Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our examination of the 1st three months of the Stowe VT residential and land real estate market. This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in the first three months of 2014 and compares them to closings that took place during the first three months of 2013. 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 Quarter, and does not include contracts signed that have not closed.
Vermont is finally showing signs of spring beginning to emerge after a very cold and snowy winter. We've had an extremely busy winter with sales; and projections indicate continued growth. Vibrancy continues in the village of Stowe as well, with the new restaurant Plate, and what is reported to be a new store keeper at Lackey's.
The 1st quarter of 2014 can be characterized as one showing another marked increase in residential sales especially compared to the 1st quarter of 2013. The number of home sales was up 60%! That is the most significant increase we've seen since 2010, which at that time was around 27%. A continuation of consumer confidence, buyer demand, low interest rates, and decline in inventory, are among the contributing factors. Residential inventory continues to decrease - down 11% - which represents a 10 month supply which is 44% lower than the 1st quarter of last year. The median and average residential sales prices soared 71% and 41%, respectively.
Below you will see an interesting change in the selling price segments of the market. The shift has been trending more toward home sales in the $500,000 - $1,000,000, rather than under $500,000. The former price category has been increasing since the beginning of last year. At this time last year 73% of the home sales were under $500,000; and 20% were between $500,000 - $1,000,000. The $1,000,000 - $1,500,000 dropped a little to 4%, from 7% last year at this time; as well as the last quarter of 2013. In the same categories, the chart below shows the relationship of sales price to list price.
Condominium sales show continued strength as well - up 20% in the 1st quarter. The amount of inventory of this category decreased as well, down 32%, leaving a 17 months' supply. There was little change in the median and average sales prices.
As for the land category, despite the inventory dropping 16%, there was no increase in the number of sales. We believe we may have a bit more interest in land this spring and summer though, since land prices and residential inventory have both dropped.