From The Register-Herald.
View this article at http://www.register-herald.com/business/local_story_148205846.html.
W.Va. real estate market defies national trends
By Fred Pace
Despite national news stories this weekend claiming doom and gloom in the real estate market, West Virginia’s housing market remains stable, according to the West Virginia Association of Realtors®.
“While there is no question some areas in the country are being hit hard, the market in our state is still stable,” said Raymond Joseph, the association’s chief executive officer.
While some national markets are declining by as much as 20 and 30 percent, the median sale price of a home in West Virginia has only fallen by $7,000, or around 8 percent, in the first quarter of 2008, Joseph says.
“Slight drops in the first quarter are not all that unusual, and in all likelihood we will see increases, not decreases, as we approach the end of the second quarter and summer sales,” he said.
Nationally, analysts predicted prices would fall further in the months ahead given the huge backlog of unsold single-family homes.
The National Association of Realtors® reported Friday that existing home sales dropped by 1 percent nationally to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units, matching the all-time low set in January.
Although the state is defying national trends, it still faces challenges, according to Joseph.
“Don’t get me wrong, the market in West Virginia is not perfect,” he added. “We are experiencing longer than usual days on the market and a large inventory. However, overall I suspect that we are still one of the more stable markets in the country.”
The West Virginia Association of Realtors® represents over 3,700 real estate agents from across the state.