1st Quarter Area Housing Trends

Area 1st Quarter Housing Report

Economic Overview
Job growth has been unsteady in the Lynchburg area, though there have been fairly good economic gains in 2018 and 2019. The Health Care & Social Assistance sector has been a driver of the regional economy, though there have also been gains in the Construction and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sectors.

Unemployment has been very low in the Lynchburg area, though the current unemployment rate is somewhat higher than the statewide rate. In February 2020, the Lynchburg regional unemployment rate was 3.3%, compared to 2.8% for Virginia and 3.8% for the U.S.

Consumer confidence took a dip in March, though confidence in the present economic situation remains strong so far. Among residents of the South Atlantic region of the U.S., which includes Virginia, the measure of confidence in current economic conditions was 168.4 in March, down slightly from February, but still in positive territory. The measure of consumers’ confidence in future economic conditions fell to 99.4 in March. The future expectations metric had been trending down beginning at the end of 2019. A level below 100 indicates consumers are feeling more pessimistic about future economic conditions.

In the 2nd week of April, the 30-year fixed-rate interest rate was 3.33%, virtually unchanged from a month ago. However, there has been a tremendous amount of volatility in the mortgage market, with mortgage rates bouncing around on a daily basis. In addition, there are growing concerns about a lack of liquidity in the mortgage market which has led to higher-than-expected rates, as well as more stringent lending requirements. Stabilization in the mortgage market and more predictable interest rates that link back to fundamentals will be an important signal of a return to normalcy in the housing market.

Market Snapshot
Active Properties for Sale 692
Sold Properties January-March 780
Average Sales Price $206,543
Average Days on Market 89

Data and analysis provided by the Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. Market snapshot provided by Karen W Hall, immediate past president of the Lynchburg Association of REALTORS®.

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