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This Month in Real Estate: July 2014

by Jeremy Larkin

Are you wondering if right now is a good time to enter the St. George Real Estate Market? Check out some incredibly helpful July 2014 Real Estate Stats. CONTACT US for information on how this affects YOU!

Email us at larkingroup@gostgeorge.com or 435-767-9821

SunRiver Golf Course

by Jeremy Larkin

SunRiver Golf Course is a need-to-go-to course. One of the biggest activities in Southern Utah and surrounding areas is golfing. Therefor we have some amazing golf courses around town that are worth going to if you’re the type of person that loves to golf.

Sun River Golf Course

Located just off of exit 2 from I-15, SunRiver Golf Course is a very unique and classy golf course with the desert surroundings and the actual grass tees. They are the only St.George Golf Course to have actual grass tees. There are 6704 yards with 18 holes occupying it. SunRiver is an award winning retirement community with everyone loving the course!

 

The cost of a normal 18 hole game at SunRiver Golf Course can range between $30-$60, depending on when in the year you decide to go. With this golf course, you select your tee time when you pay, and then you go at that exact time to play.

Overall, it is a great course, and if you're a golfer, you should come to St.George and see this course for yourself!

 

 

Go to http://sunriver.com/golf/ for more information about Sun River Golf Course!

 

 

 

Kendall Clements is the owner of Escape Properties in St. George, Utah, a firm specializing in fully furnished vacation rentals. Kendall is a super guy and knows a great deal about Southern Utah. You can contact Kendall at (435) 414-1524, kendall@Escape2StGeorge.com, or visit him at http://www.escape2stgeorge.com/

 

St. George Real Estate Post-Election: NOW WHAT?

by Jeremy Larkin

Well....BILLIONS of dollars and 4 years later, the Presidential Election came...and went. There's no question that St. George...and the entire State of Utah for that matter, are predominantly Conservative, Right-leaning, Republican areas. And as such, MANY locals have expressed utter dismay over Presidential Election results.

I cannot tell you how many facebook posts, emails and tweets I saw from friends saying, "I'm sick to my stomach, we're ruined!" Then there were those on the other side who were simply elated...interesting how life works isn't it? 

Regardless of your political affiliations, this type of sentiment CAN, but doesn't NEED to affect local consumer confidence. In this week's piece, Obama and Romney don't know anything about St. George, Utah...but we do!.

Jeremy Larkin talks about why the the future of St. George Real Estate is bright regardless of who's in office. THESE ARE "GLAD TIDINGS" about the future of this local market - PLEASE PASS THE WORD ALONG to your friends!

PS - we've already got folks contacting us concerned about what election may results may do to their property values long term. We've opened up a brand new resource page for you to look at values in your neighborhood IMMEDIATELY. Enjoy by clicking below:

 

 

Southern Utah Commercial Real Estate Report

by Jeremy Larkin

 

 

 

Dick's Sporting Goods Came to Town!

 

 

 

Many things to a GREAT MAN at NAI Commerical, Ryan Garrett, for providing this incredible data! As you may know the Larkin Group specializes in Residential and Land and we work with great referral partners like Ryan on the Commercial end. Not only is Ryan smart and professional, he's a darn handsome dude...just ask the ladies!

Digressing back to something a little less "fun", let's talk Southern Utah Commercial Real Estate. To view the full report, click here: Southern Utah Commercial Real Estate Report.

Here are some highlights Ryan shared with us: 

Mid-way through 2012 and Southern Utah continues to strengthen! Washington County has seen the unemployment rate improve from a seasonally adjusted 8.0 percent at year end to 7.6 percent.  St. George's population grew by 2.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, and is ranked 11th in the U.S. Census Bureau's list of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation.  Overall, Utah's 1.9 percent population growth rate put it behind only Texas in the ranking.  It is encouraging to see mild-to-moderate, sustainable growth. 

