Steady growth marked fourth quarter housing market

Consistent and steady growth characterized the Lynchburg Association of Realtors’ housing market in the fourth quarter of 2019. Sales activity rose for the third quarter in a row, driven by sales growth in Campbell County and Lynchburg. The region’s median sales price climbed by $5,800 and has been rising consistently for nearly 4 years, a reflection of the low inventory of active listings on the market and solid demand. The increases in sales and prices drove up the sold dollar volume by more than $5.6 million in the region.

Homes sold on average about one week faster, and the supply of active listings continues to shrink rapidly, falling 17% from one year ago. While there were some job losses midway through 2019, the region’s economy continues to have mostly positive indicators, which is a good sign for the local housing market. The unemployment rate continues to be low, and interest rates remain attractive to active buyers in the market.

Sales activity increased modestly in the area housing market this quarter. There were 822 sales throughout the region in the fourth quarter, 15 more than one year ago for a 2% increase. Sales activity has been rising slowly and steadily for most of 2019. Campbell County and Lynchburg drove all of the LAR area sales growth in the fourth quarter, climbing 15% and 9%, respectively.

Appomattox County had the largest drop in sales, down 21% from a year ago. After a strong second and third quarter, sales declined in Amherst County in the fourth quarter, falling 13% from a year ago for 11 fewer sales transactions.

» Amherst County:

There were 76 sales in the fourth quarter, 11 fewer than last year for a 13% decline. Sales had been rising quickly in the prior two quarters.

» Appomattox County:

After surging last quarter, sales activity in Appomattox County slowed this quarter. There were 44 sales in the fourth quarter, 12 fewer than a year ago for a 21% reduction.

»Bedford County:

There were 309 sales in the fourth quarter, inching down 1% from last year with two fewer sales transactions. Sales activity has been relatively flat in the county for the past year.

»Campbell County:

Campbell County led all jurisdictions in the region in sales growth this quarter. There were 144 sales in the county during the fourth quarter, 19 more transactions than last year for a 15% gain.

» Lynchburg:

Sales activity is back on the rise in the Hill City after trending down for several quarters. There were 249 sales in the city in the fourth quarter, 21 more than a year ago, representing a 9% gain.

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®.