Are we AT or NEAR the bottom of the housing decline?

By Matt Green
Jul 28, 2011

That is hard to say as data is somewhat mixed across the country. The recently released Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index was below its level of two years ago making it a new post bubble low and putting it 33.1 percent under its July 2006 peak. The national housing index, which is released quarterly, fell 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 after a decline of 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is also a new post bubble low. This data would indicate that we must be near or at the bottom of the market and many housing experts believe that is where we are. These experts do not expect a rapid recovery suggesting we may fluctuate  over the next few years before we have a significant housing improvement.

Utah Foreclosures

By Matt Green
Jul 27, 2011

There is a great deal of confusion circling around foreclosures and distressed properties. The raw data would suggest that we are rebounding, with fewer homes in foreclosure or in a distressed situation.  According to Realty Trac Inc. the number of homes taken back by lenders in the first half of 2011 fell approximately 30 percent from the same period in 2010. There were 421,212 homes seized in the first six months of 2011 compared to 529,633 in the first six months of 2010. The drop in foreclosure related filings in April 2011 was down nearly 9 percent from March of this year. In Utah filings were down almost 14 percent form March to April and nearly 30 percent from April of 2010.

Utah, however, remains near the top in number of foreclosure filings. Realty Trac shows Nevada at the top with one in every 97 households receiving a foreclosure notice in April. Arizona is right behind with one in 205 households, followed by California with one in 240 and then Utah in fourth with one in 322 households receiving a foreclosure notice. This number for Utah represents 1.65 percent of all homes receiving a foreclosure filing.

In May distressed homes accounted for 31 percent of existing home sales across the country with these homes selling at a 20 percent discount to non-distressed homes according to the National Association of Realtors. Of the 3,650 existing homes sold in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties in the first quarter of 2011, 40 percent were either short sales or foreclosures.

The decline in the number of foreclosure filings, by all accounts seems to be a bit misleading. Ordinarily this decline would suggest that homeowners are rebounding and making their mortgage payments on time, or catching up on delinquent payments. The drop in foreclosure filings, however, is generally believed to be occurring due to an increase in processing delays that are happening across the country. Lenders are now taking longer to file foreclosures against homeowners who have fallen behind in their payments. Again, Realty Trac reports that in the second quarter of 2011 the average foreclosure process was 318 days, this is 41 days longer than during the same quarter last year. As these processing delays have grown a backlog of foreclosures has developed. This scenario may create an increase in the number of foreclosures in 2012 as lenders are forced to push foreclosures farther into the future.

Utah Unemployment

By Matt Green
Jul 26, 2011

The unemployment rate continues to plague the economic recovery on a national level. The uptick to 9.2 percent in June has many worried about a double dip recession. Utah remains in the top 15 best states when it comes to unemployment with a rate of 7.3. This rate is expected to be unchanged when the next state unemployment report is released in late July. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2010 to May 2011 Utah added 16,500 jobs ranking it near the top in percent of jobs added.

Utah Economy recovering?

By Matt Green
Jul 25, 2011

Although the national economy seems to have stalled, and in some areas and sectors has even back tracked, the Utah economy appears to remain on a steady course of recovery. From 2000, through the first quarter of 2011, the Utah GDP has grown at the 6th fastest pace in the country. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis the GDP of Utah grew 29.1 percent over the past 11 years making it the 33 largest economy in the United States. It is worth noting that of the five states that grew faster than Utah only Oregon has a larger population.

Park City Market Update

By Matt Green
Jul 24, 2011

The Park City real estate market continues to move along at a steady pace. Through the first half of 2011 the market has remained relatively consistent, with most indicators moving very slightly one direction or another. The current median sales price is $525,000. Although this has fluctuated over the past six months it is at the exact same price as in December of 2010.

The quantity sold compared to the total dollar volume sold is a telling comparison. Since June of 2010 the year over year total number of units sold has experienced an increase of approximately 15 percent. During the same rolling twelve month period the total dollar volume of properties sold decreased by 5 percent. This indicates one of two things, either the lower end homes are selling at a greater pace, or the overall pricing of homes is declining. The reality is it is probably a combination of both.

