Posted by: Clayton-Paul Cormier, Jr. | January 10, 2013

2012 Vermont Real Estate Year in Review

2505 Fuller Hill Collage

South Hill Farm Warren

2013 is off to an auspicious start. Maple Sweet Real Estate  has just listed the spectacular  South Hill Farm on Fuller Hill Road in Warren, including 140 acres, Blueberry Lake X-Country groomed ski trails, a massive barn for equestrians, triple bay carriage house and numerous outbuildings for $3,100,000.

2012 was a record setting, banner year. In spite of dire Mayan Calendar predictions, this was far and away the best year  for our agency. With a good dollup of Irish luck and long work weeks, I was fortunate enough to come in as the top selling Mad River Valley realtor, with outstanding support from an increasingly strong Maple Sweet Real Estate team including Mary Davidson, Kristy Westvang & Jennfer Stella.

$5.5 million in closed property including 30 transaction sides on single family homes, condos, land and commercial property. Congratulations to the scores of our clients and customers with 2012 property closings, and a heartfelt thank you to our current clients and customers for your patience and perseverance in a still very challenging market. We are honored by your loyalty, thank you for an exceptionally productive & successful 2012, and grateful to serve you in 2013.’

fiscal cliff

Cliff Hanger

The burgeoning recovery has taken wing following the historic recession which began  in 2005, kicking into high gear in Vermont in the fall of 2008. Long buffeted from extreme national woes here in the Green Mountains, 2012 was a year of major successes and hope that 2013 will continue to yield excellent dividends and special pleasure for Vermont property investors.

National numbers were strong, with home prices climbing throughout the year out of a double dip following 2009-2010 appreciation. National home values posted, according to Zillow, their 13thconsecutive month of home value appreciation in November, and were up more than 5 percent year-over-year across the nation in December according to Trulia, with 82 of 100 metropolitan markets tracked showing gains vs just 12 of 100 in 2011.

The S&P/Case-Schiller Home Price Indices witness a sustained recovery in 2012 with a 4.3% increase in home prices, bringing national markets back to nearly the levels of the sustained 2010 market improvement, substantially better than in 2011.

S & P Case Schiller Home Price Indices

Central and northern Vermont, in contrast to Maple Sweet Real Estate’s experience in 2012, have by and large lagged the national comeback in single family home sales in four counties:  Chittenden county home prices enjoyed a modest gain, Washington county lost minor ground and Addison & Lamoille counties lost over 10% on average.

Addison County, 231, up from 227 in 2011, high $855,000 in Panton  Average $250,884,  -11.5%

Chittenden County, 1,035, up from 876 , high $3,180,000 in Charlotte  Average $318,526,  +1.5%

Lamoille County, 192, up from 177. high $1,985,000 in Stowe   Average  $325,850  -10.95%

Washington County, 366, up from 325, high $1,600,000 in Waterbury   Average $220,683  -2.53%

Condo Sales up in Sugarbush, down dramatically in Stowe:

Sugarbush, 44, up from 33, high $635,000 at Clay Brook, Average $198,522,  +3%

Stowe, 37, up from 28, high $599,000 on the Mountain Rd, Average $291,315  -27%

Land sales average prices, in contrast, improved significantly in all four counties, especially in Washington County, stats skewed by an unusually high sale in Warren, 77 acres on Senor Road closing at $1,064,000 after 2,218 days on the market.

Addison County,  high $455,000 in Bridport, Average $102,699  +4.98%

Chittenden County,  high $2,600,00 in Shelburne,  Average $209,314  +33.58%

Lamoille County,  high $995,000 in Stowe,  Average $187,700  +21.27%

Washington County, high $1,064,000 in Warren, Average $120.555  +158%

In celebration, check out this general year in review Youtube collage:


49 states and five large banks agreed to a $25 billion dollar robo-signing settlement and today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announces new mortgage rules designed to protect borrowers from high risk loans and incent lenders to expand mortgage credit.

Tightened credit since the sub-prime fiasco five years ago, which caused both the financial and housing sectors to crash five years ago, has been bad news for many prospective borrowers with marginal credit profiles who even after having received lender pre-approval letters were denied a mortgage by underwriters following more stringent loan application reviews leading to cancelled contracts and lost prospective purchaser inspection fees and other contract related expenses.

Mortgage Interest Deduction

Mortgage Interest Deduction

Driving up German Flats Road this week, I picked up a hitchhiking Boston attorney skiing off the back country Slide Brook trails concerned the mortgage interest deduction (MID) may be capped or removed as part of the fiscal cliff related budget negotiations, and how that might affect Vermont real estate including his own second home here in the Mad River Valley.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) believes a removal of the MID could reduce property values by 15 percent. If affected, it’s likely the high earners, like many second Vermont homeowners, that would see their deductions capped or second home MID eliminated completely.

For more detail, here’s the NAR Mortgage Interest Deduction Field Guide.

We braced ourselves for  hurricane Sandy, fresh with nightmares of Irene, and were largely spared.

We braced ourselves for hurricane Sandy, fresh with nightmares of Irene, and were largely spared.

From a 2012 story by Reps Joan Lenes & Kate Webb from the Shelburne Newsletter:

“The Legislature fixed two problems that had been interfering with the ability to buy and sell some real estate.  First, it will now be possible for a Vermonter to hold a mortgage on a sale of property without needing a lender’s license so long as they do so infrequently.  This will help people who want to sell their property or business and be paid back over time.  Real estate loans to relatives are also now possible without getting a lender’s license.

Bankers and homebuyers were having problems trying to close loans on properties on private roads. Currently, Fannie Mae loans require a written road maintenance agreement or a state statue setting how maintenance disagreements will be treated. Closings subject to this guideline have been held up or canceled.  Act 123 puts into statute current common law that says if no written agreement exists, maintenance will be handled “rateably,” – should a disagreement arise, courts will take into all relevant factors, thus satisfying Fannie Mae.”

Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, for the first time in 54 year history, joined forces offering joint ski passes.

Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, for the first time in 54 year history, joined forces offering joint ski passes.
Sugarbush’s Win Smith & Mad River Glen’s Eric Friedman at the October announcement.

The Vermont Property Owners Report published a Special Report on Vermont Real Estate Taxes in March which is most helpful, viewable here, including coverage of taxes on the buyer, seller and holding real estate, (Acts 60 & 68).

To arrange for a showing of the South Hill Farm, any Maple Sweet Real Estate listingsother Vermont listings,  or to set up a complimentary comparative analysis of your own property,  contact us with any other questions or interests at 800.525.7965, 802.496.9800, or

Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.
If your property is already listed for sale with another real estate agency, this is not intended as a solicitation of that agency’s listing.
Vermont Required Consumer Information Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call us toll free at 800.525.7965 for further details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: