St George Real Estate Market Conditions Reports and Opinions

Housing market reports, news, statistics, and opinions are brought to you by Paula Smith Associate Broker RealtyPath St George. You will find all market condition reports  for Southern Utah and the St George real estate forecast.  If you would like to have Paula Smith cover particular topics, related to the Southern Utah real estate market, please use the contact information at the top or bottom of this page.  Please note, all topics are written by Paula Smith and everything is the intellectual property and opinion of Paula Smith. 


May 2, 2023

Utah Property Tax Needs an Overhaul

Property taxes…

I've been seeking change in Utah's property taxes for more than a decade. Our residential property tax system needs to be fixed. My ideas of what could correct the property tax system are largely modeled from Prop 13 in California (I like to point out that Howard Jarvis initiated Prop 13, and he was a Utah native). While I'm not particularly eager to borrow anything from California, I think this plan brings his idea back to Utah.

My property tax change ideas are specific to residential rather than commercial. Commercial also needs a revised plan, though there are more viable solutions than modeling it identically to residential. It's essential to have a fair and effective system in place that benefits both homeowners and the community as a whole.

Last year, while fighting the property tax increase, I searched many property parcels, including commercial. I noticed that most commercial assessments didn't go up; if they did, it was minimal. I also noticed that many went DOWN. I found these details odd, but I was so focused on residential that I tabled these curiosities. Researching commercial in Utah is complicated because several years ago, one of our larger commercial brokerages left our MLS system—another tabled curiosity.

Over the past few months, I've escalated my approach, reaching out to any of our representatives who will listen to determine WHY our leaders have yet to be interested in correcting our broken property tax system. 

View More
March 14, 2023

March 2023 St George Utah Real Estate Report

St George home sales have been stagnant. February marks the 5th month of stagnant sales (nearly identical figures); January dropped (normal), but February didn't jump—which is very unusual. Typically February and March have a decent sale increase due to the annual Parade of Homes event. I am holding out hope for the market to do a March rebound, however, as there are currently 285 homes pending (since February 1, 2023). The higher number of homes pending is positive news, and we may see a delayed increase in sales. Lending has been more challenging lately, so the delay of the expected "spring bump" in home sales may result from delayed loan completion.

March 2023 St George Real Estate Report

View More
Posted in Buyers, Sellers, Statistics
Jan. 12, 2023

2022 Year End Housing Report and Projections

Year-end St George Real Estate Market Report

Here we are, at the beginning of the new year and ready to speculate on what is on the housing market horizon. We must review the past to know what to expect for the future. This article will focus on Greater St George for 2022 and how the market fared within the year and compared to prior years.

First, my "go-to" infographic was pulled from our MLS. I prefer this graphic for many reasons; I keep the criteria consistent, making it easy to compare.

St George Housing Market Report by Paula Smith

View More
Nov. 2, 2022

November 2022 Housing Market Report

November 2022 St George housing market report

The housing train has slowed.

You read it here first, folks. I've been telling you this was coming, and here it is. Is this the end? Are we heading for (another) complete housing market crash? 

No…I don't think it will replicate the crash of 2006. I do believe we will witness several similarities. We will push the boundaries of our comfort zone, much like those last few bites of Thanksgiving dinner.

This report will show what was. What is. And what (may) be in the St George and Hurricane housing market. Keep in mind that "what may be" is my opinion—I do not have access to determine the future, and my analysis should be taken as speculation (infused with insight and intuition).

View More
Posted in Buyers, Sellers, Statistics
Oct. 5, 2022

October 2022 St George Housing Market Report

September 2022 has about the same inventory level as we had "pre-covid" September 2019. Last month I wrote that we'd watch this level and see if inventory levels continue to climb. It did.

The genuine concern was the number of SOLD homes. For September 2022, we sold 203 homes; we haven't seen lows like that since February 2016, when we sold 205 (January 2016, we sold 187 Ironically around that time, inventory hovered around 1000-1300 listed homes before going lower into 2017, then remaining around the 700-800's available homes. Remember, this is specific to "greater St George residential." I typically do not pull in Hurricane or Zion areas, so comparing past data trends is easier.

