St George Real Estate Market Conditions Reports and Opinions

Housing market reports, news, statistics, and opinions are brought to you by Paula Smith Red Rock Real Estate


June 10, 2016

4835 S Festival Park Circle SunRiver

Home For Sale in SunRiver St George

4835 S. Festival Park Circle
St George, UT 84790


Price: $268,000
MLS 16-176736

Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Garage: 2.5 Car
Square Footage: 1,262

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Posted in Buyers, SunRiver
April 12, 2016

St George Utah Home Buying Process…explained

What is the home buying process for St George Utah?  The State of Utah, like all states in the US, has a process for home buying and paperwork to accompany every step.  Most buyers feel that Utah has a very simplified home buying process, and our State laws favor the buyer thereby making the process less stressful.  It’s nice to have contracts written in such a way that they are simple and easy to comprehend.


St George Homes For Sale Online


Most buyers begin their home search online, from the state they currently reside.  Using a local website (such as this site) will allow you to view ALL MLS listed property for sale.  My site will provide every home listed, from every agent within our Board.  Often, buyers will inform me that other websites show “more” homes.  The reason for this is usually because those sites are not updated daily (or hourly, like this site).  So when you’re seeing homes on other sites that may not be included on this site, are homes that are no longer available (cancelled or pending listings).  Once a home is pending, it will be removed from this site (as soon as the listing agent updates our MLS).  


Paula Smith~Your St George Buyers Agent


Aligning yourself with a local agent is your next step.  It’s important to select an agent and establish a relationship with that agent.  Once you have begun to contact a preferred agent and you’re beginning to make plans to arrive, your agent has already started working for you.  When I speak to a buyer and identify the type of property they are searching for, I set up a preliminary search and populate a list of potential homes.  Together we review the list and add or eliminate to formulate the list of homes the buyer would like to see once they arrive (it’s recommended to do this only a couple of days prior to arrival since our inventory changes so frequently).  It’s okay to call other agents for questions, but it’s important to let them know you’re already working with another agent (more on that in a minute).


Next, your home search really begins.  Viewing homes in person is totally different that looking at them online.  Sometimes they are so much better in person, other times buyers are totally disappointed when viewing in person, their “favorite” home.  It’s important to see homes in different areas so you can really get a feel for the area that suits your needs best.  This process can take hours, days, or months (and I’ve had a couple of clients where it took years!).  Once you find a home you’ve got real interest in, that’s where I begin to research.  I’ll begin to research the home, to try and find any details you’ll want to know about the home.  I run comparable sales and evaluate the price.  I do title research to determine the sellers situation and how that compares to the price on the home.  My buyers are always informed as to what has sold in the area and at what price.  Together we determine a price to make an offer.  


How Much Under Asking Price Can We Offer?

This is always a popular question, and the answer is always “Offers are a case by case basis”.  There is no “magic number” of how much lower you can offer.  In fact, if a home is newly listed and priced really well…while you’re in the office trying to justify a lower offer, 3 other buyers are already involved in a bidding war and the home will sell at or above asking price.  Other times, a rare home comes on the market and it’s probably considered “over priced” but if it has that rare feature…buyer WILL PAY.  This isn't to say you cant offer less on any home…of course you can!  I make offers for buyers on the regular basis under asking price, and often I’m able to gain acceptance.


Can I Make An Offer Contingent On My Other Home Selling

Short answer….YES.  The best situation is when your home is already listed.  If you’ve already got an offer…even better.  You CAN make an offer contingent on your home selling and it will be very little risk to you (if your home does not sell you wont lose your earnest money in MOST circumstances).  


Making the Offer

There are several documents to sign for your first offer, typically I have a few of these signed up front to avoid confusion.  First and foremost you MUST sign a Buyer Broker Agreement.  This allows the agent to work for the buyer, and this is an exclusive commitment (you can not sign this document and then turn around and work with another agent).  The written agreement clarifies buyer and agent relationship and the buyer is confirming they understand the agent will be paid within the transaction (HOWEVER…IT IS NOT THE BUYER WHO WILL PAY THE AGENT…THE SELLER WILL PAY THE AGENT AND THIS WILL NOT ADD ANYTHING TO THE COST OF THE HOME).  When a sellers lists their home, they are already agreeing to an amount to compensate a buyers agent.  So the buyer will be represented and offered information and consultation throughout the entire transaction, with no cost (within a typical transaction).  


