What's New This Month

April not only promises spring blossoms but also shines a spotlight on the importance of financial literacy in our industry. As Financial Literacy Month unfolds, West Virginia Bankers Title is grateful for our collaborative partnerships and the opportunity to work together in pursuit of our clients' dreams and financial goals. 

Wishing you a month filled with discovery, enlightenment and empowerment!

Rachel Showalter, Agency Operations Manager of West Virginia Bankers Title

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Market Thawing as More ‘Mortgage Lock’ Homes Go Up for Sale

It looks like the housing market is finally shaking off its chill. JPMorgan reports a thaw as more homeowners, who were previously stuck with low mortgage rates, decide to sell. After a sluggish 2023, when folks held onto their properties, February saw a 9.5% jump in existing home sales. It's not a sprint, though; experts predict recovery will be a gradual jog. But more homes on the market mean more options for buyers, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Real Estate Fraud Risk is on the Rise; Victims are Sounding the Alarm

As real estate fraud incidents surge, victims are sharing their disturbing experiences. David Aldrich, a Virginia resident, fell prey to a sophisticated scam, losing over $28,000 in a fraudulent wire transfer. Shockingly, many consumers remain unaware of these risks, with 51% admitting they were not familiar with such scams before closing a transaction. Let's continue our efforts to educate consumers and protect them from these sophisticated cybercriminals.

Fannie Mae’s Title Insurance Pilot Program Overreaches

In her op-ed responding to the President’s State of the Union proposals on housing affordability, ALTA CEO Diane Tomb critiques the revival of a controversial pilot program by Fannie Mae. This program, discussed in last month’s SOTU, aims to waive lender’s title insurance on select refinances. Tomb argues against this move, emphasizing the vital role of title insurance in safeguarding property rights amidst challenges in homeownership accessibility. 



A recent report delves into how workplaces are changing post-pandemic. It emphasizes the need for "dynamic" offices, favoring adaptable spaces over traditional setups. With specialized workspaces and cozy lounges on the rise, the modern office focuses on fostering collaboration and employee well-being. As the workplace evolves, flexibility and comfort are the new norms for boosting productivity and company culture.

3 Common Misconceptions About Password Security
How Will AI Change Content Creation?
Top 5 Real Estate Innovations to Watch Out For

Mortgage Trends

The end of March saw a drop in mortgage rates to 6.79%, giving homebuyers a little breathing room. This was some welcome news, especially with fresh listings hitting the market. However, rates are still hovering near 7%, making some folks think twice. Meanwhile, home prices are holding steady, with inventory on the rise. It seems like the spring market's heating up despite the ups and downs.

Application Payment Index Tracks Home Affordability
Report Uncovers Hidden Costs of Homeownership
What’s the Latest with Mortgage Rates?

Professional Development

As we navigate the unpredictable landscape of 2024, leadership demands adaptability. Four key capabilities emerge: embracing a growth mindset, exhibiting high emotional intelligence, fostering the development of individuals and cultivating an inclusive, collaborative problem-solving culture. These practices nurture proactive, team-oriented employees equipped to tackle the challenges ahead with resilience and agility.

The 3 Strategic Pillars Behind Every Winning Content Strategy
The Importance of Prioritizing Patience and Kindness in Business
4 Tactics for Honing Your Leadership Language

Market Highlights

Low inventory left many house hunters feeling stuck amid last year's homebuying woes. But there's hope on the horizon: more homes are hitting the market. Realtor.com’s latest report reveals a 4.9% increase in December listings, with new sellers up by a whopping 9.1%. While this surge offers a glimmer of relief for buyers and sellers, it's still a far cry from pre-pandemic levels. Dive into the regions where housing inventory has soared and discover what 2024 holds.

What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Housing Market
Homeowners Are More Satisfied Than Renters
Pending Home Sales Surge in the Midwest but Slump in Pricier Regions

Empower Financial Futures: Explore the ‘Get a Life’ Program

Looking to empower a student or young adult with essential financial skills? Dive into the "Get a Life" program, a collaboration between the WV State Treasurer’s Office and Fairmont State University. Through interactive simulations, students learn to make informed financial decisions, manage expenses and understand the value of post-secondary education. Perfect for Financial Literacy Month, it's a fun way to boost economic literacy, problem-solving and budgeting skills. Request the “Get a Life” Home Edition or explore more financial education resources for the family here