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Data and Statistics

Report's housing affordability claim debatable

The Vermont Economy Newsletter released its annual housing affordability analysis yesterday.

Art Woolf, the report's author, states

Vermont's housing affordability improved in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year, making last year the 5th most affordable year in the 24 years he's published the report.

HUD publishes Burlington area housing market profile

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has published its Housing Market Profile for Q4 2010 for the Burlington/South Burlington area.

Some highlights:

Housing, population data bare closer examination

Today's story on the front of the Burlington Free Press, "Census sense: Housing, population data in Chittenden County crisscross," tells us what a lot of people working with housing data already knew: Numbers can be difficult to interpret.

Writer Joel Banner Baird ponders housing numbers that seem to be growing faster than population.

Population growth slows in all Vermont counties

According to last week’s release of Census 2010 results, no Vermont county was spared the population growth slowdown that occurred in the state during the past 10 years.

In fact, three counties (Rutland, Windsor, and Essex) lost population in the most recent decade.

Chittenden County’s population grew by 7% during 2000 and 2010, more than any other county in the state. The fastest growing town in the state was South Burlington with population growth of 20% between 2000 and 2010.

Vacancy rate statistics can mislead

Vacancies figures for Vermont released yesterday might give a false impression of the amount of available housing in the Green Mountain State.

New numbers from the 2010 U.S. Census show Vermont has a 20.5 percent vacancy rate. While that number may be accurate, the devil's in the details: That statistic includes Vermont's substantial stock of "vacation" homes — units that may, in fact, have no one living in them year-round, but are also unavailable for sale or rental.

For many practical purposes, they'd be more accurately considered "occupied."

HUD: Worst case housing needs up 20%

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) reported to Congress yesterday "worst case housing needs" grew by more than 20% from 2007 to '09. That figure represents a growth of 1.2 million households.

“Worst case housing needs” are defined as low-income households that paid more than half their monthly income for rent, lived in severely substandard housing, or both.

Closing costs jump 37% in 2010

On average, closing costs rose 37% in 2010, according to Bankrate.com's annual survey of the closing costs for a $200,000 home purchase mortgage.

Home buyers faced increased origination fees from lenders and increased fees from third parties for items such as appraisals and title insurance.

Report: Homebuyers default less often with local lenders

"Location, location, location" has long been held as a primary factor in real estate sales. Turns out the same might be said for successful home loans.

New research from Ohio State University reveals low-income homeowners who get their mortgages from a local lender — within 10 miles of their new home — were less likely to default on their loan than borrowers who go with more distant lending institutions.

The rule seems to apply even when comparing identical loan products at the same interest rate.

Vermont Census numbers in the news

chip sawyerChip Sawyer from the Center for Rural Studies (CRS) at the University of Vermont appeared on TV and radio yesterday, talking about the release of the 2010 Census numbers. (See our post from yesterday: "Census: Vermont population up 2.8% over past decade.")

Census: Vermont population up 2.8% over past decade

Vermont’s total population is 625,741, according to the first set of data released from the 2010 Census.

This represents an increase of 2.8% from the count in 2000 — a dramatic slowing of the population growth rate compared to the 8.2% growth between 1990 and 2000. Only six states grew more slowly than Vermont between 2000 and 2010.

Vermont continues to be the second smallest state in the country, behind Wyoming. Although these population counts will affect the number of representatives in the U.S. Congress from many states, Vermont’s single seat will remain unchanged.

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