Monday, November 03, 2008

New and Existing Home Sale Projections - St George Real Estate Correctly Valued

Economic.com gives us some insight as to where we may be headed as far as real estate sales and values are concerned. First of all, here in St George Utah, home prices are calculated as "Correctly Valued" as to price to income and rent ratios. The following graphs on St George Ut Real Estate Market Statistics will predict that the bottom has arrived for both new and existing home sales and as well as the predicted climb out of that bottom in appreciation of values.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The New St George Regional Airport

The new St George Regional Airport will be an economic catalyst for so many businesses and its arrival is planned for around Nov. 1, 2110. The new airport will likely attract companies looking for a place to land. The current St George airport creates nearly 1,000 jobs and brings in nearly 30 million to the local economy. The new airport manager was reported in a recent article from Utah Business magazine entitled Taking Flight as saying, "This airport will be able to accommodate aircraft, freight, cargo service...these are integral elements in the community". The new runway will be 9,300 square feet, larger than the current one at 6,600 sqauare feet, in order for larger aircraft to land. The new airport will serve as an anchor to Southern Utah's and St George Transportation system.

Monday, September 29, 2008

National Inflation Hedge on New Construction Should Stay Home Prices - St George Real Estate

National Inflation Hedge

I just read an interesting article out of Realtor magazine, October 2008 issue, by Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. He maintains over the long term home prices tend to rise with commodity prices. Commodities like oil, copper, steel etc. are the ingredients going into homes. These hard costs, unlike other kinds of investments like stocks or bonds, ground homes into a fundamentally different kind of store house of goods and value. And with the Producer Price Index for construction being up 39% over the last five years, then sooner or later, the increasing costs of raw materials is bound to push home prices higher. He asserts that with the risk of rising construction costs on the horizon, "now is a good time to buy" becomes insightful investment advice, not just a marketing catchphrase.

At very least, Yun concludes that commodities has been a time-tested way to turn inflation's lemons into lemonade. Therefore, homes being a basket of these materials is bound to be a good investment inciting that home prices will go up over the long term.

St George Utah - Homes for the Future

St George Utah has been ranked now as a retirement hot spot and destination for all kinds of folks and businesses. Take all the flocks of 'snow bird' like-minded people just below us in the Phoenix and Mesa Arizona area who besides taking advantage of good city planning and infrastructure have nothing to hold over on St George Ut real estate more illustrious appeal involving red rock, lava rock, and red dirt and desert meets mountain or Zion National Park. It is a no-brainer, just the masses have yet to find out. But finding out they are.

St George is situated along I-15 and many trucker and tourist will tell you all about this "hidden" little gem. Not to mention the people actually smile at you when you are going to stores and what not. It is more family friendly (some do point to the towns history as a basis for its good community values), business friendly and the spirit of entrepreneurship has yet to perhaps catch fire like it could, to help fuel an otherwise possible top heavy, second home and retiree economic base. Even so, I may not know what I'm talking about, when retirees bring there savings with them and they spend money, not to mention that [under the circumstances] not only is Sun River, St George's only fully featured retirement community, going strong, but more exclusive ritzy places like Entrada are having there best year yet. So, money continues to come into here, even though we've otherwise dried up particlularly in the larger home market, which used to have a vitality when Californians could get 'bank' for their homes, come here and settle in style.

Yet, I speculate that the commercial sector has had some vitality, which should help, maybe towards keeping the rest afloat even through difficult times. So, all in all, taking the chunk of commodities or building materials that have been part of St George's being just priorly over-built with new construction here -into- St George's economy, then buying low, just might have been "the" low as "the good time to buy" such that inflationary 'commodities pickers', could try their hands at.

Prices needing to come down... that needed to happen, but I've even heard of an appraiser pensively strumming a thought into the pot that he thinks we've reached a bottom here in the St George area. I'm a little thinking we are "scraping bottom" and just like the ship could run aground, there also might be some brief deluges of slightly deeper waters. However, the slightly deeper waters may be ever so slight so as to offset any forestallment in "looking" to buy in the market based on "deal-minded, opportunity, or selective buying, being always a bigger difference on price than any slight dip would have given you anyway.

When you are ready, I'd love to help. I have a special shopping service that really puts you in the driver seat, not to include I can configure the sending to you of all Bank Foreclosure homes. Just give me a call anytime or shop all the listings now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Variables Interacting to Create the Current Real Estate Scene Nationally and Locally in St George,Utah

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

President Bush signed a massive housing bill on July 30, 2008. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, this promises to help thousands of struggling homeowners and stabilize the financial market. One of the bill’s key provisions gives first time home buyers a $7,500 dollar-for-dollar tax credit. This should become available to residences on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009.

Another piece is that at the end of August 2008 there will be no 3rd party down-payment loan assistant programs that will be able to kick in and rescue that portion of being able to help some buyers get into a home. I'm not sure how broadly or how many this affects because whenever I came across these types of programs I thought they were a loop hole to get around requirements, but none the less were legal and as such have been viable ways of getting into a home. If you're doing that, you better do it quick because it is about to end. I think if that was my only way to have gotten into a home, I might have considered it myself. At last, I think my premonitions about it being a way to get around the requirement, might have been right when it comes to Congress having voted it out. I believe the Act enacts these changes and to the jumbo loan limit discussed below, starting Oct. 1, 2008.

Jumbo Loan Limit as Applied to St George Utah
Now, a deterrent for buying more expensive homes for many home buyers has been the fact that when buyers lend money over $417,000 they take a hit on the interest rate being higher. Well, another part of the Act of 2008, permanently increases the cap guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie on the size of mortgages, to a maximum of $625,500 from $417,000. Previously, this jumbo limit was only applied to certain parts of the country and while northern Utah has been getting the benefits, Washington County has not been, but has remained at 417K. Having it this low may have helped to bring prices down, so the benefits can be looked upon as relative to whom we'd like to give them to, the buyer or seller. However, this legislation will make mortgages more affordable in those upper price ranges. This might have the affect of curbing some of these homes out and away from foreclosure when the mortgages are now more affordable on them.

(For example, I have a beautiful home in Heritage Fields listed for a builder whose price hovers possibly just out of reach of the prior limit and I know the Seller is going to be glad as this was pressuring him earlier to perhaps have to drop it a good 50K to make it feasible for a loan in this market. That would have forced him into foreclosure he believes as he already is selling it for 50K below what it took to build it. The house is upgraded to the hilt and the best looking house in its class, but even then few buyers swim by ever in that price category that can seriously afford a home that expensive, although the activity has doubled on it for some reason. It has 3229 SF, custom travertine, inlaid marble and granite galore, 2 story with each 10 foot ceilings, 6 bedroom and 5 bath, listed now at $469,900.)

To have this increase by a couple hundred thousand or so, this could be the biggest boost to bigger and more pricey home buying here locally. Previously, these higher-end homes have reached an all time low in demand, leaving many builders and some sellers in stagnation if not in dire straits. This stimulus could also become an indicator for remedial affordability in the category of jumbo home loan ownership.

These are only parts of what The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 covers as an overall stimulus package signed in by Pres. Bush and passed by Congress. To see what else the Act covers see this CNNMoney.com article on The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Banks Toughen Terms on Loans

According to the Wall Street Journal, banks are imposing tougher lending terms across the board for both consumers and businesses. Banks are being tougher on credit score requirements and are reducing credit limits on card loans. Home equity lines of credit have also been tightened, as reported by 70% of the banks queried. 60% tightened standards for prime mortgages and 75% for nontraditional and sub prime mortgages. 80% tightened Commercial lending standards.

St George Mortgages

Locally, for St George Mortgage and Lending needs, I've relied heavily on Steve Stout with SGI mortgage as a source for top notch professional advice with a real good bead and pulse on the market and also consultation for many buyers. He told me that for people he's tried to pre-qualify for shopping for a house, they've needed to not only show good credit, but that they've needed to also show the cash flow income to substantiate what they are trying to do. Off that he is able to help people set realistic price ranges to shop in. Why find out later and waist all your precious time?

With 15 years in the business I not only find him experienced and knowledgeable, but he is also about the nicest and most decent guy I've ever met. If you want him, you can have his number: (435) 467-1090. If he helps you, pay attention as a few times he really nails it on the head. I first turned onto him when meeting him at a Closing [table]. This was back when he looked to me like he might be driving a tractor (as if I ever thought that, just that he was speaking it different than what everyone else was saying) or a horse (as in being a real live cowboy). I couldn't tell which at first when he did his old shake the head thing when talking on the subject of "option loans for everyone". I've since learned he is a real live root en toot en cowboy. Call if you think I'm just ad libbing and you can discern for yourself. And those mortgage professionals make more on those option loans, you know that don't you? Mortgage loans are not one size fits all. But if you want it from the 'horses mouth', for straight shooting, give Steve a call.

Real Estate Projections for the Washington County Housing Market

Is the Washington County Housing Market Stabilizing? That is a great question. According to the total sales in June 2008 (to include homes, lots, and commercial), it has had a slight decline from December, 2007 to March, 2008 and is now in a slightly upward growth pattern. Job growth in Southern Utah has been on a slight decline up to the end of last year. Since the first of this year the job market has been on a slight, but steady increase.

Generation Y

The Generation Y buyer is 26, 3 years younger than the Generation X or baby-boomer buyer. Generation Y is born roughly 1965 to 1978 and represent a very Internet Generation, Echo Boomers, Nexters and the Digital Generation. Also they are the MySpace and Facebook generation. Favorable rates make it easier in a buyers market to facilitate research for these people. They are also confident in their buying habits and are, and will be, buying homes. They are OK with getting away from the big back yard, they look for newer and low maintenance, are more environmentally conscious and look for permanence on the outside of the structure, while maintaining more flexibility for renovating on the inside to evolve with technology.

Foreclosed Homes and Notice of Defaults in St George, Utah

Here locally, St George Utah Foreclosures are slightly increasing. Notice of defaults, of people that are reported as not making their house payments, has remained steady of about 180 per month. The implications from a realtor perspective for me, have been that with some price niches or outlying areas (like fast paced subdivisions that overbuilt and had inflated pricing), it is increasingly more difficult to think about having a home your putting an offer on actually meet appraisal. In those niches or outlying areas, not only is there relatively few comparable sales (has to be within the last 6 months) to base value off of, but of those few existing comparables, if all are short sales or bank sales, then the law of conservativeness reigns supreme for appraisers and banks, irregardless of equality of perceived value transferring outside that subdivision to the market at large. To think about how to get a home under contract to appraise at what you currently have as an agreed upon purchase price then could be difficult. In some new outlying areas, where price rush appreciation was the rule of the day, then parallel subdivision price point comparables are becoming scarce enough to push prices even further downward. Implications for many Realtors are that they will not just anxiously "list" a home anymore. Rather, they will take only [to sell], "saleable listings".

Renters More Reluctant to Buy

Mark Obrinsky, chief economist with the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), reports a significant slowing of outflow of renters into home ownership. Of the survey respondents giving information relating such, 80% report a decrease in the number of renters leaving to become homeowners. The survey indicated that more renters were moving out of investor-owned properties and into professionally managed buildings, much of which was forced by investors giving up the properties to foreclosure.

National vs. Utah vs. Southern Utah Real Estate Forecast

About 50% of homes nationally are selling in an appreciation cycle, which might indicate about that much being sold after or in depreciation mode. Overall, Utah Real Estate appreciation has fared pretty good in comparison to the national scene. However, Southern Utah Real Estate has not fared as well, so our forecast on the market then is also a mixed one. It really will depend on what part of the market. Mortgage requirements are being tightened, although more people are becoming eligible at the same time, particularly the first time buyer segment. In California, for the First Time Buyer the percent of home buyers who can afford a home jumped from 26 to 44 percent for this same time a year ago. The index is based off an adjustable interest rate of 5.65 and assumes a 10% down payment.

On the other hand, a lot could depend on the overwhelming nature of reticence on the market with so many foreclosures that do not necessarily ear mark confidence in buying as well as fears of homes not appreciating when you buy them. This can help to stave off a lot of people. On the other hand, because so many that could have bought, have held off, perhaps we've reached a bottom that could turn the tide. Our projection at SoUtah.com will be that we really kind of got out of sorts with inflated appreciation and enamored with speculators and investors, such that the working class opportunities may not be large enough to compensate with the needed money in the system to support it all. On another note, if people are freed up to move again, there could be enough enamoring again with our area, to help pick us up. Chief economist Lawrence Young has said with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that while the market is flattening now, he anticipates some improvements in the last part of the year. With St George Real Estate, we might normally expect the same thing, except that some price range niches that have not seen enough action to retain anything but Short Sale or Bank Foreclosure sold comparables. This may still suppress prices enough to forestall any type of noticeable change.

Even still, I've always thought that it is as good a time to buy in St George, although as selectively as one can do, that even so, it will take a good couple of years to pull off any type of goodly appreciation on it, at any rate. So, why wait, in my mind, because it will tend upward because of our location in the Midwest. As I think where we are location wise, and how many people there are in other parts, like in Arizona and California, not to mention "Snowbirds", that might become more inclined to have a decent place either to retire or to raise a family, I think about calling it safe. These things do matter and will increasingly matter to make St George Utah a more and more attractive place to live!

If you've liked this blog update and could use a great agent now or in the future or a good lender recommendation or even if for a resource for friends, please go to my real estate website and save me in your favorites now. Thank You! ~Brian








Monday, July 07, 2008

Southern Utah Real Estate

Southern Utah Real Estate

Our Southern Utah real estate has not experienced as hard a hit as say Las Vegas Nevada or other parts of the country. In other words, although prices have had to readjust from heightened appreciation gains, some of the highest in the nation, the reasons for settling to the St George and Cedar City area are not typically marked with Buyers intents to get rich quick. Rather they are looking for a better quality of life and to settle in this area. This overall temperament for the area really ought not to be underestimated at least in terms of projections toward future in migration to the area. Southern Utah has also not been hit like other parts with as many foreclosures, although they are far more than anyone have imagined. Bottom line for the future market is that, although things are slowed, it has not completely "dried up the lake". While our mobility for sellers being able to move has been hit and our ability to move properties, we still have some vitality that will carry us through- all is not doom an gloom.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

St George Utah Real Estate, Mortgage, Forclosure News, Internet Traffic, St George Utah Retirement Trend

St George Utah Real Estate

St George real estate values are somewhat stale. Oh to elaborate is to speculate and to speculate is to perception. Can it get any more infallible than that. Indeed the human factors influencing buying are all over the place. Some general news nationally regarding new jobs, average incomes, increase in population etc. all could point to better house values ahead. But combine it with the current flow of transactions which are way down, foreclosures staying steady on the horizon, although not increasing a whole lot, new housing comparable solds on the market at lower values and it is a mixture conglomerate of hodge podge.

One indicator I find locally leads me to believe at least a slight break in the stale movement of homes here in the Greater St George area. And that is I have heard several reports from realtor's on short sale homes, that where as few offers on them existed before, now they have multiple offers. People have got to be anxious too, to get into a home at a decent price. So, as these Short Sales and REO Bank homes drop in price, I think a kicker is evident below it all, and that is that there are quite a bit of buyers that would prefer to change their current situation if prices come into a line-up that indicate 'not losing' on the situation. Kind of a far off example, a California builder offers the incentive that if homes ever get sold for a lower price in the same development, they will refund previous buyers the difference and this has sold three times as many homes in the first two weeks, than in the prior three months combined.

St George Utah Lenders

St George Lenders are really reeling with what to do about the situation with interest rates going higher. My local Lender whom I refer as very reputable, competitive and experienced indicated to me that business was able to maintain somewhat in the recent past because of all the people needing to refinance off of their coming-due option or now, variable higher interest loans. However, this may not be offsetting enough for St George Lenders because as the interest rates have gone higher now, fewer may not see it as viable an option it once was.

St George Utah Foreclosures

St George foreclosures are still happening at about the same rate from my observations, without looking at the stats. Notice of default stats have been going strong, so I'm assuming from that and the Short Sales I've put offers on that they still exist at about the same rate. I have noticed that foreclosures and short sales in the low 300's have decreased from a former time. While I've noticed foreclosures and Short Sales above the 400K mark increase. Remember, while the jumbo loan rate has increased up into the 700K range up in the northern part of Utah, Southern Utah has by Federal government stipulation, been left at 416K. Well, the jumbo loan interest rates are higher, making the loan that much more unaffordable for that customer base.

Nation wide foreclosures reveal a dip in the number of foreclosure filings from January to February. Not a significant variance when they are projected to continue. Nevada, California and Florida continued to show the highest number of foreclosure filings during the same period.

Real Estate Internet Traffic

Traffic on real estate web sites has gone up since January, according to Internet data collector Comscore.com- an overall 28% gain!

St George Utah Retirement Trend

A St George Utah retirement trend seems significant with our local Sun River builder showing steady building compared to the rest of the builders and is the top builder if not next to the top here in St George Utah. This would seem to depict that, while hustle and bustle 'bee workers' will not and do not transfer much among beehives, our 'humming' retirees are still coming on strong. The retirement industry is going strong here, I would say. Although let me couch that into some context, noting lots of resales looming also in the Sun River community. Now is a good time to take your pick. The development center does have new models to chose from.

What is pretty cool about Sun River too is that competing with adult communities nationwide, SunRiver St. George earned a silver award from the National Association of Home Builders for the design of its new clubhouse and Riverwalk Grill. The award was presented at the association’s May meeting in New Orleans, honoring SunRiver’s achievement in the category of “Best Facility under 5,000 Square Feet.”
Designed by Frank Fisher, the new clubhouse, with its expansive views of the community’s golf course and the mountains beyond, has quickly become a popular gathering place for residents and non-residents alike. Visitors to the grill can dine in the elegantly appointed main dining room, the more intimate bar area, or outdoors on a patio cooled in the summer by a misting system. The adjacent pro shop offers a full line of golf equipment and accessories and golf and casual clothing.


REMEMBER, if you plan on making a move, I am Brian Habel, here in St George Utah and I would love to represent you as your St George realtor of choice! Thank you!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

St George Real Estate Yearly Appreciation Rate

Statistics for the St George and Utah area involving percentage apreciation rates were just compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. For last year, 4th quarter 2006 to fourth quarter 2007, the appreciation rate for St George Real Estate was -3.65%, where as Salt Lake City Utah was +5.39%, Logan Utah was +6%, Provo and Orem Utah was +6.76% and Ogden-Clearfiled Utah was +6.64%.

St George Utah real estate appreciation rates over the last 5 years equates to +73.07% versus about 50% for northern Utah.

St George has a fair share of Short Sales and REO Bank Foreclosures, which is helping to keep prices even or down.

Also, a divergant amount of homes above the bulk loan interest rates, which are above loan amounts right around $416,000, are slow movers versus the rest of the market feeling a slight pick up in sales. (This observation is somewhat subjective and comes from shopping with buyers in those price ranges and asking experience of RE/MAX First Realty agents).

We hope you appreciate these updates on the market and will use Brian Habel with RE/MAX First Realty when it comes time to buy or sell your next home here in the St George real estate area.

For a good article featuring some of these same statistics as well as some other helpful up to date information, goto Utah Homes Still Appreciating.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Utah Real Estate Market

Utah Real Estate

I used to report that Utah Home sales were the last frontier where huge home appreciation rates were not experienced yet, such that lots of investors and home buyers could come and make a go of it. Well, along with that I think that the 'Wasatch mountain range' really did have a 'shield affect' for lots of Utah from a lot of this yo-yo like market the rest of the nation has been experienceing. Even now, they hold off as 'conservative' with housing prices being held down along with the rest of the nation. When I heard that Utah boasted one of the better appreciation rates I decided to try and do some research. But the following information taken from the Desert Morning News, Feb. 15, 2008, left me really a wondering about that.



Sales of existing homes in Utah dropped 33.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to the fourth-quarter of 2006, mirroring decreases in much of the rest of the nation, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The median sale price of existing homes in the Salt Lake City area also showed a drop at the end of 2007. While sale prices for the year were up 2.5 percent overall, they decreased 7.13 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2007.

The median sale price of a home in the Salt Lake area in the fourth quarter was $229,100, down from a median sale price of $246,700 in the third quarter.

Utah Association of Realtors president Dave Mansell said even though sales are down, there is still cautious demand in the marketplace in Utah. "People are holding back because they're afraid the market is going to fall on its face," he said. "They're hearing Florida, California and Las Vegas are seeing these huge drops in prices, and they think it's coming here."

But Utah will likely avoid major problems, he said, because the state's economy is strong and the housing market has not been vulnerable in the ways other areas have been.

"Historically, we haven't had the same market swings," he said. "We don't go up as fast, and we don't fall as fast or as far, so it's much more stable." Sales of existing homes fell in 45 states during the October-December quarter, with metropolitan areas showing growing weakness, the national report said. The fourth-quarter data from the National Association of Realtors underscore the breadth of the housing market's slump.

Prices have fallen more than 10 percent since their July 2006 peak, in the worst U.S. housing slump in 26 years, as the number of unsold homes has grown and prospective homeowners have had a tougher time getting home loans.


Global Factors - U.S. Housing Demand

There are a few looming factors that in paraphrasing Chief Economists of NAR, will make it just a matter of time before the housing market becomes an engine for the economy, rather than a drag for the economy. First off interest rates were dramatically cut in January by the Federal Reserve. Also, home prices are projected to stay lower. Secondly, the job growth has far outperformed housing. Typically we will see one new buyer for every 2 new jobs created, but that has not been the case for some time. So, with home prices being down and job growth having been high, new buyers have the wherewithal to buy. The guess is that they are waiting for rates and housing prices to fall even more. Another third major factor mounting demand, would be the increase in population numbers that will help fuel more new construction and even resale demand.

St George Real Estate

The local Southern Utah real estate scene has some complex factors weighing in on the scene. One, we used to have a lot of Californians and Las Vegas buyers and that segment has all but wained. When you take such a major segment away and when you still have some persistence in home values, with not too much drop being experienced along with all the Short Sales, one begins to wonder if the illustrious appeal from the immigration doesn't just generalize to a broader spectrum from the entire U.S. and to the more northern region of Utah as well as into the state of Idaho. Retirees, both from the northern regions (too cold up there) and south, are contributing as well.

The areas homogeny contains a large mix of Mormon or LDS population in those more localized Utah and southern Idaho regions and this contributes at least in a moderate flow of immigration to this area. But the attraction to the area is much more diverse now with the the intrinsic appeal of being geographically centrally located, in the mild climate area and more accessible to both the north and south mid-west. Also appealing is the geologic red rock formations and general sandstone color mystique of the area, boasting Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park, a stones throw away- this doesn't hurt the matter any.

This is to mention that the area is becoming much more homogenized with influx from all various parts of the country. We at SoUtah.com believe that these factors all add up for a quick one to one-and-a-half year turn around of the market to normal appreciation rates from 6 to 9% again. In the mean time, many smart buyers will have found a niche property or two for investment or retirement ends. We also project that values, although maybe dropping marginally, will maintain mostly at flat levels or will not extend to be a huge drop, and in the main price range under 300K may turn sooner vs. later to actual appreciation of home values once again.

St George real estate is always going to fall victim, as in 'the new decade holder for being the fastest growing micro-macropolitan area in the nation', to the mere fact of location, location, location. We haven't even began to talk retiree dialect. Some have asked, when stumbling onto St George, Utah, 'Why in the heck would I retire in the desert when I can have the best of that weather and of the more scenic country side, along with more things to do, not to mention the solid family and community values one gets a sense of, when living here. Also, combine that with the quaint artsy-ness of the place and the culture that is here? Along the main I-15, blink and you miss it, just like life! Soon and all the kids will be out of the nest for me (5 kids, oldest is 12)- check out your St George Realtor. Pretty much this is also the only place you can go for a quick search of St George Utah Retirement Communities.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

St George Utah


St George
St George is a wonderful place to live!... IF you are a realtor with a bunch of REO bank sales in your queue. Never mind my huge bias of it is a heavenly place to live.

Combine this... St George Real Estate Sales
Your St George Utah real estate market update comes from some pretty good background or listening-in, on the local statistics experts. I use that word "experts" with caution, because we know nobody holds a "crystal ball". Take that into consideration when we talk about the following, OK? Can I start by saying I'm going to be couching every thing in the phrase of "combine this..."?

Basically, we have felt a slight pick up, some yes, but mostly on the REO bank sale front. Combine this with an article off MSN that reported the bank sales not to be letting up with the option loans still making its rounds through the next year- interest rates changing on people from fixed to variable higher rates, thus more foreclosures possible. Yet, as of today I see some segment of a lot less REO homes on, that I have ease dropped on office activity in seeing a surge of buyer activity regarding. On the other hand, combine it with St George not lacking in the supply or inventory, on the market, category. On the other hand 'back at you', I thought I heard that we are hedging changing the pace toward downward, to sale faster than they come on (what must go up there, must come down to) to start us back to a more normal supply (way far off). However, the catch is that supply is anticipated to come on perhaps even stronger throughout the year. Go back and combine this with the foreclosure market, at least giving enough comparables to show lower pricing. That being said, you'd think it is possible to see lowering of prices. That is very possible by this time next year.

Combine that... FHA Loans & Interest Rates
Yet, I have felt in my office a surge of activity, and we are the largest producing office, so you would think that could be a big enough pulse maybe to tell something about here and now. Combine that with the idea of buying activity could be expected to come back stronger perhaps because you can't keep it back forever. Uh, how about this area being centrally located. Combine that with 'way good' all time low interest rates. Combine that with FHA, or federally backed loans becoming easier for people to get with new reforms. Before option loans in 2000, FHA accounted for 25% of loans- that's huge. So, it could come back in to help in a significant way-- so says chief economist Yung at the National Association of Realtors. Already, minor changes to the FHA program, making them easier to apply for and obtain have been incorporated, but the significant changes are anticipated to come around beginning of summer or later- you know congress. Forclosures however, have the ability to offset everything in bringing prices down and supply up. Combine all the factors, listening to the stats people especially, and I predict a market that will be flat to somewhat depreciating. Homes could continue to suffer some depnding on area, especially if in higher price brackets, and the fact of new construction being the one key variable unknown impacting a lot of that 'stuff'.

Good News If you are the Buyer
The good news for buyers may be that enough REO bank sales can pull on houses to sale below perceived market value. So as almost always, selective buying or "it was a deal" kind of buying, should be OK to find and do. Perhaps the best lesson is for the Seller- 'don't be greedy, it may cost you in the long run.' If you would like no nonsense, "don't care if it offends you" advice on how to price your home to get top dollar out, give me a call. Besides, have you ever seen how much exposure we are giving our Sellers on our St George real estate home page?!