Vermont Real Estate Market Reports – February 2017

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.

New Listings were down 18.3 percent for single-family homes and 10.8 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 18.2 percent for single-family homes and 33.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.4 percent to $206,000 for single-family homes and 15.3 percent to $196,000 for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 25.0 percent for single-family units and 7.8 percent for townhouse-condo units.

Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.

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