As we can see on the graph above, unemployment rates continue to decrease in Virginia and Harrisonburg specifically. Unemployment is bad for the economy in general, but how does unemployment effect the housing market specifically? The answer is that it effects the housing market cyclically.
The start of the cycle is the simple fact that with less people working, less people can afford to buy houses. This effects builders who don't have the demand to build. This means builders are out of work and the employment rate continues to rise.
Furthermore, the lack of demand drives the prices of houses down; which means people get desperate and take a loss to get out of their house. Speaking of desperate, people out of work quickly figure out that they can't make their mortgage payments and possibly have to short sale or foreclose their home.
The good news is that unemployment rates are down and the housing market is on the upswing! National Association of Realtors reports national inventories rose 14% while interest rates remain low. In May, Harrisonburg's inventory also grew, when compared to last year. See graph below.