Cache Valley/Logan Real Estate Market through September 2019

The Cache Valley Real Estate market continues to flourish!  Local statistics through the 3rd quarter of 2019 show home sales up almost 5% over 2018 with 496 sales through the 3rd quarter as compared to 475 last year! The inventory is even lower than last year – with an average 280 homes on the market compared to 315 at this time last year.

Home prices rose 7% , but that’s substantially less than the 13.5% yearly increase I reported in September 2018.  In September 2018 the average home sale price was $262,000.  Currently it is $279,000.  This appreciation is more in line with a normal growth rate.  In Cache Valley the average price per foot is $123 with new single level homes going for up to $200 per foot and older “fixers” around $80 per foot.

Interest rates, while expected to increase this year – actually dropped dramatically last month and are now hovering at a very reasonable 4.0-4.3% for a 30 year fixed mortgage.  Affordable interest rates have been a huge boon for home buyers and have created a flurry of mortgage refinances.

Cache Valley remains a very desirable place to live.  Growth management has been a top agenda for all of the municipalities in Cache Valley, and our local elections next month will help dictate the direction that growth is going to take.

Enjoy our beautiful Cache Valley Autumn!

 

Cache Valley/Logan Utah Real Estate still “On Fire”!

For the past year or more there has been an expectation of increased home inventory in our Real Estate market – precipitated by robust new-home construction and an uptick in listings, since prices have increased almost 28% since 2016.  This would naturally result in a leveling off of prices.  Inventory has not decreased despite the active new-home market and strong listing numbers because the demand remains stronger than the supply!  The mortgage interest rates have also contributed to a continued strong market – rates have dropped to below 4% on a conventional 30 year fixed mortgage!

Here are the facts: While the State of Utah as a whole has seen an increased inventory of 12% over 2018, our local market (Cache Valley) actually has 20% LESS INVENTORY than we did last year at this time.  Right now there are 266 homes listed for sale in Cache Valley as compared to 321 last year at this time.  The number of single family homes selling in the first half of 2019 is almost identical to that of 2018 (info gathered from the Utah MLS). Most new home construction sales are not included in the MLS statistics.  Prices have risen 5% in the past 6 months, from an average $113 per foot up to just over $120 per foot.  The average home sale price has risen from $260,000 to almost $272,000.

Currently the average days on market (time it takes for a home to go under contract) is 55.  As I’ve mentioned before, the DOM (days on market) varies greatly depending on the price of the home.  Homes priced under $200K have an  DOM of just 33 days, while homes priced $350,000-$400,000 have an average DOM of 96 days.

One last note: Our beautiful valley currently has 124,564 residents and has been growing by 1.8 – 2% the past 5 years. It is a beautiful place with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, good health care facilities,  a reasonable cost of living and a strong job market. It is anticipated that the growth will continue.  There is a real push in most municipalities for building higher density housing so that open space might be preserved, air quality improved and reasonably priced housing made available.  Many of the new PUD’s (planned unit developments) – town house communities and over 55 communities – will play a very important part in providing attractive, reasonably priced housing for the future.

Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Status of the Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market

 

It appears time has marched us through yet another year….

It seems like a short time ago we were breathing a sigh of relief at the understanding Y2K hadn’t caused a world collapse.  (For you youngsters – our emergence into the 21st century brought many people much anxiety.  There was much apocalyptic hysteria linked to fears of global failure and nuclear war. Many were certain that modern life would dissolve, become extinct with the collapse of computer systems unable to roll over to the year 2000).  I remember thinking I would really miss a washing machine and vacuum, but it would be okay rolling back to simpler times…and that was pre-smart phone era:-)

My very wandering mind has stumbled back to that curious time of global angst because I hear some of that same sort of doom and gloom threading through some conversations currently.  I’m here to say – Life is GOOD!  It’s never going to be perfect, let’s just appreciate the good!

Here in our Happy Cache Valley, the Real Estate market is thriving.  In November we hit a tiny bit of turbulence, but otherwise it’s been smooth sailing.  There were 2.7% more homes sold in 2018 than 2017.  The home prices increased just over 9% for the year, and in the 4th quarter 2018 the average home sale price went up to $271,000.  The average price per foot has increased to $114, up from $104 a year ago.  While that seems high, it is still in the “affordable” range relative to most of the country – where the average exceeds $150 per foot.  The current average mortgage interest rate is 4.68% for a 30 year fixed mortgage – down from almost 5% in November!        

