Everyone’s talking about impeachment whether or not a recession is on the horizon, and of course what that does to real estate. What follows is part of an email I sent my office last week while in Williamsburg for our state association’s annual conference. I wanted to include for the team my thoughts on the market after sitting in on a session called “The State of the Economy in Virginia”, from Virginia Realtors’ chief economist, Lisa Sturtevant. Often, these reports are rosy and pie in the sky, but I was pleased to see that she seemed to both be reporting realistically, at least realistic to what we’re all feeling on the street level here in the New River Valley. I know the economics might not be something we all geek out on, and that’s fine – my goal is to summarize some things for everyone. Here’s some of what I picked up:
- Nationally, we’re in the midst of the longest sustained GDP growth in the history of the country. In the midst of that growth, we’re seeing job growth slow, which suggests something is going on.
- Virginia has traditionally weathered recessions better than the rest of the country, in large part because of the federal government’s influence. Even in a recession, the federal government likes to spend money.
- Unemployment in Virginia is 2.9%, compared to 4% nationally
- Lisa explained that while this seems like a good thing, it’s not. We don’t have enough unemployed persons in the state to add jobs, and as you’ll see later we don’t have the housing inventory for people even when they move in from other states, so we’re in a sort of a stall there.
So there are a number of positives going on: