Natural Capital: Burlington, VT

Burlington, Vermont is the most metropolitan area in the state of Vermont sitting at a population of 42,417 (Burlington City, 2010).  Burlington is rapidly growing city with stagnant housing growth.  Furthermore, Burlington is largely a college town and have to accommodate a large off campus population.  A huge aspect of natural capital of the city of Burlington, is the location of the property.  The median property value by metropolitan statistical area is $300,000 or more which is almost double the national average of $185,200 (Mazur, 2010).  The significant difference shows the large inflation of the property value in Burlington.  According to Burlington Free Press the housing vacancy is “anemic” (Despart, 2015).  This means that there are very little available apartments, which makes it very easy for the rent prices, and that’s just what is happening.  The property value depends on location, for example houses close to downtown, close to campus, have a view of the lake or are on the lake tend to have a higher value.  It is the view of some of the citizens that rent is too high for what they are paying for.  In fact a Housing Action Plan has been submitted to City Hall.  It aims for a healthy Vacancy rate of 4 percent, but currently the vacancy rate lies at 1.1 percent (Despart, 2015).

All these statistics boil down to one thing. The fact that a low amount of available housing drives the price skyward.  A low supply and a high demand makes high and often unfair prices.  However, it creates an abundance of natural capital for the property owners.  The increasing value and limited space, however unfair, gives the land a very high natural capital.

Mazur, C. (2010, October). Property Value: 2008 and 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2016, from https://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/acsbr09-6.pdf

Burlington city, Vermont. (2010). Retrieved September 25, 2016, from http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml#

Despart, Z. (2015, August 31). Burlington rent prices remain high. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2015/08/31/burlington-vacancy-rate-remains-low/71340510/