December 2015 Market Reports
In 2015, national residential real estate, by and large, had a good year. Supply and demand were healthy in an environment rife with low interest rates and improved employment. The Federal Reserve finally increased short-term rates in December, and more increases are expected in 2016. Housing markets have shown a willingness to accept this. Save for a few expensive outliers where low inventory and high prices have become the norm, a balanced market is anticipated for much of the country for the foreseeable future. Improved inventory and affordability remain key factors for continued optimism.
New Listings were up 10.5 percent for single-family homes and 41.1 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 8.3 percent for single- family homes and 9.0 percent for townhouse-condo properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 7.9 percent to $210,413 for single-family homes but decreased 0.5 percent to $189,000 for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 21.3 percent for single-family units and 17.3 percent for townhouse-condo units.
Gross Domestic Product increased at an annual rate near 2.0 percent to close 2015, and that rate is expected to increase next year. Residential real estate is considered a healthy piece of the national economy. Contributing factors from within the industry include better lending standards and foreclosures falling back to more traditional levels. Declining unemployment, higher wages and low fuel prices have also conspired to improve personal budgets.
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Selected areas in southern Vermont include: