Today I got the dreaded call from a pollster. Now usually I don't entertain those types of calls asking me very detailed questions about political views, income level, and other personal details, but . . . she told me it would only take three minutes. Six minutes and fourty-two seconds later the survey was over.
During the survey she asks me what I do for a living and I proudly tell her I'm a self-employed Real Estate Agent. As she gets ready to hang up she says, "I hope this housing slump changes for you." She caught me off guard and I didn't get a chance to tell her what I'm going to tell you. Princeton, WV real estate is not in a housing slump.
Now before all the naysayers out there fall out of their chairs, let me explain. Have real estate sales slowed down? Of course, but real estate is and always has been a local market. Princeton, WV and West Virginia in general has not seen drastic appreciations in price except for two or three specific markets. We generally see about 3-5% appreciation every year depending on the areas. So when other areas of the country were seeing values drop by half their value, ours stayed pretty much the same.
The same thing that makes West Virginia wild and wonderful, the beautiful mountains, rugged terrain, and winding country roads, is one of our biggest obstacles to economic growth. Transportation to different areas in our state are very difficult due to the winding narrow roads, which is changing but slowly. There are new interstates coming into our state that will help with economic growth and development and the transportation of goods. An interstate going through the coal fields tied to Niagara Falls, NY on one end and Myrtle Beach, SC on the other end will bring an unprecedented amount of traffic and growth. Canada will appreciate the better roads to the beach (hopefully without the current speed traps they now face).
So, WV and real estate in many places in the country are in a very good position to stay strong in the near future. I anticipate many people may start putting money back into tangibles like Real Estate due to the danger of putting in the DOW. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to comment.