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

Q1 2013

bidding war

Bidding War Revival

Vermont’s Q1 single family residential market improved markedly
 with 822 sales vs 744 in the previous year’s first quarter, an increase of just over ten percent, with an improved average sale price of $247,788 vs $224,096 in Q1 2012 and inching over the average sale price of the last quarter in 2012, $246,706.

Bidding Wars Are Back. Maple Sweet Real Estate clients enjoyed numerous bidding wars in the first quarter, another sign of significant market improvement.


South Village

South Village 34, a condo just three doors away from the ski on ski off trails at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak, closed at $290,000 after a three-way bidding war, $15,000 over asking. After a nearly five-year buyers’ market, the tide is changing for Vermont sellers and consumer confidence is on the rise.

This CNN story highlights the increase nationally in bidding wars with some California cities with 9 out of 10 properties enjoying competitive offers. Vermont tends to trail national trends but signs of recovery here int he Green Mountains are rife including tales of house stalking, with desperate buyers in select markets purchasing houses that weren’t for sale.

The Vermont Land Trust announced plans to purchase and eventually transfer to the Mount Mansfield State Forest 1,100 acres in Bolton from the Redstone Group’s Catamount Bolton LLC including some of Bolton Valley’s back country nordic ski trail network after a focused fundraising campaign.

Saving Bolton Valley Back Country

Saving Bolton Valley Backcountry


Lender Optimism & Cautious Mortgage Expansion

From Inman News: Lenders are more confident about the direction of home prices than at any time in the last three years, according to a quarterly survey conducted for decision-management firm FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association.

cash loansAmong the bank professionals who responded to the survey, which measured sentiment in the first quarter of this year, 71 percent said that home prices are rising at a “sustainable pace” from a risk perspective, FICO reported. The survey also found that only 16 percent of lenders expect delinquencies to increase over the next six months, with 45 percent predicting that they will remain flat and 39 percent predicting that they will decrease, according to FICO.

“The latest survey results, combined with data that indicates the real estate market is improving in many regions, paint a positive picture for a sector of the economy that has been slow to join the recovery,” said Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs in a statement. “Mortgage lenders have been understandably guarded over the past five years. The improvement in their sentiment should be welcome news, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see lenders cautiously expanding their mortgage and home equity lending businesses.”

One key element of Q1 growth has been interest rates remaining stable near their historically lows. One key factor that will affect the next three quarters of this year for Vermont real estate owners and sellers is where the interest rates are going..

From Bloomberg Real Estate: “The days of historically high levels of housing affordability are numbered,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said in the statement. When interest rates rise, property prices “will have to either remain stagnant while incomes catch up or, quite possibly, home values will have to fall in some markets. This will especially be the case in some markets that have seen strong home-value appreciation.

Rates may rise to about 4 percent by the end of this year, and 4.5 percent by late 2014, Keith Gumbinger, vice president of, a Riverdale, New Jersey-based mortgage-information website, said in a telephone interview.”

existing home sales 1

Q1 Increasing Home Sales & Mortgage Rates Forecast

NBC in March reported existing February home sales hit a three year high.

From CNBC, a less optimistic assessment of spring real estate conditions with one silver lining: “A better sign for March, after two weeks of declines, mortgage applications to purchase a home jumped 7 percent during the past week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. This as interest rates fell slightly, due to concerns over the banking crisis in Cyprus.

To set up a complimentary comparative analysis of your own property, arrange for showings of Maple Sweet Real Estate listingsother Vermont listings,  or to  contact us with any other questions. call 800.525.7965, 802.496.9800, email us at or visit

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.

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