Vermont’s Recent Boom in Real Estate Is Both Good & Bad, Depending on Your Role
Vermont’s expansive Green Mountains have drawn in thousands of new residents from out of state as COVID-19 has forced American homeowners to re-evaluate their home needs and lifestyle. Vermont’s luscious green conifers and overall natural beauty have appealed to tourists for decades, but now with the onset of COVID-19, the state’s remarkably low positive case count, and remote work becoming the new norm, many of these life-long tourists are capitalizing on historically low mortgage rates and calling the Green Mountain State home. Families across the country are quite literally selling their belongings, packing up, and heading to safe havens in the Northeast, most notably Vermont.
Buyer and Seller Boom
Megan Carmichael, a former resident of Ventura, California, and her family did exactly that. After eight days and more than 3,000 miles later in a cross-country family trip, Carmichael and her family were in the Northeast. After a visit with old friends in Vermont, the entire family decided to settle in the Green Mountain State.
"We love it," Carmichael said. "I could not have expected to feel so at home in a place that I had never been before."
The Carmichaels are clearly not alone in their desire to soak in all that Vermont has to offer; requests to forward mail to Vermont addresses jumped 70% year-over-year in March 2020, according to data from the U.S. Postal Service.
On the flip side, sellers in the state aren’t concerned about this influx as the increased competition is driving up sale prices and causing homes to fly off the market. This wave of new residents has created an unprecedented surge in real estate sales, as Vermont home prices rose 23% year-over-year in September 2020, according to REALTORS® and home sellers. Buyers taking a virtual tour and quickly pulling the trigger has now become the new norm. Maura Collins, a Vermonter who recently listed her mother’s 2-bedroom condominium in South Burlington, immediately received two all-cash offers. The eventual buyer purchased the property without an inspection or appraisal and wanted to close on the deal within a month.
Vermont Needs New Development
While Vermont welcomes these newcomers with open arms, the state is already in dire need of new development to meet the demand of both out-of-state and in-state buyers. Project manager Scott Aiken has expressed his concerns regarding home availability and quickly dwindling current home inventory in the state.
“We can barely build them fast enough,” he said in an interview with Channel 10 News.
Aiken is currently working on a new neighborhood development called Streamside Village in Essex. This new development will bring in 31 homes and a 72-unit building for independent senior living. Even with a new project like this, homes and senior living units are already in high demand and will likely be bought soon after development is completed.