The current Real Estate market has been compared to popcorn. Alison Barges, of Prudential Realty Mart, in Burlington, made this observation, adding that one did not know what is going to pop. Imagine a Jiffy Pop bag in the microwave. What actually happens is a moment of silence, followed by a dynamic burst of kernel percussion. Instructions warn us to stop the microwave when popping slows to 1 to 2 seconds between pops, but outbursts of popping inevitably make us question the actual timing so that we are reluctant to give up.
Indeed, according to Mortgage Bankers Association, “Vermont’s Real-Estate sector has held up much better than nationally” and we should not give up. Though 4.8 % of Vermont mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure between September and December 2009, that number rises to 8 % for the remainder of New England and 9.7 % nationally.
Many in the industry believe that low interest rates and the home buyers’ tax credit are not the only factors responsible for market activity improvements. Kevin O’Shea, with Homes of Westchester in White Plains, believes “We’re getting back to the real reason why people always bought homes: to have a nice place to live, to have a nice lifestyle.” Stephanie Somers, with Re/Max Access in Philadelphia, believes that first-time home buyers have become smarter, more realistic and more familiar with the Real Estate process. They are saving up and are better prepared for higher down payments.
The National Association of Realtors says that home sales in the Northeast “tumbled from December to January, but were still 17 percent above year-ago levels.” Seen at ground level and from a local perspective, sales in the New York City suburbs climbed 39 % from a year ago while Burlington, Vermont is ahead with an increase of 40%. Interestingly, for all of 2009, existing-home sales lead to the first annual sales gain since 2005 and Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said “sales are on track to rise again in 2010.”
It appears we are climbing the hill at a steady and almost remarkable pace in this little corner of the world. Of course, various economical factors, such as job availability to name an important one, may cause the path ahead to feel bumpy, but there is nothing like a good challenge to make us press forward and look to the summit. As with any climb, it is by looking down that we risk losing our footing, not by looking up.
Burlington Free Press ~ Real Estate Sales Rise in Chittenden County
Burlington Free Press ~ NE Home Sales up by 17 Percent From Year-Ago Levels
Realty Times ~ National Summary