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Increase one partnership at a time

Among these three interrelated issues, increasing the amount of housing can be said to be the top priority. When people don’t have affordable places to live, it’s hard to fill vacant jobs or expand childcare.

In Addison County, Fred Kenny of the Addison County Economic Development Authority says the area needs more housing for middle-income workers (80-100% of the average income in the area).

He knows the state is working on legislation to expand middle-income housing. Still, it can be years before new units are habitable.

Kenny believes more money and less regulation would go a long way in solving Vermont’s housing crisis.

Some organizations, such as Middlebury College, are tackling the shortage directly.

To address the housing shortage, Middlebury acquired a $1.5 million property. It is being developed by Summit Properties into workforce, affordable market housing.

In April, the university announced it had purchased a 35-acre lot. The school will sell the land to Summit in stages as the property develops. Summit plans to build 100 units of one- to four-bedroom apartments. Depending on the final mix of housing types, the development will accommodate he 250-350 people.

“Middlebury College’s goal with this project is to support one of the community’s biggest challenges: affordable housing,” said David Provost, Middlebury’s executive vice president of finance and administration. says. “The college’s ability to attract and retain faculty and staff depends on the economic development of the town of Middlebury, Addison County, and Vermont. brings about the beginning of

Households with an income of approximately $50,000 to $80,000 in Addison County are considered to be served by Workers’ Housing.

The Firehouse Apartments in Bristol are also under construction. Addison County Community Trust and Evernorth are partnering to build 15 apartments for low- and middle-income families. Four more apartments will be set aside as supportive housing for homeless or at-risk households.

The new building is part of the Stoney Hill Master development. Includes a new fire station, business park, and mixed-income housing.

Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty realtor Christa Hoffsis said there is still much to see on the real estate side of the housing market.

Four Seasons Sotheby’s June data looks like the market is slowing.

Compared to the previous year, both the number of sales and the number of months in stock decreased. However, the median listing price and selling price increased during the same period.

June saw fewer new registrations in Addison County (38) than the previous month (48 in May) for the first time since January, Hoffsis said.

“We still have an inventory problem in Vermont, which is that we don’t have a lot of inventory and we have a lot of buyers,” she said. “This doesn’t mean you can’t sell successfully, it just means you have limited options.”

A Recession Whisper to End the Pandemic Sellers Market? Hoffsis believes it influences how people think about the market.

“Some people came to me last week and said, ‘Oh, it’s not a seller’s market anymore.’ Now is not the right time to sell anymore,” she recalled. “And that’s not true. But even if people had heard of it, they might be less likely to list their property right now.”

She said the county’s monthly inventory indicates a strong seller’s market.

Prices dropped as soon as buyers crossed from Chittenden to Addison County, Hoffsis said. Not so much anymore. She attributes this to increased demand and remote work, which has expanded the geographic housing market for people.

She said the six-month average for listed homes in Addison County is $420,000. Today her July average list price was $480,000.

The county’s condo market is booming, and offices are still flooded with out-of-state buyers.

In her experience, people who migrate to Vermont are primarily from the West Coast seeking a less natural and less volatile environment.

Hoffsis said out-of-state buyers are much more flexible about where they go. Their target is Vermont.

“They’re just looking for quintessential Vermont homes and lifestyles,” she said.

In-state buyers, by contrast, usually have more restrictions. They are traveling for a specific job and need to be within commuting distance.

Unfortunately, many local buyers have their prices cut from the market.

“The gratitude rate is just silly,” she said. “So it has a big impact, especially for first-time homebuyers in the state.”

Hoffsis said the expected rate of increase in any given year is 5%. In 2021, the state average was about 20%.

This rate of increase should not continue, she said. Still, between then and rising interest rates, homes are probably out of reach for many first-time buyers.

One of the positive trends in the current market is that there are no longer any homes on the market that are considered “fixer uppers.” This trend could mean an overall improvement in Vermont’s housing stock.

“If there’s been a silver lining in my mind, and I’m really interested in historic homes too, they’re getting TLC now, and after they’ve been renovated, they’re finally going to be a great option.” It will be,” said Hoffsis.

Olga Peters is a freelance writer from Southern Vermont.