November 1st, 2013

Market Report for October 2013

http://www.flexmls.com/cgi-bin/mainmenu.cgi?cmd=url+other/run_public_link.html&public_link_tech_id=zuvhf9fx75q&s=6&id=1&cid=1

This link will be good until 12/1/2013  If you would like current information on the Washington County market please feel free to contact me anytime.

Why use FHA financing?

August 24th, 2012

As we watch the volatility in the financial market and the impact that it could have on mortgage rates now and in the future one should consider what the impact will be when trying to resell their home in the future. If interest rates stay the same for an indefinite period of time then there should be now issue as to what type of financing you use, but if interest rates in the future go back up to where they should be or where they have been historically you may have a really hard time selling your home. Most home buyers qualify for their homes based on how much they can afford on a monthly basis. If you purchase a home today with a 3.5% interest rate and if 5 years from now the rate is 7% it will require almost twice as much available money to pay for the same amount of money borrowed. If you purchase a home today for $200,000. at the current interest rates, you would have a base payment of around $700.00 per month. If the interest rate were 7% that payment would almost double. This would make your home much harder to sell because the buyers would be required to have a larger down payment or much more income to qualify to purchase your home. If you have an FHA loan that can be assumed then you would be able to find a qualified purchaser who could take advantage or your great interest rate by assuming your loan. Most FHA loans are assumable. This would not only make your home easier to sell, but it would make it more desirable increasing what you could sell it for. Just a little food for thought before you jump into a mortgage which may or won’t be assumable. A good question to ask before you get your next loan on a home.

St. George, Utah Real Estate Market Update

August 15th, 2012

I just wanted to get an update out to all those who follow this blog.  The market in our area has really picked up in the last few months.  The inventory of homes is shrinking and prices are starting to increase.  The increase in the last year in the greater St. George area has been almost 17%.  If you compare June of 2011 to June of 2012.  We have had a steady increase in sales so far in 2012 and prices continue to go up.  There are still some good deals to be had in the market, but most of them are in the $400,000 + price range.  There is about a 2 months supply of homes in the $150,000 to $250,000. price range.  There are about 220 single family homes in that price range currently on the market.   There are still some good deals on rental properties for investors if they are looking for condo’s or town homes that will actually give them a cap rate of over 5%.  There are some properties that will even do better than that if you know where to look for them.  Land prices are also on the increase and have gone up about 30% in the past year.  In some areas they have gone up less and other areas they have increased even more.  The outlying areas are where the great deals can still be found, but even in these areas things are really starting to pick up.  I predicted about a year and a half ago that when our market changed and started improving that prices would go up at least 10% in the first year.  I must admit that I was a little to conservative in my estimate.  That is good if you are selling or own a property, not so good if you are looking to purchase a property.  Interest rates are still very low and so even with the increase in price housing is still very affordable.  There is a lot of new construction going on in the area as people are starting to build, because they can’t find exactly what they want on the market.  Inventory will continue to shrink for the next year or so as prices continue to rise.  Those people who have been sitting on the fence should have gotten off the fence and purchased a property, because now it will cost them more than it would have a year ago.  Those who are trying to find a nice home under $200,000. had better hurry up and act before they all disappear.  Many people have said to me that they have heard that it is hard to get a loan.  I have not had problems with getting loans done for my buyers.  If you have a good credit score and some down payment money, loans are available and at great rates.  I still see people trying to negotiate great deals on properties and missing out on them because they are not aware of what is going on in the market place.  There are still good deals to be had, but the killer deals are dead.  Even the bank owned homes have increased dramatically in the past few months.  They are no longer fire selling the homes they have on the market.  I hope this has helped some of those who are still sitting on the fence deciding what you want to do, if not then just keep waiting and you will find out the hard way that this isn’t just written to scare people into buying.  This is just an update on what is really happening in the St. George, Utah real estate market.  If you have questions or need more information please feel free to contact me.

Market summary report june 2012

Shadow inventory and how it will affect the St. George market.

