Vermont Business Journal reported today that Realty Trac's list of state-by-state foreclosures shows Vermont with the least. They attribute it to the thrifty New England ethic. It might have more to do with our tough winters, somewhat restrictive Act 250 requirements for developers and the fact that no one has figured out how to perc granite. Those factors have tended to keep our inventory under control. Though I think right now the turmoil of the marketplace is keeping a lot of people on the sidelines.
The old "best of times...worst of times" seems to be applying here in Chittenden County, Vermont in early 2009. We've had great snow and Forbes Traveler labeling Burlington among the prettiest cities in America alongside Aspen, Lake Placid, Hanover and Rockport, Maine. But on the real estate side the picture has taken a significant turn for the worse. The numbers say it all.
The number of single family homes sold through MLS in Chittenden County dropped in January to 21 versus 39 the previous year and 55 the year before that.
The average sales price dropped from $336,658 in January of '08 to $267,643 this January, more than a 20% drop.
And the time on market for the average sale went from 72 days to 124 days, a 72% increase.
But there is good news. The number of homes on the market has actually gone down, year-to-year. At the end of January this year we had 513 homes on the market versus 527 a year ago. It's not a big change but it does indicate that inventory is not continuing to build.
All in all, it still says that now is a great time to buy, with good prices and great interest rates.