Asking prices leap in Upper Valley

In the last 12 months, asking prices for single-family homes have risen by more than 50 percent in the Upper Valley towns of Lebanon and Hanover in New Hampshire and in the Vermont towns of Norwich and Hartford, with sales prices rising 14 percent.

“What we’re seeing now is sellers expecting to get high prices for their homes. Things are getting more expensive. It’s crazy,” said Gerry Stark, sales manager in the West Lebanon office of McLaughry Associates Inc.

The median price of home listings is $400,000. The average listing price was even higher — $490,000.

More people also are moving to the area to be near Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center — two major employers.

Since October 2002, the medical center has added 400 new positions and plans to add 100 more in the next two years. Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School also are hiring researchers and other faculty and staff members.

Most of the new hires are coming from outside the Upper Valley and include many higher-paid professionals who can afford more expensive houses.

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