Real estate unrealistic investment for many
Last week’s front-page story showed a remarkable, yet troubling trend. Real estate prices here are up 15 percent in the first six months of this year after a record-setting 2015.
The average sales price of a home January through June was $351,000. If you’re selling, you timed it right. If you’re looking to buy … good luck.
One young professional woman who attended the breakfast made salient points about this town’s potential to simply turn into a playground for the wealthy. It’s troubling that 40 percent of homes inside the city limits are not owner-occupied. They’re being rented out as B&Bs or serve as second homes for some.
For young, working singles or even young professional couples without a sizeable nest egg, this market is proving unaffordable. When realtors have to tell teachers, law enforcement personnel and nurses there is nothing they can afford, our best and most charitable minds need to come together to solve this problem.
That’s too bad, because interest rates continue to remain low and, historically at least, it is a good time for families to invest.
But the market dictates what goes on. A few local employers are investing in their own projects to house employees.
Some residents have voiced frustration with local government not doing much to help out with the situation, other than waiving development fees and making calls to solicit builders. But our elected officials tend to keep their hands off the market. Short of getting into the landlord business, there are few options for the city.
When developers begin talking “affordable,” or below market rate prices, the state must get involved to offer tax credits, or a generous developer or “angel investor” who’ll accept a lesser return on his investment.
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