Posted by: Clayton-Paul Cormier, Jr. | April 24, 2011

2011 Q1

Have the Vermont and United States real estate markets hit bottom?

While many thought this question would have  been answered tidily in 2010, the question echoes into 2011. With historically low interest rates, significantly more motivated sellers and still ample inventory, buyers, especially first time home buyers, have all the incentives to want to jump but have continued to be in short supply with lenders seeing fewer gains and increased associated risk and as such tightening lending standards, effectively hemming in demand. Fits and starts, a sputtering recovery.

Optimists sing a different song.

Maple Sweet Real Estate has enjoyed more properties than usual under contract and the National Association of Realtors sees the country having hit bottom last summer.

Eyeing The Market

RISMEDIA, April 21, 2011—”Sales of existing-home sales rose in March 2011, continuing an uneven recovery that began after sales bottomed last July, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.92 million in February, but are 6.3% below the 5.44 million pace in March 2010. Sales were at elevated levels from March through June of 2010 in response to the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects the improving sales pattern to continue. “Existing-home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, so we’re clearly on a recovery path,” he said. “With rising jobs and excellent affordability conditions, we project moderate improvements into 2012, but not every month will show a gain—primarily because some buyers are finding it too difficult to obtain a mortgage. For those fortunate enough to qualify for financing, monthly mortgage payments as a percent of income have been at record lows.” See the full story.

Here are Vermont Northern New England Real Estate Network MLS stats for the whole state, comparing Q1 2011 with Q1 2010 showing residential sale volume up markedly in January and slightly in February relative to 2010, and while up a lot in March from the previous month, markedly lower than a in comparison to March of 2010 when the Home Buyer Tax Credit was in full swing.

…………………New      Pend     Cntg   Sold    AvgSold$    DOM
Jan 2011    824      325       209    332    $236,688     194

Jan 2010    995      384        94     271    $233,326     176

Feb 2011    810      334       118     272    $248,800    168

Feb 2010    1,229   427      118     267    $229,080     147

Mar 2011    1,037   471        143   376    $255,581     177

Mar 2010    1,448  665       163   421    $220,394       141

The median national home price fell 5.9 percent in March from a year earlier to $159,600, while in Vermont the median March 2011 sale price was $197,000.

Putting a floor under prices: both February and March enjoyed decreasing unemployment and job growth and economists believe the housing market will continue to improve into the second, third and fourth quarters.

Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 to list your property, arrange for showings, or look further into Vermont’s real estate market.


Vermont Required Consumer Information Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly by default. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.
If your property is already listed for sale with another real estate agency, this is not intended as a solicitation of that agency’s listing.
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