One significant number that has been moving in a positive direction for the past 12 months is the sales price to list price ratio. In June of 2010 homes were selling for an average of 92.67 percent of their listing price. Over the past year that ratio has climbed at a steady pace to a current impressive ratio of 97.12 percent. There are two factors that can influence this ratio – first, there is growing demand for housing, and second, sellers are better understanding the market and are listing their properties at more reasonable prices.

The number of listed properties against the number of sold properties is also a very important comparison in gauging the strength of a market. At the end of the second quarter 2011 the 12 month total listed properties versus sold properties was at 39.21 percent. This is the highest this number has been in the Park City market since December of 2007. Although the current number of listings is only approximately 7 percent of the number in 2007 the fact that almost 40 percent of those properties are selling is very significant. Combine that with the fact that our absorption rate, at 20.59 months, is down to the same level that it was in May of 2008 and you will see an overall improving real estate market.

Painting the Town Green

By Matt Green
Jun 04, 2011

Green may be the new black, but Park City isn’t jumping on the sustainability bandwagon; it’s leading the charge. The community is committed to becoming the cleanest, greenest mountain resort town in the nation. Check out some of the highlights of what Park City’s residents and its government are doing together to foster a more sustainable future. Greening the Government Park City Municipal Corporation has a dedicated Sustainability Department and is committed to significantly reducing the community’s carbon footprint by 2012. The new police facility is heated and cooled by a geothermal pump, and all new and remodeled city buildings use wind power and must meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. The Park City/Summit County free bus system carried more than two million riders last year and is fueled by soy-based biodiesel. Citizen Green Park City residents have voted multiple times to tax themselves to fund bonds aimed at improving quality of life for future generations. In 2007, residents approved a $15 million bond to make the city more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. And, over the years, citizen-voted purchases and development agreements have protected more than 6,400 acres of open space. Local businesses—from ski resorts, to restaurants, to non-profit organizations, to real estate developers—are doing their part, too, with innovative measures that range from carbon offsetting and employee carpooling, to using renewable building materials and water-conscious designs. To learn more about Park City’s green scene, visit www.parkcitygreen.org

Utah Homes - April Real Estate Market Report

By Matt Green
May 27, 2011

Utah Association of Realtors reports that number of homes sales declined in April of 2011 compared to the same month in 2010.  Largely do to the inflated number of transactions that occurred in 2010 due to the offered tax incentive.  If the April transactions (homes sold in Utah) are compared to April of 2009 there has been a significant increase in activity.  The Utah Real Estate market seems to be returning to a state of normalcy.

Park City Expands Trail System in Trailside Park

By Matt Green
May 16, 2011

Last week the Basin Rec Board approved construction of the Highland Drive Trail.  They will now begin the “bids and construction” phase.  The overall design will include a continuous trail along the entire north and east sides of Highland Drive from Bitner Road/I-80 underpass to the proposed trail head parking lot at Silver Summit.  Along the south and west side of  Highland Drive from Old Ranch Road to Silver Sage Drive, there will also be a trail section.   Most of the trail will be paved, and many sections will  also have a natural trail running alongside it.   Raised pedestrian crosswalks are proposed at Old Ranch Road, Snow View Drive and Silver Sage Drive, and other safety features may be placed as well.  The hope is to break ground in mid-July and to complete the project within 2 ½ months after that.

  1. Hi, The Trailside Park area in Park City Utah is another great family There is an extensive trail system throughout the neighborhood

    Thanks, Perk

Keller Williams Agents Serve Park City Community

By Matt Green
May 11, 2011

A big thank you to all of our Keller Williams Park City Agents that showed up today to give of their TIME and SWEAT to display Keller Williams' support of our wonderful Park City community.  While we had a small group of participants than normal this year, both the Park City Christian Center and Mountain Trails were VERY pleased with the amount of work we accomplished, and in both cases, we exceeded their expectations!

Keller Williams Red Day

Keller Williams Red Day

Utah Association of Realtors - March Housing Market Data for Utah

By Matt Green
May 02, 2011

The general Utah Real Estate market continues to improve.  The available inventory of property for sale continues to contract a trend that usually supports home pricing.

  1. Hi, If you practice fence etiquette and bone up on local zoning regs, you can avoid neighbor disputes Thanks, Perk