The number of $1 million home sales in Vermont nearly tripled last year.
Vermont Realtors assisted in the sale of 313 homes worth at least $1 million in 2020, said Staige Davis, CEO of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty. In 2019, that number was 112, Davis said.
He described a year of nearly unprecedented interest in Vermont real estate that started in early June. Before COVID-19 hit in March, high-end homes had languished unsold.
“A lot of those seven-figure listings had been on the market for a long period of time,” Davis said. But in early summer, real estate agents noticed high interest in new homes, some of it from out-of-state buyers. Davis attributed the attention to Vermont’s safety record with COVID. For many weeks, the state had the lowest infection rate in the country.
The high interest in Vermont real estate has driven up prices over the last year. The average sale price for a single-family home in November 2020 was $352,537, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors. The organization said the average price in November 2019 was $279,528; that’s an increase of 26 percent year-over-year.
Homes had been rooted in that 2019 price range for a decade before the pandemic. A 2009 Vermont Housing Finance Agency report showed the median purchase price for a newly constructed home in Vermont in 2008 was $270,000, about the same as in 2007.
It’s not just Vermont that is reporting a shortage of homes for sale; many other states are as well, according to the National Association of Realtors, which reported a record-setting low for home inventory in December 2020.
That month, 1.07 million properties were listed on the market, the Realtors association said — a 23 percent drop from December 2019, when there were nearly 1.4 million properties on the market.
“It’s nationwide,” Davis said. “As a result of this, there is appreciation where there otherwise might not be.”