This is the May 2020 housing market report for the Greater St George Utah area, specific to residential homes. This report will look at April sales and statistics, which places us in the middle of the COVID crisis.
Sales are lower, and as a result, inventory is higher—however, we are faring well. For the past couple of years, the St George housing market tends to spike from March to April, but this COVID year we did experience a decline. These results should not come as a surprise, considering the situation of the world having travel bans and lockdown. It was interesting to note, however, that each week our "pending" homes have been quite strong, and ultimately selling 252 homes confirms strength and resiliency. Take a look at the current previous 3 years:
I do expect to see a decent spike in May for home sales, and I expect to see these numbers to remain strong through the summer. If you look at our black line of sales going back to April 2017, you can see that we have peaks and valleys throughout the entire year, but for the most part, our sales are steady. We do not have a time in St George Utah when homes do not sell, and apparently, a pandemic is also immune.
The St George Utah real estate market is selling. Prices seem to be holding firm. I've noticed buyers commenting that prices are dipping, but a pricing decline is very typical for our market, this time of the year. We have the Parade of Homes every February, and an increase in prices systematically coincides with that event. Within a month or two after the Parade, for homes that did not sell, over-inflated prices tend to reduce to their fair market values (hence a noticeable "decline in prices" may be observed). It is my opinion that the generalized statement of "I see prices coming down" really has nothing to do with COVID, but more to do with what is typical for April and May in St George. In a couple of months, we will have a better understanding of any significant pricing moves that could be related to the economy. However, at this point, I cannot attribute any radar blip pricing declines to the pandemic.
Year to date activity (from 1/1/20 to 4/30/20) compared to the same time last year, shows that the Greater St George (residential) is down only 1% over last year (there were only 20 sold homes separating the YTD from the previous year at the same time). The average sale price was UP 8% (again, using the same data YTD compared to the prior year same time). At this point, I'm simply not seeing any indicators that the market is doing anything but holding strong. I've had a few buyers that mentioned they plan to wait until prices decline before they purchase. Hopefully, they love their current quarantine headquarters...because I feel they'll be hunkering down for a while before pricing may decrease. At this point, I think that we will finish out the year with strength and values continuing to trend upward, gently.
Sellers that have urgency may be more motivated to bargain, but that will apply to any time of the year (crisis or otherwise). The number stressed sellers are going to be few and far between, so buyers will have to surrender to fair market prices at this point. There are some deals to be had, but they are more like diamonds in the rough, and you will be better paired with a skilled agent who can spot the deals. Waiting for prices to dip on a particular home is like waiting for the pinata to burst…once it goes--- you're going to have some serious competition. Multiple offers are still common, even during the pandemic. I see no real indicators at this point that leads me to believe any shift is close. We currently (as of today) have 452 PENDING homes! Since March 1st, there are 377 pending. That demonstrates incredible strength. I suspect many of these will close in May. Time to close has been slightly delayed, with banks and lenders being overwhelmed and running minimally staffed.
I've got some pinata candy on the way…anyone looking for a fantastic view home in Entrada? How about a smaller 2-bedroom home in Sunriver (priced under $275,000)? Check out a couple of my newest listings, below.
Are you interested in other statistical information? I'd love to hear from you, especially if you're out of the area—how is your market doing?
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, as well as witnessing our St George area grow to become one of the fastest-growing cities in America. I keep my finger on the pulse and not only pay attention to what is going on, and I've accurately predicted future market conditions.
Allow me to be of assistance and earn your business. If you've got a home in Southern Utah that you're thinking of selling and you'd like a property market report, I can send that to you.
If you're ready to buy or sell, I'm prepared to make it happen. 435-773-3751