Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our 1st Quarter examination 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 three months of 2012 and compares them to closings that took place during the first three months of 2011. 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.
Winter 2012 was lacking snow and that did have an impact on the number of buyers searching for homes while here for vacation. Although the snow was off compared to 2011, there was a 7% increase in total units sold in 1st Quarter 2012 compared to Q1 2011. Inventory continued to dip to 100 residential listings for a 12% decline in Q1 2012 compared to a year ago. Although, there were three sales above $1 million during the 1st Quarter, that majority of sales happened below $500K, which resulted in a decline of 32% in the median selling price from $555K to $377K. Although sellers have been reducing their asking prices, buyers continue to test the market by placing lower offers. Smart sellers and buyers are able to find common ground, but usually after both have stated their initial positions.
Lamoille County residential sales turned a corner in Q1 2012, increasing 10% in sales volume compared to Q1 2011. Although there was an increase in units sold the median and average prices were down 5% and 1% respectively compared to 2011. Waterbury residential sales volume had a significant drop off in Q1 2012 down 60% compared to this time a year ago. It is important to note the Waterbury market is very small and the reduction was a result of 2 sales compared to 5 last year during Q1. This reduction resulted in declines in both, median and average prices, 12% and 25% respectively compared to Q1 2011.
One constant theme in the current market is the difficulty transactions have from start to finish, whether it is marketing, price, inspection or financing. We have found that without the right team working hand in hand with you it can be extremely difficult to sell or purchase a home. Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate continues to be the area expert representing 38% of sellers and buyers. Of that 38%, Smith Macdonald Group represented 49%; we are ready to provide you with unmatched expertise and advice.