Recently consumers have been bombarded by news featuring a “doom and gloom” picture of the real estate market nationwide. While national statistics do show that parts of the country are experiencing a change in the market, it is important to know that all real estate is local and conditions vary. What may be happening in other parts of the country is not necessarily occurring in Bennington County or throughout Vermont.
The real estate market in our area is healthy. At the end of the second quarter of 2007 the median price for primary residential homes in Vermont, which is the largest sector of Vermont’s real estate market, was up over 7% from a year ago at the same time. Homes may be on the market a little longer, but statistics reveal that with an attractive inventory of choices real estate continues to be a great opportunity for buyers and sellers alike.
These higher inventory levels, combined with low mortgage interest rates, help create favorable market conditions for home buyers. This is especially helpful for young households who want to make the transition from renting to owning. In contrast to conditions during the housing boom home sellers in many areas are now motivated to negotiate. In these markets, home buyers have increased negotiating power, but may be unsure of how to structure the best deal – they need a professional to help guide them through the transaction.
In light of the recent changes in the mortgage industry, with lenders tightening their guidelines, a REALTORÂ® and mortgage lender can help sellers and buyers navigate the pre-approval process. Vermonters also are fortunate to have organizations like the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to help guide potential home buyers through the financial process of purchasing a home.
As the real estate market becomes more balanced between buyers and sellers, home prices have stabilized. However, most homeowners can still realize a very good return on their investment. According to the National Association of REALTORSÂ® (NAR), consumers who bought their homes six years ago have seen more than 50 percent appreciation in their home’s value during that time.
Buying a home should be approached as a long-term investment, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits over time. Even when temporary corrections have occurred in markets that became overheated during the most recent housing boom, most of the country has never experienced a downturn in home prices since modern record keeping began. Low mortgage interest rates, a growing number of households, strong demographic factors, economic growth and job creation have helped drive record home sales in recent years.
All real estate is local, and there are opportunities galore. REALTORSÂ® can help interpret the data and trends and help find the right fit for a homeowner’s needs and desires. Smart homebuyers, rather than running away from homes, are taking advantage of an extraordinary real estate market.
Categories: Bennington VT Real Estate, Market Outlook, Buying, Selling