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Economy

NAR: Vermont real estate market on the rebound

lawrence yunHome prices in Vermont are stabilizing, and will continue to become more stable in 2010. That was the message the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Lawrence Yun (pictured) delivered when he addressed the Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors yesterday.

Rebates for Vermonters upgrading to energy efficient appliances

The federal government is offering nearly $600,000 in refunds to Vermonters who upgrade their household appliances to more energy efficient models.

The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The state is running a mail-in rebate program to help Vermonters replace older, inefficient appliances with new, high-efficiency Energy Star® qualified and ultra-efficient appliances.

$4 billion in recovery funds invested in housing

neal wolinThe U.S. Department of the Treasury announced yesterday more than $4 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have been invested to spur development of affordable housing around the country.

Report: Housing costs burden many low-income Vermonters

Vermont’s aging housing stock is inadequate, causing low-income households to spend more of their money on housing than they can afford, according to the 2010 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment.

The report was released at a press event this afternoon at the Vermont Statehouse (pictured).

VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and Policy and Planning Manager Maura Collins spoke at the event.

Report: Housing affordability worsens

chp logoA recent report from the Center for Housing Policy shows housing affordability has worsened, despite dropping home prices.

"Housing Affordability Trends for Working Households" reports the number of working families across the nation with "severe housing cost burdens" rose from 18 to 20 percent from 2005-08.

Washington Post: Foreclosure relief participation low

The Washington Post says participation in the federal government's foreclosure relief program is low.

The article, published Friday using figures released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury the day before, says just 4 percent of homeowners in the Making Home Affordable program have proceeded past the trial period to achieve a permanent loan modification.

Read the Post story online.

Credit crisis puts a pinch on first-time homebuyers

The Rutland Herald and Times Argus published a piece yesterday about the global credit crisis and its effect on the ability of Vermont organizations such as VHFA to serve first-time homebuyers.

"It's diminished our ability to serve those low-income homebuyers that are our mission to serve," Executive Director Sarah Carpenter says in the article. "In the big picture, it's meant less opportunity for Vermont borrowers."

Record high foreclosures, nationwide; Vermont fares better

Numbers released yesterday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) show foreclosures and mortgage loan delinquencies were at a record high in the third quarter of 2009.

Nationally, approximately 14 percent of all home loans were either delinquent or in some stage of foreclosure.

Vermont's numbers aren't nearly as bad (See map).

Read the Washington Post's story about the report.

BusinessWeek: St. Albans "most affordable" Vermont suburb

businessweek logoBusinessWeek has named St. Albans Vermont's "most affordable" suburb.

"Housing prices across the nation are being flattened by the worst economic crisis in decades," Prashat Gopal writes, "but it's still not necessarily easy to find affordable suburbs.

NAR study: Record number of first-time homebuyers last year

A recent study by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) shows first-time homebuyers reached their highest market share on record during the past year.

The number of first-time buyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, up from 41 percent in the previous year's study.

“These buyers are critical to housing and a general economic recovery, because the market always heals from the bottom up," according to Paul Bishop, NAR Vice-President of Research.

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