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Economists advise acknowledging the possibility of house price declines

Facts refute the popular story that the nation's foreclosure crisis resulted from financial industry insiders deceiving uninformed mortgage borrowers and investors, according to the authors of a new national-level report from the Boston Federal Reserve Bank.   B

Despite slight increases in 2011, volume of home sales still low

State housing finance agency credit ratings stabilize

Credit ratings for the single-family programs of state housing finance agencies in the U.S.

Returning foreclosed homes to normalcy key to economic recovery

The slow pace of the economic recovery is due in large part to a chronic glut of pending troubled home loans and foreclosures across the U.S., according to the nation's leading economists.    

VT's rental vacancy rate drops in 2011

According to annual housing vacancy statistics compiled by the Census Bureau, the estimated statewide rental vacancy rate fell in Vermont from 6.1% in 2010 to 4.2% in 2011--the lowest in the nation, with the exception of Oregon. Nationally, the rental vacancy rate was 9.5% in 2011. 

Vermont's owner vacancy rate remained about the same in 2011 at 1.7%. The national owner vacancy rate was 2.5%. 

Review the Census reports



Top challenges facing low and moderate-income communities

When surveyed recently by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, service providers chose availability of job opportunities, state and local budget cuts, and federal budget cuts as the top three most important challenges facing low-and moderate-income communities in New England. Access to affordable housing and home foreclosures rounded out the top five most frequently cited responses.

Review the survey results.

Vermont economy recovering amidst global and national challenges

Vermont's econonomy outperformed the U.S. during the past 12 months, with tax revenues that exceeded projections by 2.5%.  Nevertheless, state economists cautioned the legislature and administration of the risks here in Vermont should national policy makers fail to reach an agreement about raising the U.S. debt ceiling. 

Home prices in Vermont will likely continue to decline slightly during the next 3 months, the economic report to the legislature explained.  After that, Vermont's real estate market is likely to begin "an extended period of very low price appreciation."

Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program application deadline coming

The pre-application deadline for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's (HUD) Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP) is coming soon.

Homeowners who want to be considered for mortgage assistance need to complete the pre-application screening materials by July 22.

If there are more potentially eligible homeowners than funds available to assist them, these materials will be entered into a random selection process to pick those invited to complete applications for EHLP loans.

Proposed minimum downpayment rule debated

Proposed mortgage lending rules being considered by federal regulators are drawing fire from a variety of players in the housing industry.

At the heart of the debate is a rule that would require borrowers submit a 20 percent downpayment to purchase a home. Intended to help prevent the type of defaults that contributed to the mortgage crisis a few years ago, critics say the rules would stifle the economic recovery and shutout many credit-worthy buyers or, at least, increase their costs through higher interest rates when they can't meet the proposed requirement.

Town meetings on the economy and budget

Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a series of "town meetings" on the economy and federal budget priorities.

He hopes to discuss ways to prevent cuts to programs that benefit Vermont's working families.


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