Outlook for 2014 
The Central Virginia housing market appears to be in a strong position for steady improvement in 2014. Many 
of the key economic and housing market indicators have been positive over the past year. Job growth in the 
region has been consistent, the unemployment rate in the area continues to fall, and building permits are 
approaching pre-recession levels. The major housing market indicators such as sales, pending sales, and 
prices have also seen steady growth throughout the past year, an indication that demand remains strong the 
region’s housing market going into the new year. 
A major variable going into 2014 is the level of active listings in the market. Active listings are still decreasing 
at the region level, but at a much slower rate than in previous years. Median price growth has been consistent 
in the region for nearly two years now. These price gains have helped to improve seller confidence in the 
market, which is evidenced by the stabilizing inventory of homes for sale. Also, it’s likely that the higher price 
points in many areas are capturing sellers that were waiting to get above water on their mortgages to list their 
homes. Expect the number of active listings to continue to stabilize and begin to trend upward as 2014 
progresses. 
As the inventory of homes for sale slowly expands, price gains could soften, but the overall health of the 
economy and consistent job growth will likely keep the market stimulated. In the short term, it will be 
interesting to see how the market responds to the federal shutdown uncertainty from the 4th
 quarter. It is 
possible that some buyers have decided to delay their decision until the spring market, when there are 
generally more homes to choose from. This could suppress momentum in the 1st
 quarter, but would likely 
taper as those uncertainties wane, as long as the employment picture remains positive. 
Interest rates inched upward in 2013, a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This will have 
an impact on the housing market, and could either deter or accelerate real estate decisions depending on 
individual circumstances. Over the long-term, interest rates tend to have little impact on prices. But over the 
short-term, and particularly if interest rates rise quickly, it could have a dampening effect on price points, as 
would-be buyers will have to adjust the loan amounts they are willing to take on given the higher rates.