Exciting additions in our Market Report include Dick's Sporting Goods (45,000 SF), Family Dollar Distribution Center (80,000 SF), which will start with 100 employees and grow to 400 in subsequent years, the Red Rock Wake(boarding) Park, the first of its kind in Utah, and Lifetime Products that purchased a 9,500 SF retail building on St. George Boulevard.  If you have ever enjoyed playing "dunk ball" by adjusting your 10' basketball standard, you can thank Lifetime Products as the inventor of that fun.  I am fortunate to have represented them in their St. George purchase across from Café Rio.

Other Noteworthy Events:

  • The Dixie Drive Interchange at Exit 5 on Interstate 15 will open July 25th.  This new interchange will greatly improve the efficiency and flow of traffic for Southern Utah motorists.
  • St. George completed the roadway widening of Red Hills Parkway (formerly Skyline Drive) from Bluff Street to 1000 East that now includes 4 lanes, a median, and a non-motorized trail way so our recreational lifestyle can be better accommodated.
  • Land developers have been aggressively picking up 10-20 acre pieces and moving through the process to develop residential lots.  Confidence is picking up.

Some Other Opportunities:

  • Retail land, off I-15 at Exit 8 for purchase, .50 - 2.14 acres, nestled between Olive Garden, Iggy's Bar & Grill, Marriott Courtyard, Target and Marriott Towne Place Suites--adjacent to Dick's Sporting Goods, Old Navy, Gap Outlet, Chick-Fil-A (Red Rock Commons)--FOR SALE!
  • Frontage Commercial Land, Dixie Drive, at $4.24 per SF (lowest price in St. George)--FOR SALE!

These are only a sampling of the quality properties currently available. For additional info on Southern Utah Commerical Real Estate, please contact Ryan Garrett at NAI Utah - rgarrett@naiutahsouth.com / 435-862-7926 OR reach out to The Larkin Group directly: larkin@gostgeorge.com / 435-787-9821

"St.George Real Estate Inventory SHRINKING? Did he use the terms “St. George Real Estate” and “Bidding wars” in the same sentence? I thought St. George real estate was experiencing a BUYER's market!?!?" 

Well we are…. technically. Yes, we mentioned St. George Real Estate and Bidding Wars in the same sentence, and NO it’s not late 2005. 

Available St. George Real Estate inventory has been shrinking…by 29% since this same time last year. Simply, St. George real estate is "stuck" between a Buyer and Seller market. 

In our November Larkin Group St. George Real Estate newsletter we discussed the fact that Southern Utah housing had DRAMATICALLY improved over the past year or so. On the heels of that newsletter the Salt Lake Tribune ran a piece outlining the improvement of St. George real estate and decrease​ in St. George real estate inventory. Article: St. George Housing Market Showing Signs of Recovery. 

Bidding wars…really? In the past 7 days, the Larkin Group has received a total of 12 offers between 3 different listings. 6 on one, 3 on another, 3 on yet another. Bear in mind that the first two homes mentioned had been on the market less than one week…. ONE WEEK!  It's shades of the 2005 St. George real estate boom, only the bidding wars are now happening because

a.     St. George housing is so affordable, and

b.     Available St. George real estate inventory is shrinking

Specifically, 8.28 months of St. George real estate inventory were available as of December 5th, whereas 11.14 months of St. George housing inventory were available 1 year ago at this time. 

What's in store for St. George real estate? I guess we don’t exactly know. Currently,  inventory is shrinking, which is creating bidding wars, which is stabilizing housing values, which will eventually INCREASE property values, we just don't know ​when. 

Frankly, St. George real estate has NEVER been more affordable. This isn't just St. George Realtor-talk, a. k. a. “cheerleading” as some would refer to it. This is a mathematical, economical, HISTORICALLY PROVABLE reality. Despite unemployment figures, St. George real estate is as cheap as its’ been in years based on incomes of those employed, and mortgage interest rates are at their lowest point…ever. This equates to affordable St. George real estate.

For St. George Home BUYERS: Be prepared for a competitive offering situation and stop freaking out about this fact. Just because you have to pay MORE than the list price doesn’t mean you’re overpaying. If Costco put $200 North Face parkas on the floor for $50.....how many would they sell? ALL OF THEM. Would someone ask for a discount? Most would be ecstatic about getting them at that price!

