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2019 Mad River Valley Real Estate Market Recap

Posted on 1/17/2020 by David M. Dion

At Mad River Valley Real Estate MRVRE we hope your 2020 is off to a great start! 

Indeed, after a very good start to the ski season in December Mother Nature then served up a classic dose of Vermont January thaw. But stay tuned because things are already improving!  All three ski mountains (Lincoln Peak, Mount Ellen, and Mad River Glen have active websites to keep us in the know so stay tuned!  

2019 was another very exciting year at Mad River Valley Real Estate. MRVRE continues to sponsor WiFi service to the public in both the Bridge Street Marketplace and Mad River Valley Recreation Field. MRVRE also continues to sponsor the Mad River Glen Webcam, including a new webcam at the Birdcage. We also have a web cam on the eastern side of the Mad River Valley looking toward the Green Mountains. Now you can see the weather live from your computer or smartphone. Check it out here MRVRE Webcam

We are especially excited about the news Alterra is now the owner of Sugarbush Resort.  This should be a great boon to both the economy in general and real estate values in particular throughout the Mad River Valley. In fact, when the numbers are all tallied 2019 could show a record volume of real estate sales in the Mad River Valley! 

Agents at MRVRE have a long history of participating in extra-ordinary real estate transactions (and adventures!) and 2019 was no exception. Following are a few highlights:

Partner Steve Robbins enjoyed another busy year in real estate sales. Steve also continued with his volunteer work on the Moretown Recreation Committee including upkeep and improvement of trails in the Moretown Town Forest. But the highlight for the Robbins family was attended the wedding of Regina’s oldest daughter Rachel to Alejandro Carrillo in Sayulita, Mexico!  Otherwise, at home their vegetable garden went wild this year with garlic, onions, winter squash & cabbage.

Partner Erik Reisner brokered a blistering 33 transactions totaling over $9,000,000 in sales and was the second top producing agent in the Mad River Valley! Not bad for the youngest broker/owner in the region. Erik also continues his extra-ordinary contribution to the community by serving as a tireless volunteer for the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service and serves on their board of directors. A huge thanks to Erik, and to his family for supporting this valuable volunteerism.

When not selling real estate or racing up mountains Erik and the Reisner Family enjoyed an epic trip to Colorado for 12 days. After two days of touring Denver and the zoo, they picked up an RV and headed to Estes Park for 4 days of hiking and relaxing by the campfire. From there they drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and down to Central City for two nights for a whitewater rafting trip. Next was a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater to see The Avett Brothers, an amazing place to see live music! After that they drove further south to Pikes Peak but were not allowed to drive the RV to the summit, and even with Erik’s extra-ordinary hill-climb racing credentials! 

Partner David Dion continues to enjoy both the most units sold and highest dollar volume of sales in the Mad River Valley since statistics started being recorded (based on information from the New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 1998 – 2019). When not selling real estate, he continues to make great progress with his Costa Rican Partner in the development of Finca Monte Galan, an eco-ranch in the Turrubares Mountains of Costa Rica.

Highlights include the completion of a third casita and bodega (storage facility). This structure will be used to lodge the horseback riding tour guides and also for food and equipment storage. The Brahman cattle herd continues to grow and there are now over 100 free range chickens. There are also now over 500 cacao plants (as in chocolate and not coca which is cocaine!) and over 700 coffee plants. In all there are over 40 perennial food crops including apple, avocado, banana, cashew, lemon, mango, orange, papaya, plantain and starfruit. The farm is truly Pura Vida! (a Costa Rican term meaning “Pure Life!”). 

Office Manager Brent Adams keeps the daily affairs of MRVRE running smoothly and also has his real estate license.  If you call the office, then Brent is usually the one answering. We pride ourselves with a high level of personal service and this starts with Brent.   

When not in the office Brent can be seen volunteering at the local food shelf or stepping onto the stage at Valley Players Theater.  Brent’s oldest daughter graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2019 and moved into the world of work. Brent’s wife and youngest daughter traveled to the U.S. National Scottish Harp Championship in June where his daughter won at the journeyman level, just one step down from the highest level of master.  She is now in her first year at Castleton University. This allows her to consecutively finish her senior year of high school and first year of college. Well there’s no moss growing under that young woman’s shoes! 

MRVRE was very fortunate to add Brian Kitchens to our team this year.  Brian comes from Encore Realty in Boston where he was an owner/partner. 2019 was a big year for the Kitchens family as their big dreams came true when they relocated to the Mad River Valley. They rescued their beloved coonhound/lab “Bruiser” from a shelter in New Jersey and Sasha moved her metalsmith business to VT where they built a studio space for her new headquarters. Mom went to Manhattan to celebrate a milestone birthday (wouldn’t dare say which one), and the Kitchens celebrated their second anniversary atop Mad River Glen in the exact same spot where they got engaged. They also found a new favorite water hole, a secret cabin in the woods, and have met a tremendous number of amazing Mad River Valley friends. They also watched Brian’s youngest brother marry the girl of his dreams and traveled to Costa Rica to experience two new friends tie the knot. Brian also survived 10 consecutive days in the backcountry, while hut skiing the 10th mountain division trail system in Colorado. And all while setting a new personal sale record of $7.5MM in real estate sales and skiing 50+ days!  

Most importantly, we were blessed with our many loyal and supportive clients and forged many wonderful new relationships in 2019. To all who helped MRVRE along the way, a huge THANK YOU! 

Following is a recap of the 2019 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 01/01/19 – 12/31/19). Please call or write if you are interested in a recap of real estate data and trends in specific areas outside of the Mad River Valley. 

