Vermont bucks national trend as one of nine states to see steady home ownership
Home values in Chittenden County rose after the recent economic recession even as the nation as a whole saw declines, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis that compared homeownership and home values during and after the recession.
The county’s median home value increased from $258,000 in 2007-2009 to $268,500 in 2010-2012, according to estimates in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Vermont was also one of only 19 states — and the only state in New England — that saw statistically significant increases in median home values between the three-year periods. The state’s median home value increased by $3,900 to $215,700 in 2010-2012.
“Our highs aren’t as high, and our lows aren’t as low, is a good rule of thumb in Vermont,” said Leslie Black-Plumeau, research and communications coordinator at Vermont Housing Finance Agency. “And this recession was no different in terms of prices.”
The median home value in the United States in 2010-2012 was $174,600, a decline of $17,300 compared to the 2007-2009 recession years. Decreased home values were more common in high-population U.S. counties than in smaller counties, according to the Census Bureau analysis.
Sarah Carpenter, executive director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency, said steadily-increasing home values put strain on home buyers, especially those trying to enter the market.
“We have still a mismatch between median home prices and median incomes, and that’s been around for a while,” Carpenter said. “I think that is driven somewhat by the age of the population, somewhat by the second home market.”
“There are factors driving up home prices that don’t drive up wages in Vermont,” Black-Plumeau added.
Vermont was also one of nine states, and again the only state in New England, where home ownership remained steady. Its home-ownership rate was approximately 71 percent in the years after the recession.
“Vermont has always been a high home-ownership state,” Carpenter said. She said the state’s older population might be one factor.
Nationally, the home ownership rate peaked in 2006 and has been dropping ever since, according to the Census Bureau.
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Article courtesy of April Burbank | The Burlington Free Press | Nov 29, 2013