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2015 Mad River Valley Real Estate Market Recap

Posted on 1/15/2016 by David M. Dion

At Mad River Valley Real Estate (MRVRE) we hope your 2016 is off to a great start! Well Christmas 2015 featured balmy temperatures and only a trace of snow on the slopes. But shortly thereafter it finally began to snow and so the Mad River Valley was able to ring in the New Year with a landscape covered in white. And we are hoping the predictions for above average snowfall will prove true for all winter recreation enthusiasts.

2015 was a very exciting year at Mad River Valley Real Estate (formerly David M. Dion Real Estate). Our MRVRE branding strategy continually seeks to collaborate with all things Mad River Valley and the most notable can be seen on the back cover of the always popular Waitsfield Telecom telephone book. Additionally, MRVRE is now sponsoring the Mad River Glen Webcam and we are very thankful to our friends at Mad River Glen for that collaboration. Look for more branding initiatives in 2016 as we continue our tradition as the most trusted resource in the Mad River Valley for all of your real estate related needs.

MRVRE was pleased to announce the addition of Brent Adams to our team in 2015. Brent comes from our good friends at Olenick & Olenick Law Offices where he received the best training any real estate agency could hope for. Brent is currently studying for his real estate license in 2016.

The Mad River Valley experienced robust sale activity in 2015 and we are hopeful for continued recovery from the very challenging years of 2008 – 2012. MRVRE has a long history of participating in extra-ordinary real estate sales and 2015 was no exception. Following are a few highlights:

MRVRE participated in the highest single family residential sale in Washington County (which includes the Mad River Valley) and MRVRE participated in 2 of the 4 highest real estate sales.

David Dion once again participated in the highest priced sale in the Mad River Valley continuing his dominance in the luxury market in the area. When not selling real estate he is busy harvesting over 40 perennial food crops at his farm in Costa Rica including banana, coffee, cacao, mango and orange. The herd includes Brahman cattle, chickens, ducks, turkey, and honey bees. Ok maybe this has nothing to do with MRVRE sales in the Mad River Valley but we’re excited about it anyway!

Steve Robbins enjoyed his second highest dollar volume of sales in over 20 years of real estate sales. In other news he now heats his home and hot water entirely with wood and powers his lights entirely by energy from the sun.

Erik Reisner participated in the highest priced residential sale in the Mad River Valley (the second highest sales price ever!) and enjoyed his highest dollar volume of real estate sales. He also continues his extra-ordinary contribution to the Mad River Valley community by serving as a volunteer for the Mad River Valley Ambulance. And his youngest daughter is now joining the rest of the family for Sunday skiing at Mad River Glen. He’s also been known to drive cars to the top of hills very fast, and without breaking the law!

Most importantly, we were all blessed with our always loyal and supportive clients and forged many wonderful new relationships in 2015. To all who helped MRVRE along the way, a huge thank you!

Following is a recap of the 2015 real estate market based on MLS reported real estate sales in the Mad River Valley towns of Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren, (information from the Northern New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 01/01/15 – 12/31/15). Please call or write if you are interested in a recap of real estate in specific areas outside of the Mad River Valley:

In 2015 there were a total of 171 MLS reported real estate sales (up from 156 sales in 2014).

86 residential sales ranging from $39,000 to $2,325,000 (up from 75 sales last year).

04 @ < $100,000 (02 sales in 2014)
09 @ $100,000 - $199,000 (14 sales in 2014)
29 @ $200,000 - $299,000 (26 sales in 2014)
20 @ $300,000 - $399,000 (16 sales in 2014)
09 @ $400,000 - $499,000 (10 sales in 2014)
04 @ $500,000 - $599,000 (03 sales in 2014)
06 @ $600,000 - $699,000 (03 sales in 2014)
01 @ $700,000 - $799,000 (01 sales in 2014)
04 @ > $800,000 (00 sales in 2014)

59 condominium sales ranging from $30,000 to $1,100,000 (57 sales last year).

14 @ < $100,000 (22 sales in 2014)
27 @ $100,000 - $199,000 (19 sales in 2014)
12 @ $200,000 - $299,000 (11 sales in 2014)
04 @ $300,000 - $399,000 (03 sales in 2014)
02 @ > $400,000 (02 sales in 2014)

23 land sales ranging from $27,500 - $450,000 (16 sales last year).

08 @ < $100,000 (05 sales in 2014)
11 @ $100,000 - $199,000 (06 sales in 2014)
01 @ $200,000 - $300,000 (04 sales in 2014)
02 @ $300,000 - $400,000 (00 sales in 2014)
01 @ $400,000 - $499,000 (00 sales in 2014)
00 @ > $500,000 (01 sales in 2014)

03 commercial sales (01 sale in 2014).

Contact us to receive some insightful graphs depicting a Mad River Valley real estate market that is clearly on the road to recovery. And interest rates are still near historic lows (3.125% interest for a fifteen year fixed rate on a primary home). Indeed overall it is easy to state with confidence that 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. This was also the case in 2013 and 2014. 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 23 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. This is the area of the Mad River Valley real estate market wherein property values are actually starting to appreciate again.

Presently there are 113 single family residential properties for sale (down from 140 at this time in 2015 and 147 at this time in 2014) and with 11 of those properties under contract. This is another clear indication that the inventory is finally getting down to more normal supply/demand levels. Today there are 117 condominiums for sale with 4 under contract, and 80 parcels of land for sale with 7 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 are making the most prudent buying and selling decisions in the Mad River Valley. And it’s no coincidence that at MRVRE our clients are realizing some of the best purchases and sales. Indeed the mission of MRVRE is to provide the highest level of professional service in order for our clients to make informed real estate and financial decisions. We are proud to state we consistently get results that move you!

Please visit our real estate blog for monthly updates on real estate activity and of course do not hesitate to call or write anytime with your questions or comments.

From all of us at MRVRE best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!

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