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2015 Washington County Economic Summit: Real Estate Market Conditions

2015 Washington County Economic Summit:  Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George, Utah – it’s Friday morning January 16, 2015 and yesterday’s 2015 Washington County Economic Summit was a smashing success. While winter has arrived in southern Utah with a vengeance, Southern Utah’s economy continues to heat up heading into 2015. As many expect commercial real estate to make a strong recovery during the next 12 months – Southern Utah’s homebuilders have been pulling building permits at the accelerated rate of between 100 to 150 permits per month over the last two years.

In many ways 2014 was a disappointment for some optimists, as it seemed to underperform based on the expectations of many. Seemingly stagnant, single-family homes and vacant lots and land prices remained similar to the fall of 2013. Additionally, commercial lease rates remained relatively flat during 2014, as the overall real estate recovery of 2012 – 2013 took a slight respite in the second half of 2014.

As the below slideshow presentation points out, which was presented by Vardell Curtis, the CEO of the Washington County Board of Realtors, the irrational exuberance of the last boom / bust cycle has been absent from Southern Utah’s recent real estate activity.

 2015 Washington County Economic Summit:  Real Estate Market Conditions

2015 Washington County Economic Summit: Real Estate Market Conditions

With the majority of Washington County’s distressed properties now off the books, housing prices have begun to stabilize nicely.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: The Rebound Effect

Here are a few variables that may affect St. George’s housing recovery

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: What’s next for the housing recovery?

Utah’s economic Outlook ranking – according to ALEC – is number one in the nation.  As states around the country search  for ways to add value to their economies,  Utah’s fiscal responsibility begins to pay off.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Economic Outlook ranking by state

When Forbes magazine speaks about business … people listen!

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Utah’s business environment

The National Association of Homebuilders ranked Washington County in the top 20 percentile for the United States during the third quarter of 2014  for its leading markets index (LMI).

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah housing market index

Is Washington County headed for another housing bubble?  Not likely, here’s why…

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah housing bubble watch

St. George Utah’s housing affordability index within the metropolitan statistical area (M.S.A.)

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: housing affordability index

Southern Utah’s cost-of-living index for the third quarter of 2014 remains competitive. Particularly when compared to  Las Vegas Nevada, Denver Colorado, Hilo Hawaii, and of course… Manhattan in New York state.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah cost-of-living index

Ranked 373rd in the United States for its per capita personal income during 2013,  St. George Utah’s  worker bees earned an average annual salary of just under $30,000.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah per capita personal income

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George PCPI vs. U.S.

Here are a few quick facts about St. George Utah’s population makeup…

Washington County Economic Summit:

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah facts at a glance

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Washington County’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average at 3.8%

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: St. George Utah unemployment rate

Off the recessionary low of 2009, when only 605 housing permits were issued, Washington County issued 1,299 building permits for 2014.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Washington County construction permits

Leading the way in Washington County for building permits pulled, the city of St. George issued 623 permits for 2014.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: New housing permits by city

Newly constructed homes sold in 2014 were a important component in the overall real estate market…

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: New construction home sales

Understanding that Washington County  is high on the list for the 65 and over set, Brillo Del Sol is being built to satisfy even the most discerning of retirees.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Washington city’s Brillo Del Sol adult community

Located in the southeastern corner of St. George Utah,  the master planned community of Desert Canyons  encompasses approximately 2400 acres, with existing plans for over 6300 residential units.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Desert Canyons

The Stucki Farms subdivision is a 592–acre master planned community intended to provide numerous recreational amenities. The theme of Stucki Farms is to build upon Heritage, Pride, and Progress as an extension of the community.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Stucki Farms ‘ The Meadows’

Comparing St. George Utah’s sales activity from 2013 to 2014,  we see that 3,594 homes sold in 2013 and 3528 home sold in 2014 – representing a decrease of approximately 1.8% over the 12 months period.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Sold Real Estate Listings 2013 vs 2014

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Pending Real Estate Listings 2013 vs 2014

The mentioned absorption rate below is describing the number of months it would take to sell all of the existing inventory on the Washington County Board of Realtors (WCBR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  During 2013, the WCBR’s MLS had an absorption rate of approximately 5.97%, while 2014 had an absorption rate of approximately 6.68%.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Overall Market Summary

Washington County’s residential sales trend remained stable,  as is demonstrated by the graph below…

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Single-Family Residential Sales Trends

Shocking no one at yesterday’s southern Utah economic Summit,  Nevada still shows up as the number one state across the country with upside down housing prices, or “underwater.”