The Utah Real Estate Purchase Contract

The details of the contract are very straight forward.  A buyer will not need an attorney present at closing.  The buyer will have a due diligence period which will give them about 2 weeks to really get to know the home, the neighborhood, and do any home inspections they deem necessary (at the buyers expense).  During this Due Diligence period, a buyer can cancel the contract for any reason.  This way if you find a home you love and it’s a popular listing—you can instantly make an offer—once accepted you can get all of the questions answered and if you’re not happy—you can cancel the transaction.  So many times I’ve had buyers tell me “we will go home and think about it”.  They call me a week later and they are ready to make an offer.  Sorry…that home is pending.  You’ll also have a couple of weeks to get your loan in order and an appraisal done (if applicable).  If you realize you are unable to secure financing during the specified period, you can cancel the contract and your earnest money is returned.  Earnest money is typically about 1% of the purchase price, but depending on the situation it may be appropriate to offer more or less. 


If you realized AFTER your due diligence or financing period (both are typically 14-18 days) that you no longer want to purchase the home (or you are unable to) then you may be at risk for losing your earnest money.  The earnest is in place to compensate the seller for taking the home off the market, and it’s designed to essentially be a tool to avoid going to court.  



The most misunderstood time of the transaction is always “closing”.  Closing is the event where the documents are signed and the money is delivered.  You can close here in St Georgeat the title company, or title can set up a courtesy closing in your area, where the documents are sent over to you to be signed and notarized. When you “close” here in town, you are not at a table with the sellers—only the title agent and typically the real estate agent, and sometimes your loan officer will attend.  The element that always becomes a source of confusion is that you DO NOT get your keys at closing.  Perhaps you’ve already wired your down payment to title, you’ve now signed your documents and your moving truck just pulled up in front of your new home.  Well…there is a problem because you’re not moving in and it may be another few days.  While I’ve never personally had this happen to my buyers (because I thoroughly explain the process) it still becomes a point of confusion with many deals.  A few things have to happen before you get your keys.  You first sign your documents (if you’re doing it out of town, they need to be RECEIVED by the title company).  Your funds need to be wired to title (and RECEIVED).  If you wire at 3pm on Friday…it wont be received until the next BUSINESS day (if Monday is a holiday, we’re looking at Tuesday).  The seller must sign their documents.  If you have a loan, the lender must fund the loan.  Typically they fund the same day, but not always.  Then once all of these events have transpired, title will send the documents to record.  Now we must wait for the recorders office…again…if you send this out at 4:55pm on Friday and Monday is a holiday….we wont record until Tuesday.  Once the document records…you are an official homeowner and your keys will be delivered.  


What Fees Will I Pay?

There are very few fees the buyer is obligated to pay.  If it's a cash deal, you'll have title/recording fees which are usually less than $300.  The other costs are pro-rated property tax and HOA fees (if applicable).  The seller will pay for a seller policy title insurance (this will protect your title from any liens if claims are made against former).   If there is a loan involved, your lender will have all of the fees broken down for you prior to making an offer (or soon after) and you'll have the fees already mentioned along with lender fees, appraisals etc....  If you're hiring a Home Inspector, you'll pay him after the inspection so these fees will not be apart of closing. 


As a buyers agent, I’m working behind the scenes to make sure my buyers are staying on top of their deadlines, hiring professional and competent home inspectors, and completing all of their due diligence.  I’m working directly with the title company and their lender to ensure a smooth transaction, while keeping the buyer informed every step of the way.  If you’re ready to purchase a home and you are not already working with a buyers agent, give Paula Smith a call—I’d appreciate the opportunity to assist you.  If you have additional questions 

Feb. 21, 2016

4722 S SONATA Circle St George Reflections SunRiver

Reflections SunRiver St George

Gated 55+ Adult Community in St George Utah

 BUILT:  2006

 PRICE:  $580,000

 2Bed/Large Office or Den/ 2.5  Bath/3163sqft

Gated communities are a popular request for many buyers, and St George is no exception.  It’s true, however, that there simply are not that many gated communities within St George.

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Jan. 11, 2016

2015 St George Year End Real Estate Market Report


The following will give a great breakdown of the years activity, showing a total of 3,052 homes sold (compared to 2,646 in 2014).    

