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

What Sold in St George Utah Real Estate 2015

The most interesting point to note is that sales remained slightly stronger than the previous year, yet the inventory was lower.  This shows the market is in a good position, moving higher, but not a record paces.  This is good for both buyers and sellers in that the strength will continue while minimizing the risk of another bubble.  Slow and steady is always preferred over skyrocketing prices such as those we witnessed in 2003 and 2004.   The lower inventory coupled with the steady demand assisted in the prices inching up.  Homes that are reasonably priced have no issues selling; unfortunately buyers have less to choose from, and some buyers who insist on low-balling a well priced home have probably wondered why they are still buyers.   Sellers do not need to be desperate, so long as their home is priced realistically—they can expect to achieve full price, or very close.  Homes with features high on the buyers’ desirability list, such as:  MOVE IN READY, single level, views, private backyard, 3+ bedrooms, newer, 3+ car garage, fenced, and RV parking are typically among the first to sell.  If these homes are priced very well, a bidding war can ensue in a rather short time (a few hours or a few days).   

St George Year End Market Analysis 2015

St George Utah Selling Your Home

Some sellers are trying to list their homes too high, which skews our numbers a bit (market absorption shows slightly higher with these overpriced homes that sit on the market).  There are still those who purchased in the height of the market (2005 and 2006) and will take a loss.  Over priced homes just won’t sell.  And don’t use Zillow if you’re a buyer or a seller to determine prices (Utah is a non-reporting state—while sometimes these values can coincidentally be correct—for the most part they are incorrect).  Sellers will occasionally take the approach of listing their home very high, insisting a buyer can “make an offer”.  This is a terrible idea and rarely works (and more often backfires on the seller).  Most agents and buyers won’t even bother.  If you’re not in the ballpark—no one will play.    If you’re a seller and you would like a Comparable Market Analysis of your home, to determine what it will sell for, contact Paula Smith for a free, no obligation report. 

St George Utah Buying a Home 

Back to the buyers.  Sorry guys, there are some great homes out there, but they go quick!  Your best approach is to be ready.  Have your financing in order and be ready to look at homes quickly.  I work with a lot of out of area buyers, and once I have my finger on the pulse of what they are searching for—we can typically jump on something immediately after the home is listed.  Often, I will preview homes for my clients and send them a private video tour, allowing for a better feel for the layout of the home.  We can make an offer on something even before they arrive.  This is only recommended to buyers who have already been though a few homes and know what they want.  Also, it’s recommended that the buyer be able to travel back to St George within 7-10 days after the offer. 

What will the 2016 St George Real Estate Market do?  St George New Construction?

My assumption of the St George real estate market for this year is to expect the same as 2015.  I believe the inventory will increase a bit as sellers realize that prices are not going to be skyrocketing.  I believe the builders are going a little too strong with specs and cutting out many features that are somewhat expensive (in an attempt to stay competitive) such as backyard landscape, builder basic painting and fixtures, no fencing or walls, and non-upgraded insulation or green features.  Builders are collecting every lot they can and building big homes as quick as they can.  The top complaints I hear from buyers are that the lot is too small, they don’t like the lack of privacy (2 story home behind) and the lack of multi-generational living accommodations (multiple bedrooms on the main level which can accommodate aging parents or infants closer to the master).   If resales make a surge in the inventory, buyers recognize they are getting more for their money on resales, and this may cause a stall in the new construction.  This could create some concern for builders holding too much inventory, expecting to sell quickly.   If too many resales come on the market, I believe the builders will feel it.  If the inventory remains the same or lower then builders will continue to do well with new construction and specs so long as they do not overlook quality and keep pricing in line. 

Exact statistics are difficult to provide for new construction, since so many times the builder is not reporting sales on the MLS, but on average it’s about 22% of reported homes sold for both 2014 and 2015 are new construction.   In reality, I expect this number to be a bit higher—perhaps closer to 25% (when the inventory was much higher for example, in 2012, the number of new construction sold homes was around 18%).

I work with buyers and sellers for resale homes, new construction (both specs and custom building) in the Greater St George and Sunriver areas.   If you are looking to sell, contact Paula Smith today.  I have buyers searching for the perfect home—it could be yours!