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Suspicious Activity Warnings

Warnings are going out statewide regarding several instances of suspicious activity focused on female agents.

VAR is warning agents to be aware of a man who is persistently calling female agents in southern and central Virginia, to show properties in remote places, at night, refusing to meet during the day, refusing to meet in a public location or at the agent's office. No identifiable caller ID appears on the agent's phone.

RVAR has just been alerted to a similar scenario which took place recently in Franklin County involving a female RVAR member. The caller was female, using the name Angie (supposedly calling on behalf of herself and her husband), claimed to be a cash buyer, who wanted to meet the agent at the property. She refused to meet at the agent's office. The phone number provided by the caller to the agent did not work.

Your safety is important. Stay alert to any suspicious activity such as described above. Whenever meeting an unknown buyer, insist on meeting at your office or at a public location. Should you ever feel in danger, notify law enforcement.

This information was provided to RVAR by the Virginia Association of REALTORS and an RVAR Broker. This information is being provided as a service and has not been verified by RVAR.

Roanoke Named One of 10 Best Vacation Towns to Live in Year-Round has named Roanoke one of 10 American vacation towns worthy of relocation. "With short commute times, super-low housing costs and low prices on just about everything, Roanoke's cost of living is a bargain by any standard. But its location at the foot of a stunning mountain range, as well as its relative isolation from the hustle and bustle of the DC area -- four hours by car -- make its case as a great place for relocation."

The only other Southern town to make the list is Greenville, SC.

NAR Predicts Increased Home Sales in 2015

Existing-home sales are forecasted to rise 7.4% in 2015 behind a strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Home prices have risen for the past three years cumulatively about 25%, which boosts confidence in the market and traditionally gives current homeowners the ability to use their equity buildup as a downpayment towards their next home purchase," says Yun.

Yun also predicts median home prices to increase 4%; new home sales to increase 37%; and rental rates to increase 4%.

Despite his forecasted increase in sales, Yun cites the anticipated rise in interest rates, lenders being slow to ease underwriting standards back to normalized levels, and homeowners unwilling to move because they are comfortable with their current low interest rate as potential speedbumps that could slow the increased pace of sales this year.

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