Real estate sales break records

Demand drives up prices, especially in Killington

By Polly Mikula

“Over $ 70 million since the start of the year is more than the past three years combined,” wrote Heidi Bomengen, owner of Prestige Real Estate, which sells real estate exclusively in Killington, in the newsletter. the company’s quarterly published in October.

Last year real estate sales in Killington surpassed $ 46 million – a record – but this year sales are expected to more than double.

“Real estate records have been broken by all measures: market income, sales volume, average sale price, days on the market and inventory,” Bomengen wrote.

Tricia Carter of Ski Country Real Estate concurred with this opinion, saying it was definitely the hottest market the market has ever been – “Ever!” both for the sales volume and for the prices collected.

In Killington, 184 properties have been sold to date, according to Bomengen. Sixty of them were homes, which sold for an average price of $ 675,000.

“That’s more homes sold than the past two years combined with an average selling price increase of over 50%,” Bomengen wrote in the newsletter.

In 2021 alone, there was a 35% increase in the average selling price of a home from January to October 2021 ($ 500,000 to $ 675,000), according to data from Prestige Real Estate. For a condo, the average price is over $ 260,000, which represents a 16% increase ($ 225,000 to $ 260,000) over the first three quarters of the year. And this is in addition to a 14% increase in average condo prices in 2020 compared to 2019. (Home values ​​in 2020 remained close to 2019 values.)

On average, homes in Killington sell in less than 50 days and condos in less than 30 days, with the median number of days much lower, Bomengen noted. “The median number of days on the market is only nine days! She wrote in a letter to the people of Killington on October 1.

Bomengen called it “absolutely amazing” and “mind-boggling”.

Nathan R. Mastroeni, MBA, regional manager of Sotheby’s offices in Rutland, Stowe, Middlebury and Burlington, with fifty realtors added: “It’s a sellers market with a lot more buyers than you. have stock available for them. That’s the real definition of textbooks, the power is in the seller, ”he said.

Prior to last year, most Vermont markets “had seen a slow and steady increase until what was already a really strong market in 2019,” Mastroeni explained. “Then the pandemic caused the market to overheat. And it’s been like this for a year and even though the prices have increased, the demand is still very high.

2020 “was basically the best year ever” for real estate sales, Mastroeni said, and 2021 even surpassed those records – by far.

Courtesy of Prestige Real Estate
The graph shows the total sales of all properties in Killington for the first three quarters of each year, from 2012 to 2021.

Why the demand?

“There is a strong pull in Killington,” Carter explained. “City dwellers want to be more adventurous with the times and want to be in a place they can recreate all year round. Killington is so conveniently located for that… and we have plenty of dining and entertainment options here. Everything is so close.

Carter noted that buyers come almost exclusively from out of state, saying that a quick glance at the list of property transfers each month consistently shows this trend. She noted, however, that many of those buyers have stayed and become full-time residents, adding students to the local school populations. “Which is a boom for everyone,” she said.

The 2020 U.S. Census confirmed this, with Killington’s population growing 73.5% over the past decade – the state’s largest rate increase. In real terms, 596 full-time residents have joined the city’s 2010 population of 811 for a 2020 population of 1,407 residents.

“Resort markets have certainly been the hottest places in the state,” Mastroeni said. “Bostonians who never thought they could live in Killington have now decided to give it a try. They can now work from home and go skiing three days a week – or for their lunch break. It was a driving force for a lot of people who were like, ‘Hey, if I’m going to move, I want to move there,’ ”he said.

Stowe has been similar to Killington in its resort appeal, Mastroeni noted, with the Middlebury and Burlington markets being much more focused on residential properties and not as “hot” as second home sales.

Lifestyle in general, and outdoor activities in particular, are the main reasons Mastroeni says people look for accommodation in Vermont.

“Leisure is the main driver,” he said. “The fun winter lifestyle here, especially the skiing … but that’s it, including the slower, relaxed pace,” he said, adding: “I know, I just came from outside of Philadelphia, so I can tell you firsthand! “

Carter also noted that low interest rates played a role: “In the 1980s, when many new condos were built, interest was tempered by high interest rates,” Carter explained. “It really put the brakes on the steamrollers, so to speak,” she said, explaining that interest rates were at least 16%, if not more, at the time.

However, today’s low rates do not fully explain the warm market. “I’ve never seen so many cash buyers,” Carter added.

A study by Axios may help explain. He revealed that Vermont was among the top states where high-income Americans have settled during the pandemic. The study analyzed the change among Americans earning more than $ 100,000 per household and found that Vermont had the highest percentage of high-income inflows moving in and the fewest high-income people leaving.

“The results of this study are completely in line with what we saw with real estate purchases in Killington during the pandemic,” Bomengen wrote in a blog post. “The pandemic has forced employers to find ways to accommodate remote workers from everywhere. Now able to work from anywhere, people moved to Killington from cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, as well as from densely populated areas like Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. We have found that many choose Vermont because of the open space, lack of crowds at shops and restaurants, good school systems, affordable real estate, and the driving proximity to the towns they have left behind. .

In early March 2021, a contemporary five-bedroom, five-bath, three-level home located alongside a trail on nearly an acre of land set a new single-family home selling price record in Killington at 2 , $ 65 million.

The previous record was $ 2.4 million, noted Kyle Kershner, broker / owner of Killington Pico Realty, who listed the house. This house was larger and was on the market for 1,200 days, he noted.

Kershner said the $ 2.65 million home received five cash offers within two days of listing. The buyer’s agent made an unanticipated full-price cash offer on behalf of a client in Pennsylvania, who had not seen the property in person or owned a home in Vermont before.

The amount of interest in this property was indicative of the growing demand for luxury properties, Kershner said.

Over the past 15 years, Killington has averaged over $ 1 million a year in sales. This year, in the first three quarters of 2021 alone, eight homes have sold over a million.

Short-term rental factor

Out-of-state buyers tend to be resort oriented.

“We hear ‘I love Killington’ or ‘I love Okemo’ a lot,” Mastroeni said. “Many will also determine their area of ​​interest by a maximum travel time from Boston,” he said.

“They specifically want to be close to a resort because of cost efficiency,” he added. “They know they can rent it on AirBnb or VRBO when they’re not using it to help cover costs. Even if it’s just a little bit, like paying taxes on it, it can make a big difference, ”he said.

Kershner agreed, noting that a substantial number of buyers use their properties and then rent them out for short-term rentals when they are unoccupied. He said the recent booming Killington market went hand in hand and was “driven by the short-term rental trend.”

He also saw more buyers (individuals and businesses) investing in more condos to be used for rental.

“A 2019 Vacasa study named the top 25 markets for buying a vacation rental and ranked Killington second in the country,” Kershner noted.

Killington is also in the ‘Top 5’ of theshorttermshop.com’s 2021 ranking and ranked fourth on Rented.com’s list of the best places to buy vacation rental property.

“There has never been a better time to buy than in 2021. Covid-19 has changed the tourism industry, shifting demand from large hotels to private homes…” according to theshorttermshop.com.

From Killington, he said: “It is a place of incredible natural beauty, comprising snow-capped mountains, vast lakes, meandering rivers and ancient forests. Killington is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, and millions of people flock here each year to enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors.

“It also makes it a hot spot for vacation rental opportunities. Killington has a number of superb cabins, cabins and large traditional houses to grab at a reasonable price…

“Killington is popular with skiers and snowboarders in the winter, but it’s also a top destination in the summer. This means that owners have a full year of rental opportunity, making Killington a lucrative opportunity, ”the analysis concluded.

Upcoming predictions

While almost all real estate agents say, “I wish I had a crystal ball,” when asked about future predictions of local real estate trends, the question is constantly on their minds.

“Anyone can guess how long this amazing seller’s market will continue! Kershner wrote on the Killington Pico Realty Facebook page on November 3.

“The market as a whole has low stocks and prices continue to rise, it will be interesting to see if this continues into the winter,” Mastroeni noted.

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