Friday, November 28, 2014

St George Real Estate Market Update October 2013 through October 2014

OK, what is the St George real estate market like?  Is it a good time to sell?  Is it a good time to buy?

I've tried to assess the answers to these questions based on the last year in review market analysis.  I pulled Statistics for the St George real estate market running from October of this year, 2014, through this time last year.

The supply of homes onto the market has increased lately going into the winter of 2014.  We can see in the graph below the number of new listings being listed, as well as the number being sold.

To take a closer look, lets compare the Greater St George supply of residential homes to a reservoir water line.  5-7 months supply of homes is a healthy level of homes.  It represents not that aggressive of a buyers market and also not that aggressive a sellers market either.

To determine the supply of homes on the market, lets pretend that if no new listings or water comes into the market or reservoir, then how long would it take to deplete the existing homes on the market or of the water in the reservoir, given the CURRENT rate of sales, or current rate of the water leaving the reservoir?  Well to answer that question, we can see it charted below for each month, what that would  be.  This is what we call the Absorption Rate- how long it would take the existing supply to be sold off the market.
As you can see above, the absorption rate is currently higher in October 2014, than at anytime in our year before.  Note that however it is in one to two months that we have jumped to this higher level.  So, until we see the next couple months determining a similar pattern we should not let it be saying anything too definite for now.

With the inventory of homes falling between 5 to 7 months, this is supposed to be a more normal environment conducive to both buyers and sellers.  We have been easily double that level of inventory post real estate bubble bursting in 2005-2006, to help put the latest little rise into perspective.

It is the interest rates moving perhaps higher, as the economy gets better or the unemployment rate decreasing that might lead to interest rates rising.  Just that alone, ought to encourage both buyer and seller to buy or sell now.  For the buyer it can equate to as much as $200 a month increase in payments.  For sellers, it means less buyers in the market place, thus less they can get for their homes.

So, our current absorption rate is still within normal parameters. You should not be alarmed whatsoever at this point, if you plan on selling.  In a prior blog write up we go back two years into more background history about how our local St George real estate market has evened out in its supply and demand fluctuation.  *Please be aware these graphs in this post pertain to residential listings in the Greater St George area and overall graphs including the Washington county would show different results.

But it does mean that you would need a good agent even more, to push past the increase of homes you are competing against.  Your agent better be able to expose your property well, to the most amount of sellers, which could really offset this trend.  Also, could it not make a difference to have an agent who is trained in negotiations?  Thus you can heighten your chances of getting a little more on the sale.  Then you have nothing to worry about.

One agent that fits that profile would be Brian Habel... OK, that's me.  With the number one naturally ranking website in the area for years now, we can expose your property to the most amount of people fathomable.  It is not what we say, but what we can and will do- expose, expose and THIS is verily what you need the most of when selling.  So whether you are looking to buy or sell, Brian is here for you.  Call anytime or visit our website for all available properties.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be a Nosy Neighbor in your St George Neighborhood!

Be a nosy neighbor in your St George neighborhood!  Who does not want to know what their neighbors home is going for, when the for-sale-sign first appears on their street?  Nobody I know!  Get inside pictures and snoop shamelessly.  Find out square footage, beds, baths, back yard enjoyments, you can now know it all!

Just go here to our contact Brian link, and fill out your info and be sure to put in the comments box your address, also how often you want updates.  These can come once a week, day or even just once a month- whatever you like!

How often are homes coming up for sale and selling in my area?  What does that say about my area and maybe how much I could get for my own home?  Can I know when a price reduction takes place and what it is reduced to?

Yes!  Now you can know!  I am treating my special neighbors, past clients, sphere of influence, newsletter friends and blog readers to manually set you up for these.

You will be your very own expert with very little effort and know what is going on, on your block instantly when it happens. Snoop shamelessly!  Come on, what are you waiting for?!  Yea!!!

Your local agent here to help and when you or anyone you know has a need, you know who to refer to!  ~Brian Habel at:

St George Retirement Communities

Most people do not know that you can now dynamically search the St George retirement listings from a specialty link given from the Retirement Specialist for the St George Utah area.  I've taken 10 years of wheeling retirees around experience and synthesized all the retirement AND retirement like areas. In other words, these are not just the 55+ areas, but the areas I tend to see retirees gravitating towards, not just 55+ exclusive.
  • Specialist's Hand-picked Areas
  • Rated as "Best Places To Retire"
  • More than just 55+ Communities
  • Interactive Maps With Active Listings
That's right, on my newly re-designed website, I have created a dynamically populating Retirement Communities Map.  What does this map include for my special folks?  Just for you, I have created a way for you to dynamically see these areas WITH the listings populated inside- all the time, every time.  Normally, you have to sign up for this, but I"m providing it here free without hitches for my newsletter folks and blog readers.  A way to say thank you for checking into your friendly newsletter for updated local and friendly home ownership information.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Real Estate in the Greater St George Area

Real estate in the Greater St George area mid 2014 is "steady as she goes"!  The market seems to have adapted a steady state of ebb and flow as seen by this glimpse of the last two years of activity.
Rate of Sales - How Many Months to Sell Current Supply of Homes

The bars on this graph represent the amount of months it would take to sell the current inventory of homes on the market given the current rate of sales, if no new properties entered the market.  In other words, if we take away the "existing stream into the the lake, how long would it take for the lake to drain"?  This is also referred to as the absorption rate- how long it would take for those properties to be absorbed or sold or emptied.  We've gone from about 6 months last year, 2013, to 7 months this year, 2014.

I've added the two blue lines, drawn by myself to show how the market has evened out in its supply and demand fluctuation, taken year over year, as compared from June to July of 2013 to June to July of 2014.  If we assume that the lower the graph bars, the greater the demand in the market place (as indicated by a diminished supply), then there is a little less pent up demand this year as apposed to about this time last year.

My impression is that we've experienced a standard or average increase in price appreciation in our market last year.  If the June and July months of this year, over last, indicate anything, it would be that the demand has slightly reduced, given that the amount of supply on the market reflects this.  The increased 'time to sell the current inventory' is marginal, from about 5.3 to 6-7 months to sell existing inventory.  However, it reflects a slowing of the market somewhat, thus potential freezing or flat lining of price appreciation.

The conclusions are towards buyers being able to have slightly more product to look at on the market.  However, because the average days on the market, for homes that do sell, is about the same (114)), if not slightly less (106), buyers still need to be educated enough to act when the opportunity presents itself.  The average sales price of homes is about $230,000 for residential listings in the Greater St George area.  The average sold ratio is about 96.5% of list price.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Utah Real Estate Projections from the Utah Association of Realtors - St George Utah

Recently the Utah Association of Realtors did a podcast to Realtors such as myself talking about the 2014 Utah Housing Market Forecast.  In this podcast they said that although current demand is outpacing supply and it is more of a sellers market right now, if we take the combination of supply and demand as well as Rising Interest Rates, this equates to relatively flat or stable sales for Utah.  Also, they reported thus in the wake of stating that net in-migration is projected to be 4 times higher than in 2012, meaning a need for 3,000 newer housing units just to keep up.  Also, job creation in Utah is greater than the national average.  The economy doing better, allows for existing equity in homes to strengthen.  All these factors will keep demand for homes favorable in 2014.  The National Association of Realtors is forecasting a rise of 2 to 4% in home sales and 3 to 5% in growth of home prices.

However, since we're seeing stronger price growth, traditional home sellers will come to the market and that is going to mean more inventory and possibly even better inventory and that will slow price growth.  It won't stop price growth, but it should tend to moderate price appreciation to keep it stable.

To continue, our podcast projects growth accordingly:  Salt Lake prices should rise 7%, Provo 6%, Ogden 5%, Logan 5% and St George Utah's projected price growth was put at 3%.

On a personal note I've seen scarcity in the market place, hit certain segments, to equate to specific price appreciation that I project above the predicted 3%.  This segment is the condo/townhouse segment say $150,00 and under.  Many investors, retirees and first time home buyers would like to see much more product in this area than they currently do.  The thing that makes condo/townhomes attractive to investors is that the yard maintenance is normally taken care of so that they do not have to hassle with ongoing upkeep or exterior maintenance.

Another segment that I've seen dwindle in available inventory is luxury lots, meant for luxury home builds.  I've had opportunity lately to show many newer luxury homes.  And while product is fair to midland, the new build lot situations in prime areas, seems to be on the 'topping out' list.  In other words, those real nice niche developments, many of them have fewer and fewer lots available.  To me, this might mean scarcity for the finer view lot situations or even in general, nicer lot opportunities in which to optimize a luxury new home build situation.

This has been your St George real estate update on housing trends for the area.  Remember, that when you need an experienced Realtor who has his eye on the ball, I am available for you 24/7, just call (435) 632-0250 Brian's cell.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Get a Feel for "Weather or Not" You Like St George Utah

Recently St George has endured some of the coldest spell of winter weather it has seen in a very long time; one website reported, for a 100 years.  One old timer to the area, recently reported to a buyer I was strolling through his neighborhood with, “I've never seen the snow stick around like this.  Typically if we do see snow, it is gone by that day or 2 PM the following day” he reported.  The lowest temperature month is in December and its average high is normally about 52 degrees and 31 degrees for the low.

So, if you have ever done a double take on “weather or not” you like St George Utah, just think past the recent “weather or not”, to the over 300 days of sun out of the year and mild temperatures that normally entreats all who visit or relocate here.  In fact, the colder weather, having been experienced north of us as well, will tend, as it always does, about March and April of each year, to bring an inordinate amount of buyers looking to "never have to do that cold again".

OK, I know that all you retirees or second home owners are looking nationally for a great place to relocate or settle and for the weather to cooperate, that it is conducive to the bones and joints.   St George Utah is just the place.  The people are some of the friendliest you will find.  Why?  I think the people that came here historically, were values based and so many who come here now, flock here for similar purposes.
Birds of a feather flock together and we have some of the best people around.  Full of retirees, St George knows that volunteer, civic, scholastic and neighborly mindedness go a long way toward a more abundant life.  The Tuacahn for Performing Arts allows many people to both come and enjoy our plays or to volunteer at them.  We have some of the largest volunteer forces in the world.  The Huntsman World Senior Games, with St George being the home for, also bring lots of volunteers and participators alike out to play.  I happen to know that it is the last best place to retire, in the mid-west, when you travel north along I-15.

Do you live in California and you want to get out?  Look no farther.  Just come north, but not too far.  If you go past St George, at 2,700 feet, you'll start to ascend in 20 minutes, to 5,000 feet, to Cedar City, which is located about 45 minutes up I-15 to our north.  Sure, visit only, up in that cold, but in the summer months, warm and close enough to enjoy the famous Shakespearean Festival.  There, your weather will be pretty much the same in the winter, all the rest of the way up to Salt Lake City, Utah.  Need I say, "Cold"!  Not here.

I used to travel from Cedar City southward, 10 years ago, down, descending in elevation to St George, for my real estate classes.  I'd often open up the windows, and right as I'd descend in elevation, right to about the town of Leeds [10 minutes north of the city], along that I-15 corridor, I'd hit this envelope of warm air.  Yes, that is why people come here and also the state park like scenery of southern Utah.  

We have Zion National Park just to the east about 45 minutes travel where they get two and a half million visitors a year, the 7th most visited national park.  So, the red and white rocks, hills, bluffs and sheer cliffs represent some of the scenery already.

Money.cnn ranks St George as 63 out of 100 Best Places to Live and in the top 25 places to retire. It is also a golfing community featuring over 8 beautiful golf courses- much of the neighborhoods developments are built out around these green belts.  Lots of hiking, biking and site seeing abounds.  One could literally barely step out of the down town area into the red rocks, crevices, and repelling areas.  Not further than a half mile, up on the cliffy edge that lines the edge of the down town area, one can enjoy natures red rock outdoor play yard for adults and children alike.  

St George's red dirt and rocks never seem to get dull or tired for want of people’s eyes feasting on them continually.  They are all part of this trip destination planning you can do for the entire Southern Utah area- it is a park like setting that endures time and weather.  So, “weather or not” you’re ready, St George is brimming with sunshine, made right and just ready for you.