Woodstock Area Real Estate
Follows New England’s Record Year
LandVest led a pivotal year in 2011 for New England and Woodstock, Vermont sales. With the record sale of Indian Head in Northeast Harbor, ME priced at $15,500,000, the record sale of Bessboro Farm in Westport, NY priced at $5,680,000, and Round Pond in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard priced at $18,000,000, we are seeing signs of stabilization in the high end of the real estate market throughout the region, and prices are near the range seen in 2001-2002.
Beautifully finished brick Federal Cape with 3 bedrooms, attached garage and one-bedroom apartment
In the Woodstock market, a positive trend is developing and bench market sales between $2 and $4 million have established better footing for buyers and sellers. We are beginning to see expectations come into line with realistic pricing. The 2011 sale of Lull Brook Farm by Ruth Kennedy Sudduth and Story Jenks in Hartland offered at $3,950,000 was a record sale. LandVest continues to lead the market in New England and Vermont for sales over $3 million.
From 2008 to 2009 there was one sale over $2 million, and then in 2010 there were three sales:
These sellers put their properties on the market prior to the 2008 market meltdown at prices that reflected the highs of 05/06, and were slow to make adjustments to the current market conditions. The average discount from original list price to sale price was a whopping 26% and took an average of 3 years to sell. LandVest, along with a few high-end appraisers, felt that in late 2009 that the average discount from 05/06 was about 25% (higher in ski resorts and lower elsewhere).
Then in 2011 there were 4 sales with three above $3m:
Gracious Gentleman's Farm on 90± acres of handsomely landscaped property with two ponds and six-stall barn, indoor and outdoor arenas and split rail paddocks
Classic Vermont horse farm with c1800 chimney Cape and New England bank barn cited on 121 acres of rolling Vermont farmland overlooking the stream fed swimming pond
Craggle Ridge Farm, West Windsor, VT
Average discounts from original list to sale price (for non-distressed properties) decreased to 17%, and took an average of about 1 month to sell. There was an add-on sale in early 2012 to LandVest’s Reeves Road (Lull Brook Farm) sale for additional land, bringing the total sale price over $4 million.
Peak prices of 05/06 are still a ways off, and there is a fundamental paradigm shift in the buyer profile. Second homes buyers continue to dominate the high-end market, but the retiree buyer is being replaced with a younger buyer still in the midst of their career (mostly financial) looking for a country life with amenities similar to their primary residence. The age gap between buyers and sellers has widened, and the great recession has changed buyers’ priorities and expectation of value.
Buyers also continue to be cautious and reluctant to be the high bidder when there is no competition. The only way to make a compelling argument is to have a price that creates competition. Relative value in the greater regional market (Vermont-New Hampshire-Western MA) is the key, not relative value to what they can buy in Long Island, Greenwich or Dallas. Success requires clear-eyed realism with superior preparation and presentation.
View from High Meadow, Uphill Farm offers utmost privacy yet is within 3 miles of Woodstock village
There is room for more growth and the $2m to $4m is lacking good inventory particularly in the gentlemen’s farm category with 100 acres or more. LandVest also sees a gap in inventory for the $4m to $8m based on the quality buyers that have come through Uphill Farm in the last year, and historic sales in this price range. Other than the Lull Brook sale, there has not been a sale over $4m since 2009 (see chart below).
For more information on Vermont and Woodstock real estate, please contact Story Jenks. Click here to see Woodstock area Real Estate.