“Hotter than the Fourth of July” has real meaning for us this year! After running numbers on the 2nd quarter stats for Cache Valley, I am here to report the Real Estate market has been “HOT” as well… While there were 10% fewer sales in the 2nd quarter of 2017 than the 2nd quarter of 2016, prices were 12% higher! In June, the average price per foot for homes sold in Cache Valley was a remarkable $105.
Inventory remains tight. Today (July 7) there are 271 active homes on the market, and the average days on market (time it takes for a listing to go under contract) is 57. Interestingly, homes priced under $250,000 continue to sell VERY quickly and the inventory remains low, but homes priced over $500,000 have an average days on market of 270 days! There are currently 45 homes on the market priced above $500,000 (16.6% of the inventory) , and only 9 homes (1% of the sales) in that price range sold in the past 6 months. Takeaway: If you have a home for sale priced over $500,000, please be patient.
In this market, traditionally 2nd quarter has the highest number of listings and 3rd quarter reflects the highest number of sales. If those statistics hold true for this year, inventory in the coming months may be even lower than today’s 271.
Right now, making a move-up in home size makes a lot of sense. Smaller homes are in especially high demand, and there is more inventory (percentage-wise) available in larger homes – priced above $350,000. Mortgage prime interest rates are below 4% again, and compared to most of the USA, affordability is good.
If you need any Real Estate information or assistance, please call or e-mail.
Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407, firstname.lastname@example.org
Investing in Real Estate can make terrific sense, but as in all investment strategies – there is some inherent risk…
Here is a brief summary of things to consider when purchasing a rental property:
- Personal Finance considerations: Lenders typically require 25% down on an investment property mortgage (caveat -if part of the rental property is your primary home – as in a duplex where you live in one unit and rent the other unit out, loan programs such as FHA with as little as 3.5% down are available). Interest rates will also be higher than the rate available on a primary residential mortgage. Your credit, income, assets and debt ratios all factor in on the interest rate offered. As with all mortgages, closing costs will be associated (plan on 3% of the loan amount). It’s wise to have a large “nest egg” saved up to cover vacancy loss, improvements and repair costs. Money desperation can facilitate unwise decisions in accepting “risky” renters – leading to serious money woes.
- Personality considerations: Ask yourself, “Do I want to be a Landlord?” Landlords have to screen for tenants. Will you be able to say “No” when you need to? Will you be able to be firm about collecting rent? How do you feel about doing/ or hiring out repair work? Using a property management company is a very good option (one I recommend) if you don’t want to be a landlord. Most management companies charge around 10% of the rental income (becoming another financial consideration).
- Property considerations: Budget will dictate some things, but when evaluating properties consider the neighborhood and associated demographics. Properties near the university are in high demand (low vacancy), and often can glean higher rents (depending on the condition of the property), but also may have higher turn-over and more repair costs. A single family home near a school may provide more rental stability and lower turnover once rented but may be harder to rent initially. The age, size, condition, location and amenities (garage, laundry, yard etc…) of the property will influence potential rental income as well as the potential outlay for maintenance.
- Investment considerations: Return on investment (ROI) a profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth, cash flow Income less expenses, risk, and tax implications are all important aspects of investment considerations.
Cash flow example:
1900 sq. ft, 3BR, 2 BA single family home in North Logan
$160,000 (negotiated seller paid closing costs $4800)
25% down $40,000
Loan $120,000 @ 4.75% interest
Payments $626 + $100 per month tax & insurance = $726/mo
Potential rent $1150/mo – less 10% management fee = $1035/mo
Gross monthly cash flow: $309 ($3708 per year)
9.27% ROI, excluding vacancy loss & repairs – (an unknown)
Additional tax advantages & appreciation of the asset (Real Estate has traditionally appreciated at a rate of 3 -4% per year, although we all know this is not a fail safe assumption) May make this purchase a very desirable investment decision.
Things might be returning to the more normal state of affairs in the Real Estate world…. the days of low-ball offers (6% + below market value) being accepted are becoming a thing of the past, and multiple offers are no longer a rarity. Foreclosures in Cache Valley are on a continual decline, and the foreclosing banks are no longer giving the properties away.
What does this mean…?
Well, sellers don’t get too excited yet… you still have to base your home value on market conditions (not what YOU THINK your home is worth), your home will still have to meet appraisal values if it goes under contract, and buyers are still cautious about over paying, but please don’t let yourself be talked into listing at the bottom of the market, and don’t feel obligated to accept the first offer that comes in if it’s a low offer. Let your Realtor negotiate an equitable price – and if equitable terms can’t be met, don’t feel desperate. If your house is in good condition, it will sell for a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time. If it’s not in good condition, let’s get it in good condition!
Buyers – it is a great time to buy! The affordability is still fantastic because prices are still good and interest rates are great, but don’t expect a “steal”. Expect to make a reasonable offer, and yes – unreasonable offers can and do offend sellers. If you want a particular home make an offer based on market value, not what an infomercial real estate guru says you can get a home for. Even foreclosures and short sales are receiving multiple offers. Let your Realtor do some research on the history of the property as well as what the value is based on similar properties that have sold. Make an informed… and I’ll use this word again – REASONABLE – offer.
The Real Estate market is entering a situation of balance – not a buyers market, not a sellers market … a reasonable market.