Arts & Leisure Real Estate Advice

Real estate advice: Irene Poole

IRENE POOLE

How would you describe the market these days? 

The real estate market nationally continues to reel from the many effects of the pandemic, and Vermont’s market is no exception.  In a word, the market is “complex,” and in the process of recalibrating.

The pandemic migration we experienced has slowed substantially, if not stopped, and I’ve already seen folks who bought during the pandemic decide to sell (at a substantial profit). 

With many companies allowing employees to work from home, internet connectivity has become a key factor for many buyers when choosing a location.   The active build-out of the high-speed internet infrastructure has substantially increased the options for many buyers, and bolstered home values in the areas connected.

The low housing inventory remains the most critical issue affecting today’s market, followed closely by the higher mortgage interest rates that we had grown accustomed to in recent years.  (For the baby boomers among us, the current interest rates do not seem all that frightening, compared to what we saw in the 1990s.)

There does not appear to be an immediate solution to the chronic housing shortage in Vermont, which likely means that home values will continue to drift higher. It could take as long as a decade for the housing shortage in Vermont to be rectified. And regarding interest rates, there are no signs yet that rates will be lowered enough to make a difference any time soon.

Which party has the upper hand right now (Buyers? Sellers? Or is it fairly level?)

Because of the low housing inventory, coupled with the appeal of Vermont living, the current market is considered a sellers’ market.  That said, many potential sellers are reluctant to sell in this market because there are so few options on the buying side (nowhere to go).   The ones with an upper hand are those who have the ability to sell, without the necessity to buy (people considering moving to retirement communities, for instance).  On the buy side, cash buyers continue to have greater success when multiple offers are made on a house.

Do you see that shifting in the near future?

The market is currently recalibrating.  I do not see any major shifting in the housing market until the housing shortage conundrum is solved, which is going to take time (many years).  Of course, lower interest rates will increase the ability of some buyers to enter the market, but that is not looking like a possibility any time soon either. 

Irene Poole is an agent on the Chris von Trapp Team at Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman. She has lived in Addison County since 1997.  In addition to her real estate work, Irene is a volunteer EMT on both Ripton Fire & Rescue and Brandon Area Rescue Squad. Reach Irene at [email protected].

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