BRATTLEBORO – Estate agents across the state have seen an increase in land purchases by out-of-state buyers after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.
But so far, most of these conversations have been just anecdotal stories between agents and agencies.
“We do not collect data on where buyers come from,” said John Hutton, sales manager for Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors and president of the South Vermont Realtors Association. “But the Vermont Tax Department is tracking.”
At the end of last week, agents received reliable data processed by Peter Tucker using a government database. Tucker is the director of advocacy and public affairs for the Vermont Realtors Association.
Tucker data shows that from 2017 to July 2019, out-of-state purchases averaged about 25 percent of all sales. At the end of 2019, the peak was 33 percent, and in October 2020, an astounding 60 percent of sales.
That’s 38 percent on average in 2020 compared to 2019.
“It’s pretty cool,” Hatton said.
This may sound like good news to real estate agents, Hatton said, and it may have been that way in previous years, but there is no inventory to sell this year.
“On this day in 2018 and 2019, we had 70 to 80 single-family homes for sale in Brattleboro,” Hatton said. “Last Monday night we had 15, and the week before it was 10.”
He said the asking price for this property ranges from hundreds of thousands to 600,000 dollars.
“It is difficult for real estate agents to make a living because there is so little to sell,” Hatton said, adding that this is true for the state and nationally.
According to data compiled by the Vermont Realtors Association, the average purchase price of a single-family home from May 2019 to May 2020 increased by more than 45 percent, from $ 271,236 to $ 393,521. However, by July of this year, the average price had dropped slightly to $ 380,586.
In Windham County, the average listing price in July 2020 was $ 485,670; In July 2021, the average was $ 651,317. The average listing price for 2020 was $ 296,141, and from the beginning of the year to 2021 it was $ 319,329.
At Brattleboro, the average listing price in 2020 was $ 231,657; in 2021 it was $ 249,519.
Sales are driving down prices for many aspiring homeowners, according to Chris Campani, executive director of the Windham Regional Commission, one of 11 regional planning commissions in Vermont that help municipalities cope with growth and service challenges for their residents.
“We’re in crisis mode,” Campani said of housing in Vermont. “Housing issues used to be other people’s problems. I think everyone understands that this is a universal problem. Companies that try to hire people or attract them cannot because they have nowhere to live. There is work here, and people want to move here, but they cannot, because they cannot find housing. “
Campani said many cities are considering revising their zoning regulations to provide more affordable housing and denser housing, but until the state rewrites Law 250, which was passed in 1970 to regulate land use in Vermont, cities could there isn’t much to do.
Higher sales prices mean some people might be tempted to sell their homes, but there is a catch-22 in the offer, he said.
“Now you can sell your home for a lot more money,” he said. “But where are you going to go?”
“This is a challenge,” Hatton said. “Where can you build in Brattleboro? We’ve run out of space. “
For more information on sales prices appropriate for your city, visit https://www.vermontrealtors.com/vermont-real-estate-market-reports-july-2021.
In terms of the increase in sales to out-of-state shoppers, most of it came from cities characterized as “resort towns” such as Stowe, where 176 sales were sold in 2020 for a total of $ 132 million. 120 sales in 2019 at $ 67 million, 144 in 2018 at $ 104 million, and 156 out of 2,917 at $ 85 million.
But the city with the most sales to out-of-state buyers was Dover, with 230 sales in 2020 totaling $ 73 million. For comparison: in 2019 144 at a price of $ 33 million, 159 in 2018 at $ 37 million and 126 in 2017 at a price of $ 38 million.
Ludlow came in second in 2020 with 219 sales at $ 98 million, 191 in 2019 at $ 75 million, 187 in 2018 at $ 65 million, and 142 in 2017 at $ 45 million.
In 2020, Wilmington had 137 sales worth $ 54 million. Over the previous three years (compared to 2019), sales were $ 82-21 million, $ 74- $ 19 million and $ 96-38 million.
Stratton made 104 sales in 2020, valued at $ 65 million. In the previous three years, sales were 79 at $ 31 million, 66 at $ 30 million, and 63 years at $ 31 million.
Winhall also had strong out-of-state sales: 110 in 2020 at $ 49 million. From 2019 to 2017, those sales were 64 at $ 25 million, 62 at $ 24 million, and 48 at $ 20 million.
In Manchester, sales in 2020 were 92 at $ 46 million, and then (again, taking into account 2019) 52 at $ 25 million, 50 at $ 23 million and 39 at $ 16 million.
In Killington and Hartford, sales also increased in 2020 to 158 at $ 54 million and 137 at $ 42 million, respectively.
Other cities also saw growth, including Wardsborough with 36 sales valued at $ 8 million; Brattleboro with 31 sales of $ 10 million (19 sales in 2019 for $ 5 million, 21 in 2018 for $ 4 million and 16 in 2017 for $ 2 million); Jamaica with 31 sales of $ 12 million (which is a 33 sales drop of $ 8 million since 2019); Newfane with 22 sales for $ 6 million and Whitingham with 21 sales for $ 5 million.
Bennington County in Arlington had 20 sales worth $ 7 million, up from 13 sales in 2019 at $ 3 million, eight in 2018 at $ 2 million and eight in 2017 at $ 2 million.
Bennington had 19 sales at $ 4 million, up from 14 in 2019 at $ 2 million, 10 in 2018 at $ 2 million, and 12 in 2017 at $ 2 million.
Other cities in Windham County also saw growth: Guildford, nine for $ 2 million; Reedsboro from $ 13 million to $ 3 million; Halifax from $ 11 to $ 3 million; Townshend with 17 at $ 4 million; Londonderry – 48 at a price of $ 15 million; and Grafton from $ 18 million to $ 7 million.
Many of the sales seem to be in line with the 2020 census results, which show the population in Vermont since the 2010 census has grown from 625,741 to 643,077 residents, an increase of 2.8 percent. Windham County – the sixth most populous of the state’s 14 counties – grew 3.1 percent from the state average, from 44,513 to 45,905.
But population growth doesn’t necessarily directly correspond to home sales, Hatton said, as many of these new residents may have owned a second home in Vermont and simply changed their primary residences.
Dover, home to the Mount Snow resort, has grown to nearly 2,000 with the addition of 674 residents, according to a breakdown prepared by Vermont Geographic Information Center…
In Marlborough, almost the same increase was recorded: 644 people moved to the city, bringing the total population to over 1,700; Wilmington saw an increase of 379 people, bringing its population to 2,250; Brattleboro increased by 138, bringing it to 12,184; Stratton increased 103.7 percent, with 224 new residents, bringing the total to 440; and Winhall’s population of 413 surpassed 1,182.
In the cities of Putney, Westminster, Rockingham and Springfield on the Connecticut River, the population declined: by 85 people, 162, 450 and 311 people, respectively.
Tucker’s data also shows where people are moving from to settle in Green Mountain, and they travel from all over the country, even to Alaska and even Hawaii.
Tucker also collects data on sales to buyers in other countries, but this data was not yet available.
As you might expect, the largest proportion of people moving to Vermont come from metropolitan areas in the northeast such as Boston and the surrounding counties, with 968 buyers (415 from Middlesex County, 171 from Norfolk County and 168 from Suffolk County). A total of 1,192 buyers came from Massachusetts.
Another 252 came from Fairfield County, Connecticut, with a total of 614 buyers from Nutmeg State.
There were 186 buyers from Manhattan, 368 in total from New York and its boroughs. An additional 127 people came from Westchester County, and another 223 from Long Island.
And while historically many New England residents have moved to Florida to escape the winters, in 2020, 244 out-of-state buyers from the Sunshine State came to Vermont.