Slide Show Pict
Greer Installed as RVAR President
Donna Greer of Long & Foster's Smith Mountain Lake and Rocky Mount offices was installed as RVAR's President on December 13th at RVAR's Installation and Awards Breakfast. Also installed were Vic Coffey of RE/MAX All Stars as President-elect; Donna Marie Harris of Long & Foster's Roanoke office as Vice President and Betty Kingery of Mountain to Lake Realty as Immediate Past President. One new Director was installed: Renee Wiggins of RE/MAX All Stars. Installed for a second term as Directors were: Bryan Musselwhite of Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group, Jeff Snyder of The Real Estate Group and Richard Wimberley of RE/MAX All Points.

Your 2014 Board of Directors stands ready to serve you!
 
Roanoke Region Wins Again

The Roanoke Region was recently named Best Trail Town 2013 by Blue Ridge Outdoors. (And the region came in third in Best Beer Town out of 20 other sudsy places.)

Also, the Blue Ridge Marathon was awarded the Virginia First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame award in the category of "economic development through  promotion of Virginia wine, film and tourism." Created by the Roanoke Regional Partnership, the race showcases the region's commitment to making outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship a core component of the Roanoke Region lifestyle. The marathon has created more than $1 million in direct economic impact. The next marathon is scheduled for April 26, 2014!

And, the Roanoke metro gained its highest ranking ever in the Milken Institute's Best Performing Cities report for 2013, ranking 95th out of the largest 200 US metro areas -- an increase of 47 spots over 2012. Roanoke was the second ranked large metro in Virginia, behind Northern Virginia. Roanoke's job growth as well as wage and salary growth were the most significant improvements.

 
Home Sales Predicted to Hold Steady in 2014
National predictions are for homes sales to hold steady in 2014, while prices continue to rise, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, speaking at the November NAR Convention. He expects the national median existing-home price, currently at $197,000, to increase nearly 6 percent next year.

Mortgage interest rates are expected to trend upward and reach 5.4 by the end of next year. With higher mortgage interest rates, he expects refinancings to collapse in 2014 to the lowest level in at least 15 years, and hopes purchase applications will begin to rise. He noted that "even with cheap mortgages for the past four years, all-cash buyers stayed high, accounting for over 30 percent of sales nationwide."

Limited supplies remain a big factor, with inventory bouncing around 13-year lows, and seriously delinquent mortgages have been trending steadily down. "Housing starts are the only way to alleviate inventory shortages. Housing starts need to rise 50 percent to meet underlying demand," according to Yun.
 
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