This article appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer.Â Kathy Sollien, quoted hereÂ is co-owner of RE/MAX Maple Leaf Realty in Bennington VT with Troy Richardson.Â A complete copy of the RE/MAX New England Regional Housing Outlook Report is available by calling Troy or Kathy at RE/MAX Maple Leaf Realty at 802-447-3210 in Bennington VT.Â
By CHRIS GAROFOLO
BRATTLEBORO â€” Vermont real estate agents have seen a resurgence of the housing market in the past few months, according to the latest figures from the RE/MAX of New England quarterly forecast.
The real estate report released this week highlights the combination of low interest rates and first-time homeowner credits for the boost in sales. While the market is still down from the same time last year, sales in single family homes have increased every month of the second quarter in Vermont.
Single family home sales in the state rose 26.6 percent in June from the previous month, according to the RE/MAX report. The average price for a single family home also jumped from $190,788 in May to $210,250 in June.
All six New England states showed double-digit increases since the start of summer in single family home sales activity.
â€œWeâ€™ve certainly rebounded from the market crash of October 2008 through March 2009. And, we now see a market similar to the first half of 2008,â€ said Jay Hummer, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX of New England in the report.
â€œWeâ€™re actually looking at some semblance of a normal market; the total shut-off that we experienced from October through March is behind us and people are buying homes again,â€ he said. â€œUnfortunately, foreclosures will continue to put pressure on home pricing and value.â€
Locally, real estate agents have noticed an upswing in potential homebuyers.
â€œWeâ€™ve had, in the last couple of weeks, a series of multiple offers on residential properties,â€ said Chris Lewis, a real estate agent with Brattleboro Area Realty.
When there are several offers at a time, it means more competition in the marketplace, driving home sales and affording better prices for buyers, she said. â€œWhen we do get that kind of a signal, it means the market is starting to turn over.â€
Local real estate agents credit the surge of activity to the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, which expires the end of November. Buyers must close the deal for their new dwellings by Dec. 1 to qualify for the credit.
â€œNov. 30 may seem like a long way away, but itâ€™s not when youâ€™re buying a home,â€ said Kathy Sollien, broker/owner of Bennington-based RE/MAX Maple Leaf Realty, in the housing market report.
Sollien said in the report she has seen a big push from first-time homebuyers. â€œIf you had talked to me a month ago, I would have said that I have only sold about half as many homes as I did this time last year. Now, the market is beginning to turn.â€
The housing market forecast also reported the average house spends roughly 31 days less on the market than it would have last June.
â€œThis is a great time to be a buyer,â€ said Realtor and sales manager John Hatton with Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors, because of the federal tax credit for new homeowners, the interest rates remaining below 6 percent and the market having plenty of motivated sellers.
â€œWe have seen a very significant increase in business,â€ he said.
Existing home prices still remain down with the average median price in the country at $181,800, down more than 15 percent from June 2008. The median price in northeastern states fares a little better, down 5.9 percent from last year.
Chris Garofolo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.
Article courtesy of: Brattleboro Reformer