Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market May 2020

I delayed writing about the status of our local Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market at the end of the first Quarter 2020, because Covid 19 had only been impacting our lives for about 2 weeks.  Now, with 2 full months of Covid19 under our belts I think it’s safe to say Corona virus has not made any lasting impact on on the Cache Valley Real Estate Market.  Although it was a little quiet for a couple of weeks the end of March, our market is as active as ever… in fact, sales to date are 22% higher than they were last year at this time!  The only negative Real Estate condition we are experiencing is a higher rate of failed contracts.  Some buyers are losing work hours, getting laid off or furloughed during the escrow process – sometimes prohibiting their ability to procure their mortgage.  There is a new COVID 19 addendum the state has developed to help keep transactions together if parties have unavoidable delays, and back-up offers are desirable to offset the unfortunate situation of first position contract failure.

Currently there are 219 homes on the market.  That is 8.5% less than May 2019, and the inventory has consistantly been tighter (fewer homes on the market) in 2020 than it was in 2019.  There are plenty of homes being listed, but they are getting snatched up quickly.  The average days on market for April (in the thick of the pandemic) was just 49 days.  In April the average home sale price rose to $283,000 and the average price per foot went to $137 (remember this is a general figure for ALL homes – brand new, old, small, large etc…).  Pricing is very specific to home size, age, home type and area.  A market analysis or appraisal using sold comparables is the only way to accurately gauge home value.

For buyers with job stability it is an excellent time to buy a home.  The mortgage interest rates are at record lows!  Some patience is required as inventory is low and demand high. Recently the availability of townhomes to purchase has increased, as new townhome communities are being built and existing townhome listings are up -allowing more people to purchase affordable newer housing.

The stability of our local Real Estate Market – even during the pandemic- has made it very clear that Cache Valley will continue to grow.  We are seeing an increased influx of buyers moving out of higher densitity areas across the country to our Valley.  Working remotely has become a reality for more people than ever before, and the draw of this beautiful valley is understandable.  Who wouldn’t want to live here?!!

Please feel free to call or email me if you have Real Estate questions or would like a valuation on your home.

Wishing you Happiness!

Terri Sizemore

435-770-9407

supersizemore58@gmail.com

 

 

Recap of the Logan, UT 2019 Real Estate Market/ Expectations for 2020

Wow, we’re into a new decade! 2020 rolls right off the tongue…

2019 was another banner year for our local Real Estate market.  Cache Valley prices rose 8.7% over 2018, ending at an average $124 per footThe average sale price last quarter of 2019 was $279,000. There were 2% more sales in 2019 than 2018 – 1600 residential sales for the year  (2nd only to 2016 at 1607 sales), and that number doesn’t include many newly built homes not listed on the MLS.

Once again high demand and quick sales kept inventory numbers low.  Currently there are just 211 residential homes on the market (including townhouses and condos). That number hasn’t exceeded 325 all year. The overall average days on market (time it takes for a home to go under contract) for the year was 43 days or less.  The price range with the most sales was $200-250k, and the average days on market for that price point was a mere 28 days.

The dawn of a new decade caused me to reflect on how the Logan/Cache Valley market was 10 years ago… What a difference a decade makes!  In 2009 & 2010 home sellers had a pretty tough time, and buyers were skittish. Short sales & foreclosures were rampant, the average home inventory was over 600 homes, the average price per foot fluctuated between $70-$80 pretty erratically, the average home price was under $173k, and the average days on market was 100+.  Only 870 homes sold in 2010, and there were very few homes being built.  2012 marked the beginning of an upward trend in our market, and it really caught fire in 2015.  Home prices have risen 48% since 2015.

Now for projections on 2020….It would be folly to project what the next decade might bring, but for the coming year, the local housing market is expected to remain strong.  Mortgage interest rates are extraordinarily low (below 4% on a 30 year for most loans, and some as low as 3.6%), making affordability within reach for most home buyers even with the higher home prices.  Utah continues to be a very desirable place to live.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has us tied for #1 in the country in job growth (up 3% since 2018), 5th lowest in unemployment at 2.5% and 2nd fastest in population growth (Cache Valley is one of the most desirable places in Utah) in fact, two of the biggest concerns for Utah are labor shortage and housing shortage.

HAPPY 2020!

Please let me know if you need any further real estate information or help with your Real Estate needs.

Terri Sizemore

435-770-9407

supersizemore58@gmail.com

 

 

 

Home buyers – the sequence is significant!