St George Real Estate 2 year Market Comparison

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Nov. 5, 2015

156 S JAYCEE Drive, St George, UT Snowfield Estates

Snowfield Estates Home For Sale

4 Bedroom SINGLE LEVEL, 3 Car Garage, AND RV Parking

BUILT: 2012

PRICE: $349,000


If you're searching for a St George Utah home for sale, this is better than new construction and the opportunity to get more for your money!  Snowfield Estates is a beautiful community with newer homes which is tucked away on a very quiet street with the luxury of being located near everything.  You’ll be able to catch the bike and walking trails as well as golf courses, shopping, and parks just down the street.  This beautiful home is sure to please, with sought after features that are typically only available in a custom home. SINGLE LEVEL living AND RV parking on this larger lot along with a larger (deeper) 3 car garage having epoxy floors and an additional storage room.  You’ll appreciate the pool size larger lot and the private patio where you can enjoy your piece of St George paradise.  

Now let’s go inside and continue to check all of the MUST HAVES on your list!  You’ll walk in and instantly love the travertine floors with wood inlay greeting you at the entry.  The neutral tones and finishes throughout will make decorating easy, no matter your style.  The spacious kitchen with ample counter space and well appointed finishes such as the chiseled edge granite counters and an island with counter seating, which is open to the greatroom and looks out to the backyard.  The dining area is just off the kitchen will provide plenty of room for entertaining several guests.   The living room is generous in size, you won’t have any trouble arranging your furniture, and you’ll love to cozy up on winter nights and enjoy the fireplace thoughtfully placed to maximize furniture placement.  There are travertine floors throughout the traffic areas.  The bedrooms are larger than many current homes being built and offer a split floor plan, having 2 bedrooms on one side and the master on the other side.  There is a 4th bedroom (or office/den) as well.  Traveling down the hallway, you’ll appreciate the separate dedicated laundry room.  No more going through the laundry room when you’re coming from the garage.  There are cabinets and a large counter which completes the space.  The master bedroom is amazingly spacious.  No matter the size of bed you have—this room will accommodate.  There is a door that leads to the patio from the master.  The bathroom features a separate tub and shower as well as a private water closet.  The large walk-in closet is sure to please.  The rooms have ceiling fans, 3” blinds on the windows, water softener, plumbed for central vacuum, fully fenced (with an RV gate), and it’s totally landscaped with trees that are already maturing (these features will save you so much money over new construction).

The RV parking will accommodate larger rigs and there is a cleanout on that side as well.  There is room for a pool on either side or directly in back.  

The HOA is in place which will ensure that the community remains with its current high integrity, and the cost is only $75/year.  

Taxes $3673 based on a non-primary residence, a primary resident will have a 45% exemption. 



Oct. 18, 2015

SunRiver St George Market Report October 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve done any statistics exclusive for Sunriver, so I’m taking a moment to get this task complete.  Things have been moving in Sunriver…well people seem to be buying anyway!  We have an absolute shortage of sellers!  For the first time since I’ve been monitoring the Sunriver market (well over 8 years) inventory is at an extreme low.   Typically, there is an average of about 80 homes for sale (with maybe 20 of those being new construction) and as of today there are only 49 homes for sale and of those only 34 of those being resale homes.  

Whats Selling in Sunriver?

Currently, there are 33 homes Pending in Sunriver and of those,  17 are resale.  This number would likely be higher if there were more resales in inventory to choose from.  Since September 1, 2015 there have been 24 SOLD homes in Sunriver and of those 24, 14 were resales.   Check out this illustration which shows the past two years of SunRiver St George real estate statistics. 

SunRiver St George Sold Homes Report

New construction is moving in Sunriver.  Last week I had two buyers purchase new construction homes.  The largest factor for new construction to be doing so well, is the fact that the inventory is so low.  Buyers are not able to find the home they want, so they are required to build in order to get it.  Of course new construction always costs more, but if the buyer has a more specific list—it’s really the only way to find what you want.  Also, there is a decent selection of hard to find view lots recently released in Sunriver.  This seems to be encouraging buyers (new buyers and current residents looking to trade up) to purchase a new construction.

