Vermont Business Magazine The Rutland County real estate market had its best year in a decade in 2018, soaring back to pre-recession sales volume, with higher prices, significantly increased sales, and the renovation of dozens of formerly troubled properties. The Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce says that sales, prices and inventory point to a "strong local economy and community."
“From prices to restoration of properties to sales volume, the real estate market in Rutland and Rutland County is back in a big way,” said Mary Cohen, executive director of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. Added Steve Costello, co-chair of the Rutland Regional Marketing Committee and a vice president at Green Mountain Power: “The dark days in real estate that started with the great recession are over in Rutland!”
Sean Sargeant, principal of Sargeant Appraisal Service, said 2018 was a very strong year in the local real estate market. “The last two years are the strongest in the Rutland County residential market of the last decade,” Sargeant said. “The median price over that time is up 4.4 percent, and active inventory is down 17 percent.
“And Rutland County affordability is still excellent,” he said. “With a 10 percent down payment, a couple working one full-time and one half-time job need to make an average of $16.80 an hour to afford the median-priced home in Rutland County. That’s literally half the salary required to buy the median-priced home in Chittenden County. Your money goes twice as far here!”
Laurie Mecier-Brochu, regional manager for Four Seasons Sotheby’s, who has been a Realtor for 25 years, said 2018 was a great year for buyers and sellers. “We had agents doing more business than they have ever done before,” she said.
“Homes are selling very quickly in many price ranges,” she said. “It’s still about price, and location, and condition, but if people are serious about selling, if they list their home as indicated by the marketplace, it’s going to sell and it’s going to sell relatively quickly. It has slowly gotten better over the past few years, but last year was definitely the best year we’ve had in a decade.”
Sargeant said the resort market is extremely strong as the new year begins. “Killington residential sales are on fire!” Sargeant said. “The median sale price is up 27 percent over the past 24 months and active inventory is now below six months. Based on that, I expect we will see new ‘spec’ development in the spring, the first in 14 years.”
In Rutland City, efforts to boost the Northwest Neighborhood have helped boost housing improvements, sales and redevelopment. The city has returned 20 formerly troubled properties to the tax rolls in recent years, working with Neighborworks, Habitat for Humanity, GMP, and others.
“Like the GMP Innovation Home, which brought great new residents to the community and turned a dilapidated property into a brand new carbon-free energy marvel, these homes are seeing significant investment, and are creating dreams-come-true for families,” Mayor David Allaire said. “They will be adding to the grand list, are breathing new life into the city, and helping create new energy and optimism in Rutland.”
Mike and Cat Heatley, natives of the Durango, Colo., area, bought a dilapidated city-owned home on Cleveland Avenue, next to the GMP Innovation Home, for $6,000 last fall. They have nearly finished a complete overhaul of the first floor, and plan to renovate the second floor to create an income-producing apartment.
“Rutland has exceeded all of our expectations,” Mike Heatley said. “We’ve built social and business contacts quickly, and have found Rutland to be incredibly welcoming and supportive. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”
Source: Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce – 1.9.2019