It’s been quite a month! Federal interest rates were cut again, settling between 1.5% and 1.75% by the end of October. Lower mortgage rates followed, with the national average for a Freddie Mac 30-year fixed loan around 4%, and a 15-year fixed-rate at 3.53%. The housing market is seeing an influx of Millennial-age buyers, which is being attributed to a rise in household income and this drop in interest rates, boosting homeownership to its highest rate in more than five years.
FORECLOSURE AND DELINQUENCY NEWS
There is good news on the foreclosure/delinquency front as well. According to CoreLogic, in August 2019, (the most recent data available) the national foreclosure inventory rate is currently at 0.4%, and the national 30-day delinquency rate for the same time period was 3.7%, a 0.2% decrease from the previous year. The delinquency rate is near the lowest for this time period (August) in nearly 20 years.
Locally, West Virginia’s market is continuing to mirror national trends, as home prices are forecasted to increase in value over the next year. While the increase in home value is smaller than the previous year, it currently stands at 3.4% year-over-year and forecasted at a 5.5% increase in value over the next year. (August 2019-August 2020.)
WV Women & Technology Conference
On October 21st, hundreds of people gathered at the WV Women & Technology Conference in Charleston to learn more about boosting the state’s economy, closing the gender pay gap, and other tech-related topics. The conference, held by the Charleston-based nonprofit organization TechConnectWV, featured panels and presentations on a variety of topics and coincided with the opening of Infor, a cloud-based software company for specific markets and industries. The company has promised 100 new jobs in the area. West Virginia has seen tech sector growth recently, and this conference highlighted the need for technology-trained workers in the coming years and how women are an essential part of that growth. Learn more: WV Women in Tech Conference.
New Incentives to Fill West Virginia Teacher Vacancies
The West Virginia legislature recently passed an education reform bill, including pay raises for teachers and service workers, more support staff, and additional funding in struggling school districts. One provision that is especially exciting; changes were made to the Underwood-Smith Scholarship and Loan Repayment program. Now called the Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Progam, the initiative is now focused on helping fill teacher vacancies in the state. $10,000 per-year scholarships will be rewarded to 25 students who meet the program’s criteria. After graduating, they are required to teach math, science, elementary education or special education in West Virginia public schools for five years, with the goal to attract future professionals to West Virginia classrooms and boost classroom performance state-wide.
Learn more: Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars
On this day in West Virginia History
We have such a deep, rich history in our state, there’s bound to be some ghosts of Halloweens past, right? This engrossing ghost story took place in 1897 and has become the stuff of Halloween legend. How did a visit from the ghost of a deceased daughter help her mother catch her killer? The Greenbrier Ghost is one of West Virginia’s enduring ghost stories. The Washington Post published this exciting story on October 31st this year. Have you heard of it? “The Time an Apparition Helped Convict a Murderer.”
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