February 29th, 2012

Many buyers and sellers are wondering about the shadow inventory and how it will affect the local market.  Shadow inventory for those of you who don’t know what it is, is inventory that is hiding in the shadows.  It is inventory that is bank owned currently and not on the market, homes that are in foreclosure and not yet bank owned and homes who’s mortgages are in default and could be in foreclosure with in the next 90 days.  So you will better understand, in Utah when a home owner becomes delinquent on his/her mortgage the bank files a notice of default on the home.  The home owner has 90 days to make the note whole again or bring the note current.  After 90 days the bank can start the foreclosure process which usually takes another 30 to 90 days.   During the process the seller can still make the note whole or work with the bank to try and modify the loan.  The shadow inventory in Utah is about 1.6 % of existing homes.  That is a very small number in comparison to the homes being sold each month in our local market.  Notices of default are down to about 50 a month on average over the past few months.  The were over 300 a month at the peak.  Most foreclosures that are priced aggressively have multiple offers on them and unfortunately only one of them gets the house.  There are also a lot of investors purchasing homes to take advantage of the low prices and interest rates.  This activity in the current market will allow the shadow inventory to come to the market without much of an impact on those trying to sell their homes.  For those trying to buy homes it will me that there will still be a lot of competition for homes priced under $250,000.  Don’t get discouraged, be patient and persistent and you will be able to find the home for you.  If you get with a good agent that can put you on a drip email campaign to send you new listings as soon as they hit the market this will increase your odds of getting the home you want before the market goes crazy.  You can also find all the homes in Washington County on my website: www.southernutahhousefinder.com.  I hope this helps you to understand what is going on in the market and what is to come.

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Review 2011

January 18th, 2012

Well the numbers are in and all in all last year was a good year for real estate in Southern Utah.  My report deals with Washington County which includes the Greater St. George area and all of the surrounding cities and towns.  This is an overall view of the area and not specific on any one area.  That being said that overall numbers compared with 2010 are very positive.  The total sales of residential real estate was up 10.5% county wide.  There were some areas that sales were better than that and other areas where they were a little worse.  Pended listings for the year were up 9.6 % over 2010.  The average sale price dropped by 3.32 % over 2010.  In December 2011 it was actually up .62%.  Although that number isn’t huge it is a reflection of what is going on in our market.  The biggest statistic for the year is the absorption rate.  The average for the year was 8.8% and in December it was just under 7.2 months.  In December of 2010 the absorption rate was 10.96 months  If you take single family residential without condo, town homes, and manufactured homes there is under 7 months of inventory.  This is a great sign that are market is going in the right direction.  What this means to those looking to purchase a home or sell a home is that home prices will be going up in the coming months and the competition for nice homes will be greater and sellers will be less likely to have to negotiate as much as they have in the past.  New construction is also on the increase throughout the county.  There were approximately 292 new homes that sold in 2010 and 341 that sold in 2011about a 15% increase.  Prices on lots have started to go up as the demand for lots has gone up.  There are several areas where new development is going on.   If you would like more up to date market data or if you would like the data for your area please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with the data.  My out look for the coming year is prices will go up as inventories shrink and as demand also increases.  The bottom line is it is time to get off the fence and purchase a home if you are looking to get the best deal in the St. George market.My market report Washington county December 2011

Buy versus Rent?