This happens frequently… I get a call on the phone, a nice someone says “my friend said you’re a good Realtor…  I saw a house I like in Logan – can you show it to me?”  I absolutely love a call like this – because there are few things more satisfying than helping someone find a great home.  BUT…there are a few steps that should be taken BEFORE we go out & look at homes.  Just as successful baking (following a recipe) often has sequential ramifications, home buying goes much more smoothly if things are performed in a certain order.  It should go something like this:

1) Find a Realtor – that you trust, is attentive,  knowledgeable and that you won’t mind spending time with. (Check references). Make sure the Realtor is someone who will have your best interests in mind, and then please be loyal to them in return.  Realtors receive no compensation until  a transaction (home sale or purchase) is successfully completed.

2) Get pre-approved for a loan with a lender who is competent, qualified & knowledgeable! Once again, check references… there are many loan programs, find out which one will be the best for your situation.  If you need to wait a while & save up some more money or get rid of some debt in order to obtain a loan with more favorable terms… do it!  A good lender will give you direction.  Either you or your lender need to let your Realtor know what loan program you will be using.  FHA loans have certain guidelines – not all houses will qualify for that type of loan.  USDA loans have geographic parameters – so if you are getting a USDA loan, you need to look at homes only in certain areas.. (In Cache Valley, homes in North Logan, Logan, River Heights, Providence, and parts of Nibley will NOT qualify for a USDA loan).  

If you have CASH to buy a home, you may ignore step two – and go straight to looking at homes!  You’ll also have additional negotiation power:-)

3)  Now that you know your budget, know your loan parameters, have your pre-approval letter and you have the ability to act when you find the home that “trips your trigger”   IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT HOMES!  When you find a home/homes that you want to see, please let your Realtor know  a day in advance if possible.  Showings need to be scheduled with the sellers who often need ample notice to get the home ready and find a place to go while you’re there.  It also makes sense to be able to schedule showings logistically – saving time, gas & air quality.

When these steps are performed out of order, sellers are inconvenienced needlessly  ( getting their homes in order for showings – often dragging children away from dinner, homework etc… – not to mention the emotional drag of getting their hopes up) and the buyers themselves waste time & emotional turmoil looking when they may not be in the position to buy.

If you discover you’re not quite financially ready to purchase, but you really have the hankering to look at homes,  spend time looking at properties online (your Realtor will send you properties to view if you’d like to have things filtered & only look at what fits your guidelines), and by all means attend open houses.

Happy Buying!

Cache Valley/Logan Utah Real Estate Market 3rd Quarter 2018

The Cache Valley Utah real estate market remains strong.  The number of homes sold 3rd quarter 2018 was up 3% over 2017 at 470 homes – even with the prices 13.5% higher than last year at this time and interest rates rising.  The past 3 months our home inventory has hovered between 315-325, and currently the average sold price per foot is $114 (remember this is an average – as I’ve mentioned before, pricing varies wildly depending on type of home, age and condition). The average home sale price in Cache Valley is now $262,000.

To put these prices in perspective, the average price per foot in the state of Utah is over $150, and the average home price in Utah has exceeded $350,000 (33% higher than Cache Valley)!  Compared to much of our state, our real estate market is very reasonable.  The state, and our local valley continues to attract new residents with great scores on job growth, outdoor recreation opportunities and excellent quality of life (seasonal air quality excluded).

Despite the strong Utah economy, a market adjustment is anticipated.  As the mortgage interest rates increase, buyers who need to obtain mortgages (most buyers are in this category) find their budgets decrease.  Likely we will see this decreased purchasing power affecting the acceleration of prices and modifying the current sellers’ market to a more balanced market again.  Locally we’re seeing a dual market developing, with homes appropriately priced under $250,000 moving like wildfire, but the higher priced homes – over $350,000 sitting on the market a longer time as they compete with the many new construction options and the increased inventory.  Historically, a yearly real estate market appreciation is around 4 – 4.5% – not the 12-13% appreciation we have seen the past 3 years.  In Utah in general, experts predict a continued appreciation, but at a more normal 6-7% increase next year.

 

 

 

Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate update May 2017

Commerce is all about supply and demand.  Here in Cache Valley, the demand for homes continues to exceed the supply – especially the supply of affordable homes.  Today there are 253 homes active on the market (listed on the MLS).  That’s 27.5% less than the 349 on the market exactly 1 year ago…. and we thought the home inventory was low then!

