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.
Our increased inventory is not higher than “pre covid” numbers. Yes, our sales have dipped a little…and technically, sales are lower than they’ve been…. but….it’s going to take a few more months of these numbers to continue (inventory rising and sales reducing) before we go into concern mode. For now, this is only a blip on the radar with all that is going on with rates and world news.
I believe inventory will continue to rise; this is a good thing. Our housing market needs to calm down to keep our market in check and affordability realistic.
I believe sales will fluctuate over the next few months, and I don’t see it as a valid reason for concern. What I do see is that prices will come down. They’ve already started. How fast that will happen is the magic ball question. Our market is fragile, and I think we can go either way quickly. I don’t believe it’s a reason to panic; it’s the market. It’s what it does. It goes up, goes down. If you’re a short-term investor, you may not be as eager to jump in, but this is just another wave to ride for those in the long game. Interest rates actually went down over the past few weeks; that's an opportunity.
SELLERS....this is your final call, the ship is leaving the port.
BUYERS...snag that interest rate NOW...allow me to negotiate like we haven't been able to do in the past year.
OWNERS....pay off the HELOC and stop using it. Pay off any credit cards you can, and add some extra house payments to your savings.
My concerns are loans. I believe many people obtained high balance loans and even more cashed in their equity with a HELOC (home equity line of credit). I think those variable rates are going to be a future missile. I believe we will see job loss and increasing variable rates causing payments to go up. This may aggravate the missile.
I am Paula Smith, Associate Broker with RealtyPath of St George. I have been a licensed, full-time real estate agent in Southern Utah since 2006. I have been selling residential real estate during all of the changes in the market and witnessing our St George area grow to become one of the fastest-growing cities in America. I keep my finger on the pulse, paying attention to market conditions. If you're ready to buy or sell, I'm ready to make it happen.