In Logan/Cache Valley there are currently 216 homes for sale, a 5% increase over this time last year.  Home inventory is expected to increase in the upcoming months – good news for buyers.

Growth in the state and our area might slow some, but is not going to stop any time soon…Utah in general is Booming!  A report from Think Adviser in September 2018 ranked Utah 2nd after Washington State in economic health & economic activity.  US News & World Report ranks Utah as #4 in employment rankings, and Kiplinger ranks Utah #2 in job growth.

Logan/Cache Valley ranks in the top 10 best (and most affordable) places to live in Utah on various sites such as Area vibe, Livability, Niche, Crazy Tourist and HomeSnacks.  We who live here know it belongs in the tip top!

If you need any Real Estate assistance, please call me at 435-770-9407

Have a Wonderful 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 1st Quarter 2018

Predictions that the Utah Real Estate Market – and our local Logan/Cache Valley market- would see prices increase at a lower, more historical rate in 2018 have proven incorrect.  The demand for Real Estate continues to match or exceed the supply; even with the added inventory of new homes and townhouses.

While the average median home sold price dropped from $229,000 last quarter to $221,000 the first quarter of 2018, the average sold price per foot increased from $104 per foot to an average $109 per foot – an increase of 5% in just 3 months!  Please keep in mind the price per foot a home fetches depends on the age, style and condition… it can range from $70 or less per foot for an 80 year-old bungalow with an unfinished basement and no updates on a tiny lot to $200 + per foot for a single level rambler with stellar finishes on acreage.  Appraisals are still very important, and your Realtor will pull sold comps to give you an accurate idea of how your home should be priced.

The decrease in median sold price is reflective of the demand for less expensive homes.  There is a proportionally high number of buyers seeking homes priced lower than $300,000.  Of the 241 homes that sold in Cache Valley the past 3 months, 204 (85%) of them were priced under $300,000 and only 9 were priced above $400,000.  This brought the median hold sold price down.  This statistic will change next quarter though, because 21 homes priced above $400,000 are under contract.

Currently there are 204 homes active on the market in Cache Valley.  There are also 204 homes under contract- poised to close in the next 45 days or so.  This illustrates the high demand for Cache Valley Real Estate!  People from other states continue to flood into our Valley – as a result of better job opportunities, lower price of living and better quality of life than afforded in many other places.  It may not be perfect, but it’s close enough to perfect for me – and apparently many others.

If you’ve been thinking about it, NOW is a perfect time to “move up” in home size/price. The demand for homes in the lower price ranges is extreme – with town houses being especially attractive to many young people, but there are more homes available to purchase in the above $300,000 price range (62% of the homes on the market are priced above $300,000).  The mortgage interest rates are still in the “affordable” range, though they have gone from just under 4% at the end of 2017 to 4.5% currently on a fixed 30 year conventional mortgage.  Rates are expected to continue rising over the year with projections of 5% by the end of 2018. On a $200,000 loan, a 1/2% interest increase raises the monthly payment by $60 per month – so timing is important on a purchase if financing is required.

Please call or e-mail if you want specific Real Estate information pertaining to the Logan/Cache Valley area, or if you want a price evaluation on your home.

Happy Spring!

Terri Sizemore/Youngblood Real Estate

435-770-9407 supersizemore58@gmail.com

 

 

Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate…Is there “Bubble Trouble” ?

November sky

Real Estate in Cache Valley has been booming the past 2 + years, with prices rising over 11% per year since 2015, home inventory at record lows, and new homes popping up along ridges and through fields like prairie dog towns all over the valley.  I’ve been overjoyed for my sellers, but a little nervous for my buyers – wondering if we’re on the edge of a bubble – concerned that the market might take a down-turn and buyers be left in a depreciating market such as that we experienced 2008-2012.  Here is where the research took me.