Although the inventory is much lower than it has been in the past 17 years (yes, the last time active listings were this low was pre- 1999), home sales for the first quarter of 2017  (259 sales) were still higher than the first quarter sales of 2009 through 2015!  (First quarter sales in 2016 were 12% higher at 290).  There were more sales in April this year (119) than any other April since the big boom in 2007 – illustrating just how quickly homes are selling.  The average days on market is just 64, and for the lower priced homes (under $150,000) it’s just 37 days.  

The increased demand for homes has continued to drive home prices upward.  In April the average price per foot increased to $97, and the average sold home price was $220,000 ( In April, 2010 the average sold price was $172,000).  There have been appraisal problems arising with the rapid appreciation rates.  Homes still need to appraise so the values must be substantiated – this will keep rising home prices in check.

Mortgage interest rates, while expected to increase, have really remained stable so far this year and are still hovering around a very affordable 4%.  Now is the perfect time to sell a smaller home and move up.  Of the 253 homes listed, 108 of them (43%) are priced above $300,000.  Homes priced under $225,000 are going like hot cakes.

Newly built homes are adding to the home inventory, and I expect the number of homes active on the market to increase – stabilizing prices…While I don’t have firm statistics on the number of homes built in the Valley in the past year, it’s not hard to see builders are working at a frenzied pace to keep up with demand.

As I look back through old stats and reflect on the real estate market the past 8 years, … it’s a great thing to see seller’s once again realizing profits through home appreciation, and in Cache Valley home affordability is still excellent compared to most of the US.  This is a desirable and beautiful place to live.

Please feel free to ask for help in determining the value in your home if you’re contemplating selling, or help in looking for a home if you think it’s time to purchase.

Enjoy the warmth to come!

Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407

 

 

 

 

 

Status of the Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market

Yet another Year has flashed by, and our local Real Estate Market was a real “rip snorter”!                         img_0892

In 2016, home sales were up 10.7% over 2015 (1607 homes sold in Cache Valley), and sold prices were up 9.6%!!  The average sold price per foot in 2016 was $92 and the last 6 months it averaged $95 per foot.  Our previous market high (late 2007) was an average price per foot of $88.  Please keep in mind, these average prices include new homes, single level, 2 story etc… It’s important to have a Real Estate professional or appraiser evaluate your specific home/location to determine your home’s value.

Factors contributing to the increased home prices are: low inventory – there has been a 13.1% decrease in the average number of homes available on the market since 2015 (at this moment in time there are just 226 homes on the market in Cache Valley), and increased demand for homes as Utah continues to benefit from an influx of new home buyers.  15,000 people reportedly moved to the state last year, and Utah ranks 2nd in the US in Millennial (those born between 1982 and 2004) home buying.

Prime mortgage interest rates, while up .75-1% the past several months, are still very affordable. According to The Mortgage Report (an unbiased, very useful mortgage news publication) they are expected to hover between 4-4.32% in 2017.  Government backed loans (FHA, VA & USDA) actually provide even lower rates currently, but have accompanying mortgage insurance premiums).freddie-mac-rates-long-term

All signs point to the Real Estate market remaining strong. Housing appreciation in Utah overall is projected to slow in 2017 to a more sustainable 5-6% as builders continue to add to the home inventory – which is good news for buyers.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2017!

 

 

 

The truth about on-line home valuations….  

The truth about on-line home valuations in Utah (i.e.… Zillow zestimates, Trulia estimates)

 

I frequently get calls from friends and clients – confused or upset because they saw a “zestimate” that valued their home at $25,000 below what we have it listed for or $10,000 below (or above) what they purchased it for…. Sometimes they’re excited because they think it will be justification to contest a property tax bill.

While offering an additional good marketing tool, sites such as Zillow and Trulia access information that is incomplete and therefore inaccurate.  Utah is a non-disclosure state – meaning sales prices are not public information.   Even in full disclosure states such as Colorado – where sales information is readily available, the MLS is the only really accurate valuation resource– providing important additional information such as square footage on each level of the home.  (Main level square footage is more valuable than 2nd floor footage – which is more valuable than below-grade space).

Real Estate professionals are able to access information from the MLS – evaluating home sales of homes comparable to yours in size, style, age and condition – including the very important square footage per floor comparison; thereby arriving at a reasonably accurate home valuation.  Appraisers perform an even more in- depth evaluation of “sold” comparisons –thus providing an even better assurance of  home value.

In summary:  Don’t stress (or celebrate) about a zestimate or any other on-line look up home evaluation.  If you need to know what you home would sell for right now, call your knowledgeable Realtor – ask her or him to please look at your home, take some time to pull and evaluate comparable “solds” and voila – you’ll find out within reasonable accuracy what your home is worth.