The national economy continues to improve as the unemployment rate remained at 5% in December and we saw a record year for new car sales at 17,470,464 units. After over seven years of zero interest rate policy, the Federal Reserve ended their stance and raised the Fed Funds rate by .25% with a statement that they would increase rates going forward at a slow, gradual pace. Consumer spending is increasing as we experience reduced gas and fuel prices- inflation adjusted gas is less than it was in 1965 and we all notice savings when we fill our tanks.

A bright spot in the forecast is that Chittenden County continues to lead us in the recovery. The urban center is experiencing the best growth and real estate appreciation in the state. We are expecting to see more growth and recovery in the middle and higher price ranges in 2016. The upper bands of the market have been working against both increased inventory and strong competition. The outlying counties and homes within commuting distance to the “greater Burlington Metropolitan area” are now displaying increases in both showing activity and sales.

One of the best signs of the recovering housing market can be seen in new construction. More homes are being built and that benefits jobs both in the construction industry and in the industries that support them. Higher consumer confidence coupled with good news in the economy, jobs and wages will spur the housing market into a stronger recovery as we travel through 2016.

The MLS average sales price for single-family homes in Addison and Chittenden Counties were both higher than 2014 while Franklin County was flat, and Grand Isle was down. The number of single-family homes closed in 2014 was up 21% to 1287 homes sold - the strongest year since 1999. Chittenden County condominium sales increased 4.8% and the average sale price was flat at $247,650. The 30 year mortgage rate with zero points has ticked up to 3.875% compared to 3.5% at this time last year.

2015 in Review – Average Single-Family Home Prices by County- Statistics per NNEREN

County Average Price Change from 2014
Addison $258,032 up 6.7%
Chittenden $336,073 up 2.1%
Franklin $195,386 even 0.5%
Grand Isle $264,310 down 4.3%
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he highest average sale prices were recorded in Shelburne (at $475,116), Charlotte (at $438,151) and South Burlington (at $406,399). The average sale price in Shelburne dropped 10.3% while Charlotte saw an 8.6% decline from last year. Both Shelburne and Charlotte have some of the most expensive lakefront homes which tend to skew the averages both higher and lower from year to year.

Here at Nancy Jenkins Real Estate we had a great year, closing 194 homes in 2015 and helping families from across Vermont, the US, Canada and Europe with their real estate goals. We are proud to call Vermont our home, and we enjoy all the seasons have to offer - skiing and riding in the winter, boating, hiking and swimming in the summer, and our amazing fall colors.

If this is your year for a move we are here to help you, your family, co-workers and friends. We look forward to a great year helping you to achieve your real estate goals. Give us a call or visit our website www.nancyjenkins.com to search for your new home, condo or investment property. Our best wishes to you for a safe, happy and prosperous 2016.

©2016 Nancy Jenkins Real Estate