The Virginia housing market has made it to the end of the winter season. January is usually the month with the fewest sales and the lowest prices and January 2014 is no exception. Sales decreased substantially after a relatively strong December, but January 2014 sales were similar to January 2013.
Based on previous years, we can expect the market to pick up through February and March. As the weather warms, we hope that builders will face fewer winter weather events and move full steam ahead, increasing inventory throughout the state. The unemployment rate continued to drop in December and although the January rate has not been released, we expect that Virginia continues to perform better than the US as a whole and that the unemployment rate fell in January.
Interest rates dropped in January, stalling the increases we experienced from October to December. Based on the Federal Reserve’s most recent statements, we expect interest rates to remain fairly stable into the spring. Decreasing unemployment and steady interest rates could accelerate the spring market.
Analysis and commentary by Ted Koebel, Senior Research Associate and Mel Jones, Research Associate of the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech.
For the full January 2014 Home Sales Report, click here.