In 2019 there were a total of 237 MLS reported real estate sales (up from 206 sales in 2018, 217 sales in 2017, 175 sales in 2016 and 171 sales in 2015). Clearly the overall real estate market is on an upward trend! 

95 residential sales ranging from $25,000 to $2,200,000 (79 sales in 2018, 88 sales in 2017, 79 sales in 2016, 86 sales in 2015 and 75 sales in 2014). 
03 @   < $100,000 (02 sales in 2018, 02 sales in 2017, 04 sales in 2016 and 04 sales in 2015)
01 @      $100,000 - $199,000 (10 sales in 2018, 11 sales in 2017, 16 sales in 2016 and 09 sales in 2015)
27 @      $200,000 - $299,000 (24 sales in 2018, 31 sales in 2017, 25 sales in 2016 and 29 sales in 2015)
23 @      $300,000 - $399,000 (22 sales in 2018, 24 sales in 2017, 13 sales in 2016 and 19 sales in 2015)
17 @      $400,000 - $499,000 (04 sales in 2018, 08 sales in 2017, 08 sales in 2016 and 09 sales in 2015)
09 @      $500,000 - $599,000 (07 sales in 2018, 06 sales in2017, 05 sales in 2016 and 04 sales in 2015)
06 @      $600,000 - $699,000 (04 sales in 2018, 01 sales in 2017, 04 sales in 2016 and 06 sales in 2015)
03 @      $700,000 - $799,000 (03 sales in 2018, 02 sales in 2017, 01 sales in 2016 and 01 sales in 2015)
06 @      > $800,000 (03 sales in 2018, 03 sales in 2017, 03 sales in 2016 and 05 sales in 2015)



115 condominium sales ranging from $31,000 to $1,000,000 (up from 94 sales in 2018, 109 sales in 2017, 74 sales in 2016, 59 sales in 2015 and 57 sales in 2014)
28 @    < $100,000 (31 sales in 2018, 35 sales in 2017, 23 sales in 2016 and 14 sales in 2015)
46 @       $100,000 - $199,000 (26 sales in 2018, 41 sales in 2017, 29 sales in 2016 and 27 sales in 2015)
15 @       $200,000 - $299,000 (16 sales in 2018, 24 sales in 2017, 12 sales in 2016 and 12 sales in 2015)
13 @       $300,000 - $399,000 (14 sales in 2018, 08 sales in 2017, 08 sales in 2016 and 04 sales in 2015)
04 @      $400,000 - $499,000 (03 sales in 2018, 01 sales in 2017, 01 sales in 2016 and 02 sales in 2015)
05 @       $500,000 - $799,000 (00 sales in 2018, 00 sales in 2017, 00 sales in 2016 and 00 sales in 2015)
04 @       > $800,000 (04 sales in 2018, 01 sales in 2017, 01 sales in 2016 and 01 sales in 2015)

Condo sales 

25 land sales ranging from $22,000 - $2,538,000 (33 sales in 2018, 20 sales in 2017, 20 sales in 2016 and 23 sales in 2015).
13 @   < $100,000 (13 sales in 2018, 13 sales in 2017, 15 sales in 2016 and 08 sales in 2015)
08 @      $100,000 - $199,000 (16 sales in 2018, 07 sales in 2017, 03 sales in 2016 and 11 sales in 2015)
02 @      $200,000 - $300,000 (03 sales in 2018, 00 sales in 2017, 04 sales in 2016 and 01 sales in 2015)
01 @      $300,000 - $400,000 (01 sales in 2018, 00 sales in 2017, 00 sales in 2016 and 02 sales in 2015)
00 @     $400,000 - $499,000 (00 sales in 2018, 00 sales in 2017, 00 sales in 2016 and 01 sales in 2015)
01 @     >$500,000 (00 sales in 2018, 00 sales in 2017, 00 sales in 2016 and 00 sales in 2015)

Land sales 

02 commercial sales (04 sales in 2018, 03 sales in 2017, 04 sales in 2016 and 03 sales in 2015)

Note: There were two commercial sales not listed in the MLS including the 1824 House at $750,000 and the Featherbed Inn also at $750,000. 

Check out our website at and click on “blog” to see more in-depth analyses and some very insightful graphs depicting the Mad River Valley real estate market.

The luxury and hospitality (lodge, B&B, Inn, restaurant) markets continue to show the greatest weakness in sales.  As a result, these areas offer some of the very best buying opportunities with some sales at sometimes over 30% discount from 2005 values.  The land market has made modest gains after several flat years, but this segment of the market is still challenging for sellers. As a result, there are many great land opportunities out there right now. Homes in the under $500,000 price range and condominiums in the under $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 definitely appreciating again.

Presently there are 62 single family residential properties for sale (down from 77 at this time last year, 82 in 2018, 88 in 2017, 113 in 2016 and 140 in 2015) with 5 of those 62 properties under contract. This trend is a clear indication the inventory if finally getting down to more normal supply/demand levels.

Today there are 50 condominiums for sale (down from 80 at this time last year) and with 4 under contract. However, 20 of the 50 available condos are ¼ fractional ownership units. So, the condo inventory is at near-historic lows for full-ownership opportunities. If you are a prospective condo seller, this is certainly the best time to contact us for a market evaluation.

There are 78 parcels of land for sale (down from 92 last year) with 4 under contract. While the inventory has certainly come down for undeveloped land the market is still struggling. Give us a call and we are happy to explain in more detail.

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 purchase and sale opportunities.  

From all of us at MRVRE best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020!


5513 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT 05673 | 802-496-5000 |