Economists have devised a pretty accurate Real Estate prediction model using 5 factors – resulting in what can be termed as a housing MRI.  The items to consider are: 1. EMPLOYMENT 2. SUPPLY & DEMAND 3. APPRECIATION & REPLACEMENT COST 4. AFFORDABILITY 5. DEMOGRAPHICS & DATA.

Here’s the skinny on how these factors look in our specific Cache Valley/Logan market.

  1. EmploymentThis is a leading indicator of Real Estate strength.  The Department of labor and employment has graphed the impact of unemployment rate on Real Estate in markets all over the US, documenting that job growth and high employment rates = strong Real Estate market.  Utah ranks #1 in job growth, adding 46,600 jobs just in 2016.  Our state’s economy is ranked as #4.  According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate in Cache County as of September, 2017  is a mere 2.6% ( compared to 4.1% nationally).  The highest unemployment rate Cache Valley has seen in recent history was August 2010 at 6.9% – coinciding with the low point in our Real Estate market. Current employment/job stats bode very well for a continued strong local Real Estate market.     
  2.   Supply & Demand: Things to consider in this area are: changes in re-sale inventory, rise in new home inventories,  oversupply of apartment construction/vacancy rates.  Here the local indicators are actually very positive:  The Cache Valley supply/demand balance has been at a steady equilibrium for the past 2 years, resulting in low inventory of homes for sale despite the abundance of new construction.  The average days on market (DOM =average time it takes for a home to sell) is currently 41 days -with those priced between $100-$200,000 taking just 26 days to sell, and homes priced at $400,000 + taking an average 110 days.  Despite the perception (my perception) of new homes cropping up like… well crops- actual figures don’t indicate overbuilding of either single family or apartment buildings.  Here are the numbers for building permits pulled in Cache County the past 3 years.  In 2015, 393 single family permits were pulled and 104 apartments.  In 2016, 468 single family and 42 apartments. In 2017 (to date) 410 single family have been pulled and 187 Apartment units.       In Contrast, back in 2006 & 2007 (prior to the market crash) there were over 650 permits pulled each year.  Apartment vacancy rates are below 1% with waiting lists in many cases.  It appears the additional apartment units & single family homes being built will be easily absorbed by the increased/increasing population (see point 5)
  3. Appreciation & Replacement costs:  As mentioned earlier, home appreciation in Cache County has gone up around 22% in the past 2 years, and according to FHFA.gov, Utah ranks 5th in the nation in home appreciation.  Over the past 5 years, home prices in Utah have gone up 45.46%.  Replacement costs have gone up at about the same rate – indicating a strong, stable market.
  4. Affordability:  This is an index based on home price, mortgage interest rate, and median family income.  Local statistics are readily available on the median single family home price (currently around $228,000 in Cache Valley) and on the mortgage interest rate (30 year fixed – 4%).  Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find any credible current numbers on the median family income… available data is from 2015, and shows the median income at $51,000 for Cache Valley.  My hope is that household income has been increasing somewhat commensurate with the increase in home prices so that affordability is a positive index.  Since lenders have much stricter parameters in qualifying buyers than they did during the last Real Estate fiasco, and buyers are still able to get loans, it can be assumed incomes must be also rising.
  5. Demographics & Data:  This index is positive indeed for Cache County.  The latest estimates from the US Census Bureau show Cache County as the 20th fastest growing metro population over $50,000 in the US, reaching an estimated $131,441 by the end of 2017, up 2.% since 2010.  Utah in general ranks #1  in population growth in US- resulting from both high birth rate and influx of people moving from other states/countries. Cache Valley/Logan continues to rank low in crime and high in outdoor recreational opportunities (specific rankings vary depending on the study, but all are favorable).

Based on statistical information, the Cache Valley/Logan Real Estate market IS NOT in “bubble trouble”.  This is a desirable place to live, and people are moving here.  Unemployment is low.  Job Growth is positive.  Inventory is low with a stable balance of supply and demand – even with new construction factored in.  The appreciation rate may level off – and that is expected, but there are certainly no indications of any depreciation in the foreseeable future.

If you would like any other Real Estate information, have questions about purchasing or would like to know the value on your home, please feel free to call or e-mail me.

Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407 supersizemore58@gmail.com

 

 

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.