January 11th, 2012

I was listening to a radio station yesterday morning and they were talking about a recent presentation by Suzie Orman who supposedly said that it is better to rent than to purchase a home.  I thought his would be a good topic to discuss.  The first question that I asked was do you think that Suzie Orman rents the home she lives in?  Do you think that she has sold all of her rental properties?   The thought crossed my mind about all of the old arguments that we’ve heard over the years about renting vs. purchasing.  I also thought about those people who invest in the stock market.  I have always been taught that if you buy low and sell high that you can make a lot of money!  If you purchase stocks at the bottom of the market and sell when it is at the top, you will make a good return on your investment.  In real estate I assume that you should buy when prices are low and  sell when prices are high.  Well prices are low, and contrary to the advice of some people, there are many people taking advantage of the low price to purchase homes.  It only makes sense that if you want to own a home that you would want to buy it at the bottom of the market.  In our market we have already experienced the bottom of the  market especially in the lower price ranges.  Home ownership has many benefits to the individual as well as the communities they live in.  Home ownership brings stability to families and also gives them a sense of belonging in the community.  Aside from the tax benefits of home ownership, there are also great opportunities to invest in property.  I have often wondered why people are out buying gold and paying ridiculously high prices for something that has mostly intrinsic value.  At over $1800.00 an ounce it just makes me think that the doomsday people have really suckered people into purchasing gold.  The only ones that are making money on gold are those who are selling it at the ridiculously high prices.  I remember many people that purchased homes on speculation driving the prices through the roof, and the roof came tumbling down as the market couldn’t sustain the over inflated prices and now you can buy homes for half of what you could 6 years ago.  Even though those homes have dropped dramatically in price, they still provide a place for people to live and it is also an investment that is insurable.  Eventually the prices will go back up and those that have purchased homes in this down market will make a lot of money.  If you are looking to invest and have the money to get into rental properties, right now is the time.  In the past most people who purchased residential rental properties had to supplement what they were getting for rent to cover the mortgage, but in todays market they can actually purchase the homes with a little down payment and the rents will support the payments on the properties.  Because of all the people who have lost their homes to foreclosure the rental market is booming.  Think about it, you can buy the homes that people have lost and rent them back to them, have the rent cover the payment and in a few years when prices have gone up and they have restored their credit you can sell it back to them at a good profit.  I know it sounds a little vulturous but that is how millionaires become millionaires.  To those who have lost homes I am sure if you asked them they would have much rather purchased those homes at the bottom of the market, chances are most of them would still be in them.

Southern Utah Real Estate Market is Hot

January 9th, 2012

If you have looked at the St. George area in thoughts of purchasing a home now is a great time to buy.  The market has really taken off in the past year.  We are 10% above what we did in 2010.  The amount of inventory is at the lowest since the days of the run up in 2005.  We are currently at a 6 month absorption rate and with the amount of buyers in the market things are sure to get exciting.  I had two homes listed under $190,000. and had multiple offers on both homes in a very short period of time.  On one of the homes I had over 20 showings in less than 2 weeks.  We had 4 offers on that home and more people wanting to purchase it.  This is great news if you are trying to sell a home in the St. George area.  For the past few years home sellers have taken a beating.  Now they will be able to price there homes without feeling like they have to give it away to sell it.  If you are looking for a home in the St. George area it is time to get hooked up with a great agent (me) and let me help you hone in on a great home before the picking is really slim.  We are no longer in a strong buyers market, the market is really a neutral market.  That being said, there are still some really good deals to be had, because not every one is up to speed on what is going on.  In the next few months that will change and prices will start going up noticeably.  You can check out the listings that are currently available by clicking on the washington county property search button on the home page or at www.southernutahhousefinder.com.  If you would like up to the minute information please feel free to contact me anytime during business hours.

Southern Utah Real Estate Market

March 10th, 2010

The real estate market in southern Utah is still abounding with great deals in certain price ranges.  Unfortunately most of them are the bank owned properties.  There are still a lot of short sale properties on the market.  Most buyers are side stepping the short sales because they have learned that most of them take forever to get responses and even longer to actually try and close one.  Many offers that we made on short sales have to be renegotiated because the value of the property has fallen to even less than what the original offer was.  I was listening to a conversation between a couple of people and one had done a short sale and was so discouraged about the time that it took to do it, but actually bought the property for $30,000 less than his original offer.  So if you are willing to go the short sale route pay attention to values, especially if you made your offer over three months ago.  The value of the property may be less than what you offered.

If you are looking for a great home in the $300,000 to $400,000.00 you will need to be patient and realize that they are hard to find.  There are however still opportunities that come along.  If you want to take advantage of those great buys you need to have cash or your financing in place.  If you don’t have a pre-approval letter, not a pre-qualification letter, you probably won’t have a shot at purchasing the home.  If you have to sell your current home and are trying to get one of those great deals it won’t happen unless you have the ability to do a bridge loan or have enough income to qualify for two mortgages. Getting a loan for a second home is difficult to do and requires a considerable down payment.

I have noticed that the homes in the $200,000 and under price range go very quickly and are difficult to find if you aren’t willing to deal with short sales.  The pressure will increase for these homes for the next couple of weeks as people try to purchase a home before the first time home buyer tax credit goes away.  Also remember the credit for moving up in a home purchase will also go away in mid April.  If you want to take advantage of the free government money you need to do it in the next week or two or you will miss the boat.  If you would like more information on the current market conditions please feel free to contact me.