New report says home ownership out of reach for many

03/26/08 7:04AM By John Dillon

(Host) A new report says home ownership continues to be out of reach for many Vermonters who don't make enough money to pay rent, let alone buying a house.

Sarah Carpenter is director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

(Carpenter) "There is still a big gap in what first-time homeowners can afford and what we know is on the market.''

(Host) Carpenter's agency produced ``Between a Rock and a Hard Place,'' the seventh annual report by Vermont housing advocates.

It says existing home prices in Vermont went up last year to a median price of $201,000 while new construction is around $300,000.

The average fair market rent in Vermont averaged 836 dollars, up five percent from 2006.

But Carpenter says there is a bit of good news.

(Carpenter) ``We are seeing a modest stabilization of housing values this year and we expect that to continue for probably the next 18 months.''

(Host) The Legislature is still considering a bill that advocates say would help relieve some of the challenges in housing.

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