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Top 10 States “Underwater”

Never a good list to appear on – Utah ranked fifth in the country for foreclosure filings, indicating that one in every 750 homes has faced foreclosure in the past 12 months. Outranked only by Florida, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Top 10 Foreclosure States

Down from a high of 21% in 2011, currently only 6% of the Beehive States residential units are now considered to be “underwater.”

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Utah “Underwater” Homes Reduced To 6%

The American Dream of home ownership remains strong among young adults: 78% of 18 – 34-year-olds  said YES to the dream  of homeownership

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: 74% Still Want the American Dream

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: 18 to 34-year-olds Still Want The “American Dream”

Washington County Economic Summit

Washington County Economic Summit: Statistics On Today’s Homebuyers

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St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

As the below St. George Utah real estate market statistics indicate, 2014 was a transformational year for the greater southern Utah real estate market. Based on the current real estate trends and market conditions, many of the areas real estate professionals concur – 2015 should be a breakthrough year for both increased sales and residential appreciation.

While the Washington County Board of Realtors multiple listing service (MLS) was once ruled by distressed properties (Read: short sales, REOs, and foreclosures) less than 12 months ago… those days are done. Now, with historically low interest rates and limited options for tangible investments, Southern Utah’s homebuilders have again begun to do with they do best – build homes. As such, the areas inventory has been steadily increasing.

According to the First American Markets index and the National Association of Homebuilders, Southern Utah’s single-family building permits have rebounded nicely from the dark days of the great recession, increasing to approximately 44% of the market’s high water mark established back in 2003. Additionally, the asking price of the average single-family residential property in Southern Utah is approximately 30% greater than it was back in the heady days of the 2002 – 2003 real estate free-for-all.

The first below graph drills down on the past 12 months of Southern Utah real estate activity; focusing on the number of listings in the greater St. George area, as well as their list price, absorption rate, sold to list ratio, days on market, and the markets overall price volume.

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

Next up in the year-end review of the St. George Utah real estate market are the year-over-year summary statistics for the greater Southern Utah housing market. Further focusing on the areas overall absorption rate, average list price, median list price, average sales price, median sales price, average collective days on market, as well as the median collective days on market.

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

Our last graph for this first blog post of 2015 provides a comparative analysis of the year-over-year real estate activity for the greater St. George real estate market. The below for graph drills down on Southern Utah’s Sold,  Pending, Active and New real estate for sale  in southern Utah.

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Statistics: 2014, A Year in Review

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George, Utah – it’s November 1, 2014 and the Southern Utah Real Estate Market conditions remain better than stable. With Halloween 2014 now thankfully in our rearview mirror and the month of November officially arriving, FlexMLS and the Washington County Board of Realtors have just released Southern Utah’s October 2014 real estate market analysis. Drilling down on the areas real estate market activity for October 2014, this post will look at year-over-year comparisons, Hot Sheet price change trends, and Southern Utah’s overall volume of sold single-family residential real estate.

 Southern Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

First up, there were 2,090 Active Listings throughout the month of October on the Washington County Board of realtors MLS system. These “Active Listings” encompass a broad swath of categories: single-family residential units, condominium/townhomes, vacant lots and land – as well as manufactured housing. Of those 2,090 listings, 568 were New to the WCBR’s MLS for the month of October and 312 listing successfully closed escrow (COE). While the cumulative days on market (CDOM) remained relatively high at 102, the average Sold Days on market (DOM) was only 70. Indicating that the average escrow was approximately 30 days long.

 

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Year-over-Year Comparison: Representing a 9% uptick in activity for single-family residential listings in the southern Utah real estate market; this time last year agents in St. George had listed for sale 3,939 homes by the end of October. Conversely, this year, Southern Utah’s Realtors have listed 4,316 single-family homes on the WCBR MLS. Additionally, last year there were 1,995 single-family residential units put under contract on our local MLS, compared to this year’s 1836 listings. Representing a 6% drop in listings under contract for southern Utah.

 

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Year-over-Year Comparison

Southern Utah Real Estate Market Year-over-Year Comparison

Southern Utah’s Average single-family Sale Price Jumps 6%: for 2013 the average sales price of the southern Utah single-family home was $277,635. For 2014 that average sales price has jumped to $295,766.

Southern Utah's Average single-family Sale Price Jumps 6%

Southern Utah’s Average single-family Sale Price Jumps 6%

Southern Utah Hot Sheet Price Change Trend Chart:

 

Southern Utah Hot Sheet Price Change Trend Chart:

Southern Utah Hot Sheet Price Change Trend Chart:

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions |  September 2014

With only two months to go before 2014 ends with a thud and the September St. George Utah real estate market conditions and statistics remain stable. Taking a quick glance at the current inventory, we see that the greater St. George Utah area – including Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, Brookdale, and Pine Valley – have 1,220 Active single-family and or condo/townhomes for sale; with additional an289 listings currently in a pending status on the Washington County Board of realtors MLS.

