Killington real estate continues to break records for high-end homes
Ski-on, ski-off mountain retreats selling for millions, multiple offers in days, sight unseen
By Karen D. Lorentz and Polly Mikula
The most expensive house in Killington sold on March 28, for $3.475 million after multiple offers, marking the first single-family home in Killington to sell for more than $3 million. But it won’t be the only one. A $3.499 million house is under contract and will close this summer once construction has been completed. Both properties are slopeside with new construction and over 5,000 square feet.
The $3,250,000 single-family home, called Skyeward, was built in 2004 by renowned local builder Rick Moore and had never been on the market until this spring.
Kyle Kershner, broker/owner of Killington Pico Realty, who listed the property, said: “Skyeward is a slopeside masterpiece offering a rare combination of convenient ski access, beautiful mountain views, and luxury amenities.”
The home features 5,076 square feet of living space on three levels and is located directly on the Great Eastern ski trail. The main level features vaulted ceilings and walls of windows providing an abundance of natural light and an open and airy feel to the living space, Kershner added.
He noted that modern amenities, high-end finishes, York stone flooring imported from England, reclaimed vintage oak beams, mantels and flooring offered a distinctive warmth and rustic charm that appealed to the prospective buyers. There are three bedrooms and three guest suites and all have their own full bathrooms. The primary bedroom suite boasts a fireplace, a soaking tub carved from a single piece of granite, a glass-enclosed marble shower, and a private balcony overlooking the ski trail.
Amenities include a temperature and humidity-controlled wine cellar; a ski vault and cubby room with heated lockers and boot dryers; and a covered hot tub, complete with custom lighting, sound system, retractable canopy and individual towel heaters.
Daniel Pol, associate broker at Killington Pico Realty, was the agent who sold the property. It was on the market for just three days.
Kershner said he listed the property “at 8 on a Friday morning and at 8:12 a.m., the phone rang and by 8:18 a.m., we had our first offer. The prospective buyer called from his ski home at the Yellowstone Club at Big Sky, Montana. His offer was made sight-unseen, based on the high-resolution professional photos, videography, and 3-D virtual tour.”
The other three buyers viewed the property in person and all followed through with solid offers, he added.
Bret Williamson, broker/owner of Killington Valley Real Estate, had a similar experience with the $3.499 million listing at 123 Trailside Drive. “It went under contract before anyone could even see it,” he said, having listed the property with a showing date of April 1. “Offers just started coming in.”
“I was surprised but not surprised,” he added, noting that there has been an extremely strong demand for high-end listings. “Clients of that caliber, know what they want,” he added, explaining that most often includes ski-on, ski-off access as well as brand new construction — in this case, not even finished construction!
The home featured 6,048 square feet with 10 rooms, five of which are bedroom, 5.5-baths with ski-on, ski-off access to the Great Eastern trail on Killington Resort. It has a 7-person hot tub, a sauna, a wood-burning natural stone fireplace in a great room (with vaulted 24-foot ceilings and timber beams). Other amenities listed include a mudroom with built-in boot drying system, a basement bar and billiards room, a clawfoot tub and a heated oversized two-car garage.
While this home will set a new record for the high price of a single family home, Williamson said it’s certainly not that big of an outlier. He has also recently closed on other high-end listings: One in Ludlow sold for about $2 million and another in Robinwood (a neighborhood across from Pico) was listed for $959K and went for more than that with multiple offers, in less than a day! (Pictured on the cover of this guide.)
“Most only take a few days before going under contact,” he said.
Kershner echoed the same and said the responses were indicative of the increasing demand for quality luxury ski-in/ski-out properties.
In all the years preceding 2021, there were just 20 sales in Killington over $1 million, but in 2021 and 2022 alone, there were 20 luxury sales above $1 million, including three sales in the mid-to-upper $2 million range.
After lagging other resort towns in Vermont for high-end real estate, Kershner believes that the Killington luxury market has finally attained a “critical mass” and the town now has “a reputation for offering a community of high-end luxury homes.”
“Our values are where they should be considering Killington is going nowhere but up,”Williamson added. “Killington is a better mountain than many others that have historically listed homes for higher prices — especially for slope side real estate.”
The trend is a positive indicator that there will be significant demand for the high-end duplex development of Base Camp at Bear Mountain and for Great Gulf’s planned Six Peaks Killington Village.
Most real estate brokers and agents point to several factors that have led Killington real estate to new heights and have sustained those values longer than most other markets, which have started to see a rebalancing.
“We are opposite of what you watch on the news. We’re still seeing cash offers on nearly every property,” Williamson said. “In this market ,to be competitive, you almost have to have a cash offer in your arsenal in order to get it.”
Some factors leading to the ongoing hot-market trend in Killington include: investment opportunities, either as personal second homes or for short-term rentals (often using AirBnB and VRBO as platforms) or both; the exodus from the cities of buyers who were interested in Vermont as a safe haven and because working remotely has become increasingly common; and the enhanced reputation of Killington Resort and the town as a year-round vacation destination with modernizing facilities.
Williamson said he’s also worked with many clients who are interested in homes in school choice towns so their children can go to Killington Mountain School with the aid of high school tax dollars — for 2022–23, state school choice tuition amounts equal $15,295 for grades K-6 and $16,752 for grades 7-12.
Despite its recent recored sales prices, Killington has appeared on many “top” lists for value in real estate investment. In mid-April Kiplinger (a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice) listed Killington, and Rutland County generally, as its No. 1 choice, saying: “If it’s charm and the great outdoors you crave, look to Vermont. Rutland County is home to the Killington Ski Resort, which offers skiing, snow boarding and mountain biking … Also nearby are the Green Mountains hiking trails.. and there’s plenty of cultural entertainment, with theaters… museums and art galleries, and colleges.”
Another prestigious study by VACASA named Killington No. 2 in the nation for markets to buy a vacation rental.
While real estate in other areas of the country have begun to slow down a bit, only lack of inventory has thus far limited Killington’s growth.
“For years Killington had a cycle,” Williamson explained, “Most would buy in the fall, right before the ski season. Now if you want something you have to jump as soon as it comes on the market. Assuming its’ priced realistically. Buyers are not dumb,” he said.
“I wish I had a crystal ball,” to know where the market was going from here, Williamson said. “But it’d be hard for me to fathom that prices will drop. Especially now with [Killington’s newly passed municipal] water system, talk of the village happening in my lifetime, new base lodge, and all the four-season recreational opportunities here.”