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2013 Mad River Valley Real Estate Sales Recap

Posted on 1/20/2014 by David M. Dion

All of us at David M Dion Real Estate hope your year 2014 is off to a great start! This year the Mad River Valley was blessed with a white Christmas and we have already enjoyed a great start to the winter recreation season ... ok, perhaps we could have done without some of those wild temperature fluctuations over the past few weeks.

2013 was an exciting year at David D Dion Real Estate with robust sale activity (2012 definitely saw a turn in the market). DMDRE has a long history of participating in extraordinary real estate sales and 2013 was no exception. Following are a few highlights:

Congratulations to Bob Heffernan and Allen Zeiner on their purchase of The White Horse Inn on German Flats Road! The enterprising duo moved north from Connecticut to operate an Inn and we are all excited to see the results of their revitalization efforts. Rooms are filling fast! We hope this will be the first of many hospitality sales to take place in the coming months in the Mad River Valley.

Over the years DMDRE has participated in conservation efforts along many sections of the Mad River. And this past fall DMDRE brokered the sale of over 130 acres adjacent to "Warren Falls", a very special stretch of the Mad River. Warren Falls was a conservation project brokered in 1997 in cooperation with The Vermont Land Trust, The Conservation Fund and The Green Mountain National Forest. We are hopeful this most recent sale will result in the conservation of another section of the Mad River so stay tuned.

Speaking of conservation DMDRE was excited to see the final step in conserving the iconic Bragg Farm when title recently transferred to an entrepreneurial young farmer. DMDRE brokered the 2012 sale of the Bragg Farm to the Vermont Land Trust in a critical step toward conserving this well-known hilltop farm. DMDRE also brokered the sale of a gorgeous hilltop post & beam home just up the road in one of the two highest real estate sales in Washington County for 2013.

DMDRE was also honored to represent purchasers in the private acquisition of an extra-ordinary country estate and equestrian facility in the Mad River Valley. This hidden gem was a rare find and never made it to the open market.

These are just a few highlights of the many real estate sales completed and many wonderful new relationships forged in 2013. To all who helped DMDRE along the way, a huge thank you!

Following is a recap of the 2013 real estate market based on MLS reported real estate sales in the Mad River Valley towns of Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren, and based on information from the Northern New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 01/01/13-12/31/13 (Please call or write if you are interested in a recap of real estate in specific areas outside of the Mad River Valley):

In 2013 there were a total of 156 MLS reported real estate sales (up from 125 sales in 2012).

72 residential sales ranging from $28,500 to $4,500,000 (up from 44 sales last year).

  • 04 @ $100,000 (02 sales in 2012)
  • 18 @ $100,000-$199,000 (09 sales in 2012)
  • 21 @ $200,000-$299,000 (21 sales in 2012)
  • 17 @ $300,000-$399,000 (09 sales in 2012)
  • 04 @ $400,000-$499,000 (04 sales in 2012)
  • 03 @ $500,000-$599,000 (06 sales in 2012)
  • 03 @ $600,000-$699,000 (02 sales in 2012)
  • 00 @ $700,000-$799,000 (01 sales in 2012)
  • 02 @ $800,000 (01 sales in 2012)

61 condominium sales ranging from $22,500 to $658,800* (up from 55 sales last year).

  • 19 @ $100,000 (08 sales in 2012)
  • 20 @ $100,000-$199,000 (20 sales in 2012)
  • 17 @ $200,000-$299,000 (09 sales in 2012)
  • 03 @ $300,000-$399,000 (05 sales in 2012)
  • 02 @ $400,000 (02 sales in 2012)

*One sale at $872,245 was not recorded in the MLS

20 land sales ranging from $15,000 to $825,000 (up from 19 sales last year).

  • 08 @ $100,000 (11 sales in 2012)
  • 05 @ $100,000-$199,000 (06 sales in 2012)
  • 02 @ $200,000-$299,000 (01 sales in 2012)
  • 02 @ $300,000-$399,000 (00 sales in 2012)
  • 00 @ $400,000-$499,000 (00 sales in 2012)
  • 03 @ $500,000 (01 sales in 2012)

2 commercial sales and 1 multi-family sale of $225,000, $300,000 and $529,000 (down from 7 sales last year).

The good news is despite some regional and national economic challenges real estate continues to sell in the Mad River Valley. Mortgage rates are still near historic lows (3.5% interest for a fifteen year fixed rate on a primary home) and real estate continues to be by far one of the best hedges against inflation.

The luxury and hospitality (lodge, B&B, Inn, restaurant) markets have shown the greatest weakness in sales. As a result, these segments of the market (typically over $500,000) offer some of the very best buying opportunities. Additionally, the land market continues to languish with only 19 sales (there should be 30 or more sales a year). As a result, there are many great land opportunities out there right now. Homes in the $200,000-$400,000 price range and condominiums in the $100,000-$300,000 price range are seeing by far the greatest sale activity.

Presently there are 147 residential properties for sale with 7 under contract, 118 condominiums for sale with 4 under contract, and 127 parcels of land for sale with 3 under contract. Whether it's a seller's market or a buyer's market the best opportunities for sale include a desirable location, good overall condition, and realistic pricing. By contrast if you are in a less desirable location, with a lot of deferred maintenance and you are asking a premium price, then in that event you should expect your property to be for sale for a very long while.

Clearly those who are best informed seem to be making the most prudent buying and selling decisions in the Mad River Valley. And it's no coincidence that at DMDRE our mission is to provide the highest level of professional service in order for our clients to make informed real estate and financial decisions. We consistently get results that move you.

Please visit our real estate blog for monthly updates on real estate activity and of course do no hesitate to call or write anytime with your questions or comments.

From all of us at DMDRE best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

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