Despite near record low mortgage rates, home sales are soft in West Virginia, which is suffering through the real estate crash with little marked improvement from the federal home buyer tax credit. The incentive proved to do little to aid West Virginia housing markets in the long run as the Obama administration struggles to adopt a real plan to aid the housing market.
Even with its ailing economy and high unemployment, West Virginia isn’t going to benefit from the White House Hardest Hit Fund to aid housing since it didn’t see home values increase an average of at least 20%. Some of the most stable home prices in the country exist in West Virginia.
The decline in housing prices is hurting the local economy in Charleston even as new residents move to the region for lower home prices. Troubled by near record high foreclosures over 2009, the market saw bank assisted short sales increase and foreclosures slow during the end of 2010 to help the Charleston housing market stabilize. Home sales are projected to improve in 2011 on forecast average home price inflation of 1.6% for the year.
In Morgantown, West Virginia University students are providing a stronger rental market for the community than many others in the state. Morgantown’s friendly college town appeal is a welcoming sight for investors who are expected to purchase more real estate in 2011 as
bargain hunters turn out to buy rental properties. Average home inflation is forecast to rise a modest 1.9% for the year.
The federal home buyer tax credit helped the market in Huntington for a while, but when the incentive expired the market turned off like a faucet. Sluggish sales should rise towards springtime when the winter’s cold weather thaws. As one of the state’s larger cities, Huntington is projected to see improving economic trends towards the end of the year on forecast appreciation that should average 1.5% in 2011.
In Wheeling on the Ohio River, the market also chilled after the federal tax credit ended, but in terms of home prices like the rest of West Virginia prices aren’t expected to move that much either up or down in 2011 as the region comes to terms with the nation’s new economy, combining less bank lending and fewer jobs.
The mining business is expected to hire back more workers towards the end of the year in West Virginia and that should help Wheeling and other housing markets in the state. Home prices are projected to rise a slight 1.3% in Wheeling during 2011.