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Housing in the news

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."

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.

Report: Counseling reduces foreclosures, lowers payments

The Washington Post reported yesterday that a new report published by the Urban Institute shows homeowners having difficulty making their mortgage payments are 60 percent more likely to avoid foreclosure if they receive homeownership counseling than those who do not.

Those receiving counseling are also 60 percent more likely to have their mortgage payments lowered "significantly."

Homebuyer tax credit extension; local media coverage

The U.S. Senate has voted to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit and President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law today. (Read our previous posts about the credit.)

Vermont closing costs one of lowest in nation

A recent survey by bankrate.com revealed closing costs for home purchases in Vermont were the 48th lowest in the nation.

Researchers built the list by polling at least four lenders in each state, as well as the District of Columbia, asking for estimated closing costs on a $200,000 loan, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and good credit.

The numbers do not include taxes, and other government and escrow fees.

Video: Housing initiative on Fox

National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) President Susan Dewey made an appearance on Fox Business yesterday to talk about the Obama administration's new initiative to help state housing agencies, such as VHFA.

Watch it here:

Treasury initiative receives press coverage

Yesterday's announcement about a new federal initiative to help housing finance agencies, such as VHFA, received attention in a number of media outlets.

Here's a list of what we've come across:

Valley News: Workforce housing scarce

valley news front pageThe Valley News published a piece yesterday looking at workforce housing in Vermont/New Hampshire's Upper Valley.

In a nutshell, "Home prices are still beyond the means of many people in the Upper Valley."

VHFA's Sarah Carpenter, Maura Collins and Leslie Black-Plumeau provided some opinions and statistics for the story.

Burlington Free Press: Housing market showing recovery

The Burlington Free Press included a story in yesterday's edition headlined "Housing market showing recovery."

Dan McLean writes, "In Vermont, the pace of home sales has quickened in recent months, but sales prices remain below last year's levels."

Read the article online.

Forest Park in Rutland Herald

In light of $2.34 million in federal stimulus funding coming to help restore Forest Park in Rutland — Read our previous post — the Rutland Herald has published a story looking at the history of that early-'70s housing development.

VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter is quoted in the piece by staff writer Stephanie Peters.


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