St George Utah Housing Market Report

View More
Posted in Buyers, Sellers, Statistics
Oct. 1, 2022

257 N Prickly Pear Drive Washington UT

Home for sale RV parking

Home for Sale in Washington Utah

257 Prickly Pear Drive
Washington, Utah

Price: $425,000
MLS 22-235697

Bed: 5  Bath: 3
NO HOA, RV Parking
Garage: 2
Square Footage: 2,242

View More
Sept. 14, 2022

September 2022 St George Real Estate Market Report

September 2022 St George Real Estate Market Report

If you've followed along on my blogs, you'll know where I stand on the market and conditions and my speculation on what will happen. So far, I've been on point. My option tends to go against the grain of many agents in the industry; however, that is nothing new. I am nothing if not opinionated. I refuse to tell people what they WANT to hear, especially if it's self-serving. If my opinion makes you hold off on buying or selling, that is your decision, and I support you. I'd rather sell nothing than have a buyer feel like I only delivered the "pros," ultimately feeling like they made an uninformed decision.

So where are we today in the St George real estate market, and what are the conditions?

"Covid" was an event on multiple levels. Aside from the apparent (health), it becomes a marker in time, much like an epicenter of an earthquake. That moment sent shockwaves and created a ripple effect, spurring a chain of events in housing, stocks, interest, and politics. It was global. The reverberation, though government-induced, is going to change the course. 

View More
Aug. 5, 2022

August 2022 St George Residential Housing Update

It’s August already, the year is progressing, and the St George, Utah, housing market has begun the shift. Our inventory has increased at a very rapid pace. It seems concerning upon an up-close examination. It is disturbing, quite frankly. But sometimes, you must step back and see things from a distance. The photo below is a great example. The top picture shows the housing market for the past TWO years (since July 2020). WOW…PROBLEMS ARE HERE! Inventory is at record levels, and sales have plummeted to their lowest lows.

Now, look at the photo below showing the last THREE years.

St George Utah housing market report 2022

View More
Posted in Buyers, Sellers, Statistics
Aug. 2, 2022

Utah Property Taxes Discriminate

Utah Property Taxes Discriminate. You may have been stunned if you've received your Washington County, Utah, annual property tax valuation bill. There are two issues I'm going to discuss in this article. Issue ONE...the ADDED tax showing on the bill they plan to vote on August 18th, 2022--please attend the meeting if you can--this should be voted against. Due to a prior commitment, I cannot make it to the City Council meeting on the 18th. Issue TWO...our broken property valuation system. 

Property taxes are not uniform or fair. Essentially, they discriminate between neighborhoods and the sales activity within them. Utah is a non-disclosure state. Homeowners are not required to report how much they paid for their property. Occasionally, tax-paying homeowners get lucky, and the Assessor values the property for less than the sale price. But now I'm asking, WHY are we a non-disclosure state? WHY aren't property values based on what you paid? Why are our values determined by a city worker based only on the size and similarities of nearby homes?

There is an argument that if Utah becomes a disclosure state, it will encourage higher taxes, but it should be known that the Assessor already has access to our MLS, so our "secret data" isn't secret. I'm not sure who we are hiding it from...if not the Assessor.

Here is a property valuation example that would be applicable here in Washington County. Two different people purchase a home for $600,000. One person declared what they paid, and their valued assessment resulted nearly identical to their purchase price. The other buyer did NOT disclose the purchase price, and their assessed value resulted in $400,000. Two people paid the SAME purchase price, yet one person is paying $2,000 LESS in property tax for their home. Fair? For this example, the sellers originally purchased the homes for $200,000 (as did many neighbors). The sellers cashed out with a hefty profit, all the neighbors now receive increased valuation assessments, and one of the buyers is saving $2,000 (for now). Fair? The following year that owner gets reassessed and is SHOCKED to receive a $2,400 higher tax bill unexpectedly. His property taxes were impounded, and now his payments are going up by $200 a month to offset the taxes. This is substantial for anyone to receive, and many unsuspecting taxpayers will receive this considerable increase in 2022. Fair?

View More
July 7, 2022

July 2022 St George Real Estate Report

We are now into the second half of 2022, so let's look at the first half of the real estate market conditions. Here is a great infographic showing the past two years, specific to the Greater St George area, residential homes. 

St George Utah 2022 Real Estate Conditions

View More
Posted in Buyers, Sellers, Statistics