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October Market Update--Check Out the Numbers

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October's Unofficial Numbers--By Ray Mikus

  Active New In September Closed In September Under Deposit Price Change
Barre City 80 7 3 7 21
BarreTown 77 15 7 9 10
Montpelier 64 11 6 7 8
U-32 74 4 8 12 11
Northfield 43 4 0 5 9
Totals 338 41 24 40 59

And comparing to a year ago ...

  New To Market September 2010 New To Market September 2011 Closed September 2009-September 2010 Closed September 2010-September 2011
Barre City 14 7 67 51
BarreTown 9 15 62 64
Montpelier 5 11 67 66
U-32 9 4 65 64
Northfield 7 4 26 18
Totals 44 41 287 263



For all the talk about the decline in sales, and the state of the real estate market, look at how tightly clustered sales have been in this area. Barre Town, Montpelier and U-32 all had nearly identical 12 month sales in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Barre City and Northfield, well, the number of sales were down.

But don't think that sellers in Barre City and Northfield aren't aware of that. Look at the number of price changes this month in those two markets. Sellers who are staying in the market are going to sell their houses. Those that are testing high prices have gotten their answers. No jumping to conclusions! There are houses that are priced correctly and are still on the market.

Gettin' Smart

I recently had a great opportunity to expand my professional knowledge at the annual Vermont Realtors' Conference in South Burlington. For two days, I took courses and networked with some great people, including the President of the National Association of Realtors Ron Phipps and the Government Affairs Director for the Vermont Association of Realtors Chris MacDonald.

Just about everyone from our office was able to attend and take courses. I took a specialized course on property evaluation (residential and investment), a course on the new RESPA requirements and a course on cooperative and effective negotiation. All in all, it was a great two days. I did miss being in the office, though.

Fast Movers

Recently, our office has had two properties that were listed and then within days went under deposit. That tells me that buyers are hungry for properties, and that when they find the right one, smart buyers aren't wasting time. In both cases, the buyers were able to move fast and were able to get ahead of other offers. Getting the inside scoop from a Realtor who really tracks the market helped these folks immeasurably.

Most Improved Player

This month's most improved player award goes to 58 Wheelock Street in Montpelier. The first time I saw the house, I made some recommendations on how to make it show better to buyers. I always do that to help my sellers. But these sellers took my advice and ran with it. They took up carpet to expose beautiful hardwood floors, took off, um, "vintage" wallpaper in the dining room and, er, "antique" wallpaper in the upstairs landing. Both of those are now a crisp, clean white. The house is breathtaking. Like I said, most improved.

Low Lying Fruit

Investors looking to add to their portfolio of multi-family properties are in one of the best markets in years. Rents for apartments have remained steady over the course of the economic downturn, but prices have come down significantly. Plus, there is a great supply of investment opportunities. Owner occupied multi-families can get in with 5% down and 80% of the rental income can count toward financing ratios. Talk to me or a lender for details. Non-owner occupied still needs 20% down in most cases. There are deals out there. I'm happy to help you run numbers and find some tasty properties.

  Active Multi-Family Properties Closed In Last 12 Months
Montpelier 15 3
Barre 39 4


Are you kidding? With cap rates in many cases exceeding 10%, low interest rates and stable rents there are some buys out there in the multi-family investment property market.

September's Closed Transactions

Address Town List Price Sale Price
28 Fairview St. Barre City $115,000 $105,000
8 East Parkside Barre City $124,900 $119,000
1 Waterman St. Barre City $165,000 $158,000
98 Miller Road Barre Town $109,900 $115,000
111 Websterville Road Barre Town $134,900 $136,900
325 Beckley Hill Road Barre Town $156,000 $148,000
27 Waterman Barre Town $165,900 $159,000
5 East Street Ext. Barre Town $180,000 $170,000
79 Cassie Street Barre Town $169,900 $174,000
731 Graniteville Road Barre Town $80,100 $76,000
141 Vine Street Berlin $225,000 $228,000
104 Highland Avenue Berlin $250,000 $230,000
62 Route 302 Berlin $129,500 $122,700
50 Mugford Rd. East Montpelier $28,500 $26,500
500 Rt. 14S East Montpelier $115,020 $115,100
10 Dolan Road Middlesex $208,000 $200,000
194 East Hill Rd Middlesex $300,000 $300,000
136 North Bear Swamp Middlesex $195,000 $194,500