Moving giant Atlas Van Lines keeps track of which states have people moving in and which have people moving out. It found that Virginia, which had been an “inbound” state in 2011 became “balanced” in 2012. (That is, about the same number of households moved in as moved out.)
This is despite the fact that mid-Atlantic coastal states like ours are, along with the Southwest, the most popular place to move. Well, maybe the other mid-Atlantic coastal states are; North and South Carolina were both in the top five.
Meanwhile, both Atlas and United Van Lines found Washington, D.C., as the most popular destination — in Atlas’s case for the seventh consecutive year — with 63 percent of moves being inbound.
Officially, unemployment in the U.S. was at about 7.7% in November*. That’s high, but it’s been dropping steadily over the past year, and in Virginia, our rate is about two percent lower.
The latest report from ADP found good news: “U.S. private-sector employers added 215,000 jobs last month, well above economists’ expectations.”
Great. So more Americans are going back to work. What’s not to like (especially because 39,000 of those new workers were in the construction industry)?
For the long term, it’s all good of course. Healthy, happy, employed people make the economy grow, pay taxes, and — hopefully — buy homes, too. But here’s a nugget: The Federal Reserve has said it won’t raise interest rates until unemployment hits 6.5%.
Happy New Year, etc. etc. There are plenty of predictions about the next year in the housing market, and I’m going to do my best to ignore all of them. But there is (and will be) plenty of actual data to look at.
First off, there’s some good sales news from Calculated Risk. Specifically, it shows that not only are sales increasing (as we already knew), but much of that increase is coming from conventional sales as opposed to distressed sales.
For example, as economist Bill McBride put it, while NAR reported that sales in general were up 14.5% in November (year over year), conventional sales were actually up almost 21%.
Working for the Virginia Employment Commission, the Demographics & Workforce Group has developed a picture of what the state’s population will look like in 2020, 2030, and 2040. Result: Some areas will grow, others will shrink.
Projected to see the biggest population declines between now and 2040 are Lee County (-8%), Arlington County (-5%), Virginia Beach (-4%), and Alleghany County (-4%).
Henrico County has lost an eminent domain case brought by a developer who had a chunk of her land acquired/seized by the county. A jury unanimously awarded the the (former) property owner an additional $236,750 for the land, which had been taken as part of a road-extension project.
Emily Sterling owned a half-acre plot — acquired by her father in 1997 — at what is now a rapidly growing section of western Henrico.
The county offered Sterling $126,000 for the 1/5th of an acre it needed for the project.
Sterling declined, but offered the full half acre to Henrico for $253,000.
The county said no and took its 1/5th acre via eminent domain.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch asked Richmond Association of Realtors® CEO to weigh in on Virginia’s housing recovery. Check out what she had to say by clicking here.
Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey found that Americans are feeling more positive about the economy, and are happy to make predictions about it.
More people expect mortgage rates to go up and housing prices to go down over the next year, for example. And — based on what I couldn’t tell you — “51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage.”
Here’s the good news: In its 2012 report on the National Mover Rate, the Census Bureau found that 1.4 million more people moved in 2012 than did in 2011.
Here’s the bad news: That’s only a 0.4 percent increase.
Here’s the good news: It’s still an increase, and the 2011 rate was a record low. Heck, 12 percent of Americans moved in 2012.
So think of it as yet another small sign of the housing rebound.
Who were the biggest movers?
According to this HousingWire story, a good portion of the nation’s homebuyers fall into one of two camps: first-time buyers with low-interest FHA loans, and investors looking for single-family homes to rent.
The battleground: the $225K to $400K price range.
Nearly one out of every 3 buyers was an investor, typically paying cash for houses with a median price of $245,000, according to DataQuick.
Simultaneously, 25.5% of mortgage originations with FHA financing were to first time homebuyers, down for the second time in two months.