Winter has set in, despite the unseasonably warmer conditions (my apologies to the east coast, I know you’re getting hit with a cold front) and 2017 has ended. It’s not only the weather that is unseasonably warm for this time a year, the market is still on the hot side too. While it’s typical to see a mild slow down during the holidays, our St George real estate market never stops. Below, you’ll find an illustrative snapshot for the past two years. You’ll notice that sales overall have remained steady. New listings declined in December, which is typical, and we’ll expect a spike for January as well as higher prices as we come into February, when the annual St George Parade of Homes occurs (click the following link for more: Parade of Homes Info).
You will notice that the actual number of listed homes overall is down, when compared to 2016 (which 2016 was even lower in comparison to 2015). The months in inventory reflects lower as well, this indicates that homes continue to sell quick. If an available home offers the “most wanted” features that most buyers are searching for, such as: turn key (little or no renovations/updates needed), clean, open floor plan, private backyard and/or view, single level, 3+ car garage, and newer construction--then the home will likely receive multiple offers in a matter of days (or hours). Statistically, the majority of buyers desire a home priced at $300,000 or less—and the lower it goes (while keeping as many of the “most wanted” features as possible) the quicker it sells. Here is a breakdown of homes that are selling in different price points.
The illustration above represents single family homes sold from October 2017 through December 2017. The clear “winner” are the homes sold in the $250,000 - $299,999 range, again corroborating the “most wanted” in price range. Higher end homes are fairing well. The total of homes sold, priced over $500,000 is: 83. I reviewed my October market analysis (FOUND HERE) and verified this number has increased. Sales in the same price range for the prior months of July, August, and September were: 62 sold.
Are Luxury Homes Selling?
12 homes sold for a price of over 1 million dollars, comparing the same time (October, November, and December) for 2016 there were only 3 homes that sold over 1 million. Year to date, there were 33 homes that sold over 1 million, interestingly, compared to 2016 there were a total of 14 homes sold. That’s more than double the homes sold, over 1 million dollars. If that’s not an indicator of strength in the market and the economy in general, I don’t know what is. Of the 33 sold homes, 22 were paid with cash.
Year to date, there were a total of 3,544 single family homes and condos that sold (in the Greater St George area). Of those sold homes, 1088 (or 31%) of the homes sold were paid with cash. Year to date, sales compared to 2016 are up 3.4% and the median sale price is up 11.2%, overall new listings are down 2%.
Are 55+ Communities Selling?
Sunriver is one of the largest 55+ communities in the area. They have a dedicated sales office (however keep in mind that I can assist with new construction purchases as well—and I represent YOU as the buyer NOT the seller or developer) but there are only around 100 lots left before the Sunriver development is complete, so new construction options are running thin over there. They are pushing their new Sunriver Villas developments now, however the Villa development is not 55 exclusive. The Villas allow rentals, this will appeal to investors or part time owners who may desire to offset the expense of mortgage with the income of a rental. SunRiver Villa's will allow rentals with a 31-night minimum. It is an independent community, in that they will have their own pool and facilities, however, owners will be able to utilize the Sunriver golf course with a Sunriver resident discount (this is a public course) and Sunriver Villa owners can also utilize Hanks Restaurant (which is a public restaurant). You can find more homes for sale in Sunriver by clicking here: SunRiver Homes For Sale
Brio is gaining momentum; however, Brio is also NOT a 55-exclusive community. Brio will appeal to buyers in the 55+ category, so many owners do happen to fall into that category. Buyers actually seem to appreciate Brio for the fact that they are NOT 55 exclusive, which allows flexibility to having the kids or grand kids visit more freely and without the heavy restrictions you’ll find at Sunriver. Brio homes are single level, centrally located in Washington (bordering St George) and in close proximity to the Mall, Costco, major shopping and restaurants, as well as the Green Springs Golf Course. Find out more about Brio, and homes for sale by clicking here: Brio Homes For Sale
Entrada is a higher end, gated community which has also been gaining in popularity lately. Entrada is also not 55 exclusive, but most owners in Entrada will be retired/semi retired, second home, and permanent residence. Owners enjoy exclusivity and amazing beauty that surrounds the community. You can find out more about Entrada and homes for sale by clicking here: Entrada Homes for Sale
If you’re thinking about purchasing in one of these neighborhoods, please give Paula Smith a call. I work for you, the buyer. Purchasing a home direct from the seller or their agents will not be achieving the best possible price for you, those agents are hired by the seller, so it would be a conflict to inform you of buyers who offered less or asked for incentives (and got the contract accepted). Read more about working with a buyers agent to purchase a new construction home on the following link: Working with a Buyer Agent for New Construction
What To Expect in the St George Housing Market for 2018
While I have no crystal ball, I do have my finger on the pulse of the market and I’ve successfully predicted the market for well over 10 years now (and I’ve actually been accurate)! I expect to see similar gains as in 2017. Interest rates will increase, which will likely slow the progression of increasing prices, but I do still expect to see mild gains by the end of the year (likely 3-7%). I think that we’ll get a few more sellers off the fence and finally list their homes (if you’re one of these sellers—please call me!).
Even though I suspect we’ll see more homes get listed, I still don’t expect to see the overall inventory increase (at least not enough to be worth mentioning). If you’re looking for your next home, I believe it’s a great time to invest. Flip homes may not be as worthwhile, unless you plan to keep them long enough. Even the run-down homes are not fetching a low enough price coupled with the increased construction and labor prices to make a lot of return. Using them for a rental will likely yield a better return as the rental market is in high demand.
Can I assist you with buying or selling? Please give me a call or send me an email. Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Paula Smith