The unemployment rate in the Lynchburg region remained at 2.8% in November, lower than the national unemployment rate but somewhat higher than the state level. The unemployment rate in the Lynchburg area, however, has been trending down steadily for more than six years.
While consumer confidence remains strong, data suggest uncertainties about future economic conditions among residents of the South Atlantic region, which includes Virginia.
The measure of confidence in current economic conditions continues to rise and was 174.4 in December. The measure of consumers’ confidence in future economic conditions fell to 102.9 in December. A level above 100 is positive, but this metric has been hovering slightly above and below 100 for the last few months.
In the first week of January 2020, the 30-year fixed -rate interest rate was 3.72, virtually unchanged from the month before and three-quarters of a point lower than last January. This long period of low interest rates likely will continue into 2020, which helps create favorable housing market conditions.
The national housing market continues to perform fairly well. Growth in wages and continued low mortgage rates have been factors in the market performance.
Existing home sales generally have been on a slow upward trend since spring 2019. New home sales declined slightly through the spring and summer but rebounded in the final quarter of 2019. Several new developments are opening up in the spring and summer of 2020, so housing starts are expected to show an increase.
Local Market snapshot for January
- Residential properties on market: 717
- Properties sold: 199
- Average price: $202,255
- Average days on the market: 59
The 2019 Housing Trends Report for the fourth quarter was received from Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist of Virginia REALTORS®, and provided to the Lynchburg Association of REALTORS®