WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) – The real estate boom the region saw in 2020 is continuing this year. Realtors say it’s a perfect storm of conditions that are pricing buyers out of the market.
To say the housing market in the Upper Valley is “hot” is an understatement. But the real estate boom this region is experiencing extends across the Green Mountains and far beyond its borders. “Everybody is trying to sit down and there is no place to sit,” said Laird Bradley, a broker with the Williamson Group, an affiliate of Sotheby’s International. He’s been selling houses since the mid-1980s, but he says the buying and selling taking place right now is unprecedented. “Not enough housing built after the last recession — that is part of it. New paradigm with a lot of people able to work at home, I think that is part of it. Interest rates have been low for a good long while.”
Signs in front of homes advertising sales do not stay up for long, especially houses in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. “There are multiple offers and frequently people are bidding well above the asking price,” Bradley said.
“We are getting between 10 and sometimes as high as 20 and 30 offers on a property,” said Shenia Covey with Shepherd Realty, a smaller real estate company based out of Grantham, New Hampshire. She says it’s not just homebuyers who are having trouble getting their foot in the door, there’s also a big demand for rental properties. “Most long-term renters, you are looking at maybe a one to three-year span, where they are moving out and purchasing a home after that. And they are not doing that because there is such a low inventory.
Mark Montross, president of the Vermont Association of Realtors, says the red-hot seller’s market is encompassing rural areas in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as more people are finding it attractive to work from home. “Thirty-eight percent of the sales last year came from out-of-state buyers,” he said. In the short term, it’s driving up prices, and brokers are sounding the alarm to state and federal officials. “Housing affordability and being able to create that inventory so that more people are able to purchase a home.”
In 2020, more than $3.5 billion in real estate was sold in Vermont, representing 10,483 properties. This year, it appears to be right on track to match that. So far, more than 5,000 have closed or are under contract.
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