If you’ve got a home in Sunriver and you’re thinking of selling, please give Paula Smith of Red Rock Real Estate a call right away.  I can give you a free market analysis and give you an idea of what your home will likely sell for.  If you’re thinking of buying, let me know if you are not already on the Automated Alert and I’ll make sure to add you.  This will send you all Sunriver listings as soon as they hit the market.  Prices are trending up due to supply and demand, it's time to jump off the fence and get into the buying and selling pool. 

Paula Smith Red Rock Real Estate

Aug. 23, 2015

August 2015 St George and Sunriver Market Report

We are nearing the end of summer mark, with Labor Day fast approaching.  It’s been hot here in St George, both the weather and the real estate market.  We’ve gone over 100 since August first---100 degrees and 110 homes went pending in St George alone!  Here is a snapshot for the past 30 days (since July 23, 2015) for the Greater St George area (includes St George, Washington, Santa Clara, & Ivins)

SOLD:  235
Currently Active: 1,060

Here are the numbers specific to SUN RIVER:

SOLD:  15
Currently Active: 55

How Does this St George Market Report Compare?

See the picture below to find a year to date comparison for the St George Utah real estate market.  This illustrates that almost every month we’ve sold more homes than the previous year.  August is showing incomplete (since today is only the 23rd) but I’m guessing we’ll exceed last year’s numbers as well.  It’s also interesting to note that the median sold price is also higher.

St George Utah August Market Report

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July 10, 2015

St George Housing Market Report July 2015

It’s HOT in St George!  Not only in our recent temps but also in our St George housing market.  Last week was an unusually HOT week for our St George area summer weather, but more interesting has been the surge in home sales that has been going on coupled with the reduced number in inventory which has created high demand. 

St George Utah Home Inventory Levels

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May 7, 2015

Sunriver St George Market Report May 2015

Sunriver St George

Sunriver  St George is an active adult (55+) community located on the south west side of St George; just across the Arizona border.  Sunriver continues to be a popular choice for buyers searching for an adult community.  It’s the largest 55+ community in the area and is one of the newest communities as well; they are still building new construction in Sun River.   Most other  55+ communities in St George (and surrounding areas) tend to be smaller and most were competed in the 90’s.  Contrary to popular belief (and as marketed by some online) Entrada is NOT a 55+ community.   So if you’re searching for an exclusive 55+ community in St George Utah and you’d like something built in the past 10 years, SunRiver will likely be top on your list.  You’ll definitely get more bang for your buck on a resale home in Sunriver, most new construction has a reasonable starting price, but once you get to the design center, you can expect to pay $25,000 to $100,000 more in upgrades.  Most buyers will average about $35,000 in typical upgrades in any design center (on a 1500-1700sqft home).  Of course the price goes up with more extravagant choices and/or larger homes.  New construction can be a great option however, if you are unable to find exactly what you’re looking for.  The appeal of a new home is always high on a buyers list.  

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March 11, 2015

SunRiver St George Housing Market Report March 2015

Sun River is a large (55+) active adult community located within St George Utah.  There are approximately 2100 homes within this community with plans for a total of about 2,500, making it feel like a small town but it is actually a subdivision in St George.  Interest for Sunriver is always high.  Buyers flock to the community from all over the US and buyers within the community will sell and purchase another Sunriver St George home.  So the question on everyone’s mind….what’s the housing market like in Sun River St George?  I’m thinking of buying in Sunriver and I’m thinking of selling my Sunriver home.   This report will break down the current SunRiver real estate market conditions, and if you’re looking to buy or sell in Sunriver, can I earn your business?

As of today (March 11, 2015) there are 63 Active homes for sale in Sunriver.  Of these, 48 are resale (preowned) homes and 15 are new construction (spec) homes.  This number is about average for Sunriver.  I am often asked “why are there so many homes for sale in Sunriver?”  Honestly, this number is very low considering the overall number of homes there are in the community.  They are still building in Sunriver and this is expected to continue for the next couple of years.   There are 21 homes pending and of these-13 are resales and 8 are new construction.  In the past 30 days 8 SunRiver homes have sold and of those, half are resale.  Much like the rest of St George, Sunriver saw a dip in sales over the past 2 months.  This is not uncommon and the past 2 years of data illustrates that we are very typical for this time of year.  If trends continue, Spring should produce higher sales.  Here is a graph illustrating the past 2 years of data.  Keep in mind; this is ONLY for SunRiver St George.

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