florida.

        3rd

        ? Skier and snowboarder visits, behind Colorado and California.

        ? Per capita exports to the rest of the nation, behind Washington and Texas.

        ? The well-being of children, based on 10 health indicators such as infant mortality and teen birth rate.

        4th

        ? "Best-run" state, according to business website www.247wallst.com, blending a range of factors, including percentage of people with health insurance, state debt levels and violent crime rates.

        5th

        ? Vermont was No. 5 globally (and No. 1 in the United States) in "destination stewardship," a National Geographic study that weighed such factors as environmental quality, social and cultural integrity, historic preservation, aesthetic appeal, quality of tourism management and outlook for the future.