Trendy Tuesdays – Values from the Nest

Trendy Tuesdays – Values from the Nest

A popular French Canadian song goes something like this: “The nest is in the tree, the tree is by the house, the house is on the street, the street is in the town, the town is in the county,” and so on. What’s happening in our own backyard?

Even long-time Vermont residents often feel like we live in a small state, a small town or a small community. We feel this way because of the quality of life we have here and the great sense of privacy and quietude we enjoy, even in the midst of our towns and villages. But make no mistake; being “small” does not mean we are, or have, less.

The most recent data compiled by Trulia illustrates this very well. Consider this overview of Vermont residents’ income compared to the National Average.

  • Vermont Median Household Income: $40,856 – National Average: $41,994
  • Vermont Median Family Income: $48,625 – National Average: $50,046
  • Vermont Per-Capita Income: $20,625 – National Average: $21,587

At a 3 to 4.5 % difference, we are right up there on the heals of the national average, which is based on small towns, big towns and highly-populated urban areas with a whole different set of workforce and economic realities, all bundled together in the same nest, so to speak.

When we zoom in closer, to examine adjacent communities, we can see further evidence of the true dynamics of local reality. For example, Trulia makes the following observations regarding fluctuations in the listing price of homes during the month of May. Consider this, for the week ending May 23 (Trulia’s most recent data):

The average listing price for Morristown homes for sale on Trulia was $326,039. This represents a decline of 1.5% compared to the prior week and a decline of 5.4% compared to the week ending May 02.

The average listing price for Stowe homes for sale on Trulia was $659,218. This represents a decline of 1.6% compared to the prior week and a decline of 1.3% compared to the week ending May 02.

The average listing price for Hyde Park homes for sale on Trulia was $222,198. This represents an increase of 1%, compared to the prior week and an increase of 2.2% compared to the week ending May 02.

The Average listing price for Cambridge homes for sale on Trulia was $289,752. This represents an increase of 6.5% compared to the prior week and an increase of 9.7% compared to the week ending May 02.

Dr. Bernie Siegel, renowned for his research and books on living (literally) with cancer, made an observation in the course of a radio interview. He said, “Take two identical twins. One has cancer and dies before age 50, the other lives on, perfectly healthy. How do you explain this?”

Likewise, it seems, there may very well be no obvious explanation for widely different Real Estate market trends in adjacent towns that appear otherwise similar in many respects. Perhaps, then, it is not so much a matter of location as it is a matter of timing.