West Virgina Real Estate Weathering The Storm

Job losses and foreclosures have been devastating to the West Virginia real estate market, but low property values and federal tax breaks are helping to soften the blows. …

Job losses and foreclosures have been devastating to the West Virginia real estate market, but low property values and federal tax breaks are helping to soften the blows. The Charleston, Fairmont and Morgantown markets appear to have weathered the economic storm best, while elsewhere in the state recovery has not been as swift. See the following article from Housing Predictor for more on this.

Rising unemployment is resulting in more foreclosures in West Virginia as more and more homeowners find themselves out of work. The recessionary economy is making it tougher for many people to pay the bills in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

But the federal government’s first time home buyers tax incentive has helped to increase home sales in most of the state, where property values are some of the lowest in the country.

In Charleston, the housing market has seen the credit crunch make it harder for many home buyers to get a mortgage. But local bankers are underwriting mortgages at an increasing rate these days, which should help the local housing market improve over time. The slowing economy dragged home sales, but were given a boost by lower mortgage rates and the federal tax credit.

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Home values never hit double-digit inflation in Charleston during the boom, which is acting to protect the marketplace from drastic deflation. Prices are forecast by Housing Predictor to deflate just 3.4% in 2009 on average.

Local West Virginia Housing Markets at a Glance

CityForecast
Charleston−3.4%
Morgantown1.6%
Fairmont1.2%
Potomac Highlands−7.3%
Huntington−5.3%

Fairmont is an exception to the landscape of over-inflating markets in America. While many other areas home prices were flying high, prices in Fairmont stayed relatively stable for nearly a half century. Prices have only gone up enough each year on average to be equal to the level of inflation. However, with less financing available the market won’t see much sales activity for the year, and is forecast to appreciate just 1.2% in 2009.

Morgantown has always been a community that’s had a demand for housing, but homes are selling at a slower pace these days as the credit crunch affects the market. Morgantown is forecast to appreciate an average of just 1.6% by year’s end. As the home of West Virginia University, Morgantown is holding up compared to most other places.

However, Potomac Highlands is regarded as a second home market, which has seen home values deflate substantially like most of the nation in the housing crisis. Baby-boomers just aren’t buying vacation property like they were during the boom and it’s likely to remain that way until the economy improves.

Potomac Highlands will see sluggish sales through the year on the way to deflation forecast by Housing Predictor to be 7.3% for the year on average. The over abundance of homes on the market is pulling down the number of transactions.

It’s taking longer and longer to sell homes in Huntington whether they’re on the banks of the scenic Ohio River running through town or elsewhere, affecting home sales. Huntington will see a stream of sales through most of the year, but not like before the crash in housing. Huntington is forecast to sustain 5.3% average deflation in 2009.

This article has been republished from Housing Predictor. You can also view this article at
Housing Predictor, a real estate analysis and forecasting site.

 

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