demonstrated a strong early 2012, with sold listings jumping 19% across Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties from January through April. The region has traditionally shown strong interest from some investors, drawn by the areas growing professional class and student enrollment as well as low vacancy rates.
Chittenden County captured the bulk of the multi-family transactions, with 89% of the regions 25 sales of properties such as duplexes and apartment buildings. Franklin County recorded 8% of multi-family sales, while Grand Isle recorded one such transaction. Addison County didnt record any multi-family home sales during the first four months of 2012.
Its been a great start to the year, with well priced properties moving fast, notes Steve Lipkin
, a Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realtor specializing in multi-family properties. Low rates and a lack of attractive alternatives for your investment dollars, as well as vacancy rates that are very low, are helping investors decide to be in real estate.
Northwest Vermont is attracting investors who are seeking to diversify their holdings beyond traditional investments, while tapping into historic low mortgage rates. Within Chittenden Countys multi-family market, Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty handled one-third of transactions, or more than the combined market share of the regions next two largest agencies handling multi-family sales, for the 12-month period ended April 2012.
There are indications demand may continue to grow throughout 2012, as the number of pending listings in Chittenden County jumped 70% during the first four months. Pending listings are properties under contract that havent yet closed.
Multi-family properties are selling for closer to asking price, and days on the market have dramatically dwindled during the first four months of 2012. The average days to market a multi-family property during the period shrank to 64 days, compared with 211 days a year earlier.
In Chittenden County, the median sale price jumped 7.5% to $285,000, while average days on market shrank to 63 from 199 in the year-earlier period, indicating pent-up demand from investors, with well-priced and well maintained properties selling quickly.
boasted the largest market share in Chittenden Countys multi-family market, with 13 of the countys 20 transactions.
Home to University of Vermont and colleges such as Champlain College as well as a growing professional base, Burlingtons vacancy rate has hovered between 1% and 2%, below the first-quarter national average of 4.9%, which has fallen to the lowest rate in a decade. With lower-than-average vacancy rates, Northwest Vermont multi-family properties are receiving interest from out of state, as well as from within Vermont.
As in Chittenden County, there are signs that Burlington multi-family sales may continue to strengthen this year. Pending listings more than doubled from the year-earlier period, while average days on market dropped dramatically, to 66 days during the first four months of 2012, compared with 263 a year earlier.
Well-priced and well-maintained multi-family properties have been in demand. With investors seeking value, the median sale price in Burlington slipped 5.9% to $315,088.
Among Chittenden Countys other towns, Winooski recorded six multi-family transactions, double the number recorded last year. Average days on market shrank to 48 days from 164, while the median sale price declined 4.9% to $244,250.
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