Active / Sold Listings

The St. George Utah real estate market has definitely witnessed some dramatic highs and lows recently. For the month of September Realtors in Southern Utah sold 280 listings, representing a significant decline over last years 301 sold properties for the month of September. During the month of September a total of 2005 Active Listings were put on the MLS in the hopes of being sold, skyrocketing up from last year’s September Active Listings of 1691.

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions | September 2014

Days On Market

With the holiday seasons just around the corner, it’s critical for home sellers in the southern Utah area to understand that historically, the holiday season means increased “Days on Market.”  In comparing the average days on market for a listing in September, we see a properly priced home only lasting approximately 78 days. That same home, with the same agent and the same list price could expect to spend an additional 20 days on the MLS if they listed in January.

Popular Price Range

St. George Utah’s real estate inventory under $300,000 remains strong. As Southern Utah’s housing inventory gets picked over, those with access to the MLS can easily see that the most desirable price range continues to be $300,000 and less. In examining the below data set we see the past 30 days of MLS activity in the Southern Utah area. The below list demonstrates those homes priced under $200,000 had the most buyers competing for their property – continuing a long and healthy trend. As a general rule of thumb, most homebuyers feel comfortable in this price range. Generally looking for approximately 1800 ft.² in a flexible floor plan, today’s buyers want homes that backup to open space in newer communities. Additionally, one of the requests I hear more often than not from my out of area buyers … is to keep them out of any PUDs (planned unit development) and any community that has an HOA (homeowners Association).

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

Real Estate Remains Vibrant

In looking at the residential data sets provided by the Washington County Board of Realtors, we see the housing sector in southern Utah is holding its own. As the number of active listings remains steady and the absorption rate continues to slowly increase, the days on market for a properly priced homes have fallen sharply. With a 2.91% increase, the median priced home sold in southern Utah jumped from $232,000 in 2013 to $249,000 in 2014.

In summation – the proper price is critical to getting your home sold in southern Utah. With golf courses, nature and a plethora of fun things to do nearby, St. George Utah real estate has never really been that hard to sell, provided it’s properly listed. Should you have a home that you would like to get “sold” give Alex Yeager of Fidelity Real Estate St. George a call … toll-free 844–677–7873.

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Conditions

St. George Utah Summertime Real Estate Synopsis: Inventory Is up, Sales Prices Are Steady

 St. George Utah Summertime Real Estate Synopsis: Inventory Is up, Sales Prices Are Steady

As the Dog Days of summer 2014 begin to wind down in St. George, Utah, a quick look at the Southern Utah Board of Realtors MLS statistics indicates that there are some interesting market forces at play in the greater St. George area. For starters, the average Days on Market (DOM), increased from 109 days in June to 118 DOM for July 2014.

 St. George Utah real estate DOM

St. George Utah real estate DOM

Though the increase in the DOM could easily be attributed to the summer time heat, the next item is not quite so easy to dismiss. The Absorption Rate shown in this graph indicates the amount of time the current inventory would last at the current rate of sales in Washington County.

 St. George Utah absorption rate, in months

St. George Utah absorption rate, in months

With over 2,061 single-family residential listings currently For Sale on the Washington County border Realtors MLS system, and approximately 600 new listings being put up for sale each month, its more important than ever to understand your home’s real value.

The graph titled Number of Listings demonstrates the divergence between those homeowners that have their properties listed for sale as an “Active Listing,” and those that get their homes “Sold.” Thanks to aggressive pricing based on recently sold comps.

Active, New, and Sold St. George Utah MLS listings

Active, New, and Sold St. George Utah MLS listings

While the Washington County Board of Realtors currently has just north of 1,800 residential listings on the MLS for sale, roughly 300 a month are successful in finding a buyer, negotiating a mutually agreed-upon contract, getting the home to appraise at the real estate purchase contract price, and ultimately closing escrow.

Here are some additional St. George Utah real estate statistics  for your consideration…

 St. George Utah Real Estate Market Summary for July 2014

St. George Utah Real Estate Market Summary for July 2014

Below are some year-over-year comparisons for  sold Washington County properties for the month of July

New, Active, Sold and Pending listings for St. George Utah July 2014

New, Active, Sold and Pending listings for St. George Utah July 2014