For St. George Home SELLERS: YES you can sell your home in this market. The Larkin Group has managed to sell over 150 listings in 2011 alone. You can do so in 120 days or less. This isn’t about giving your home away either. It’s about properly pricing and preparing your home for sale based on what the Washington County housing market will support.

Stay tuned for more on the continuing saga of St. George real estate inventory. 

 

 

Bidding Wars?! A Tale of 2 Real Estate Markets

by Jeremy Larkin

"But Jeremy, I offered above full list price and STILL got beat out! What gives?

If I had $5 for every Buyer who has been shocked (and dismayed) about having to "compete" for homes in this so-called "Buyer's" market, I'd have a nice little vacation fund built up.

Today we talk about

  • the "Tale of 2 Markets", those listings that are "in" the market, and those that are "out" of the market;
  • why Buyers are getting into bidding wars in St. George, Utah as well as other Western markets,
  • and also why Sellers have to get in the "critical 20%" if they are going to sell.

Below this video is a copy of the chart I discuss in the video. Enjoy!

 

Moratorium slows foreclosures...but can that last?

by Jeremy Larkin

I wish I could say YES, but I'm afraid the answer is NO. First let's look at recent efforts to curb the foreclosure tidal-wave.

Oh Crap........

As many are aware, foreclosure filings dipped in November by 7%, most likely due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae-imposed Moratoriums designed to give lenders and borrowers more time to sort through loan modifications or other means of staving off the foreclosure wolves.

In addition to the moratoriums, the following factors also aided in slowing filings:

  • New Laws - Many states requiring lenders take greater action to avoid foreclosures such as  requiring contact with borrowers earlier in the default process.
  • Loan Modifications - I mentioned recently that I had contracted with a company whose' chief aim was to be the "middle man" between lender and borrower to put in place some type of modifcation to the loan to keep them in the home.

So why will they go back up? Because we are simply treating the symptoms, not the disease. 

According to a recent report on the subject, more than 1/2 of the homeowners who received loan workouts in the first half of 2008 are ALREADY behind again!

The disease is the following: We were living  above our means, typically on credit borrowed from our homes, now our homes are worth enough, home sales are down, and suddenly we are out of work. It is a vicious cycle.

The symptom is foreclosure, whether it be on a home or a car or a ski-boat.

For what it's worth, the states with the highest foreclosure rates in November were (surprise, surprise) Nevada, Florida and Arizona.

What does this mean locally? Tough to know, but what we DO know is this: Most people who took out risky ARM mortgages took them out in 3, 5 or 7 year increments. Well I'm no math wiz, but this summer's foreclosure boom was exactly 3 years from the peak of the market.

One wonders what could happen in 2010 (5 years) and 2012 (7 years).

The good news for St. George / Southern Utah is that, frankly, it is one of the best places to live on the entire planet and numerous magazines and independent groups will corraborate that statement.

A place like Mesquite, Nevada (sorry folks) could see some real trouble as Randy Black shuts down casinos and hundreds of laborers leave for greener pastures.

A question to all: How do we treat the disease?

St. George Marathon - A Dixie Tradition Gets Wet in 08'

by Jeremy Larkin

The St. George  Marathon was wet for the first time in 25 years, according to Leisure Services director Kent Perkins.

“This was a great opportunity for us to see how we could deal with adversity,” Perkins said. “It wasn’t a fast race by any means, but there are still a lot of people who persevered and did really well.”

I ran 2 years ago under a starry cover at the 6:45 AM start and perfect blue skies as the day broke. It was almost too hot by the finish.

My wife has run 3 times and is (obviously) considerably more insane than I am. The proof of this statement was last year when she showed up with essentially no training whatsoever and ran the race. This might not be a big feat for the "alpha males" and hard-core distance athletes of the world, but Megan will be the first to tell you that she is not a runner.

I went to mile 15/16 which is essentially at the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park to "pick her up" as per her pre-race plan to accompany friends to that spot and drop out. Instead she was all smiles and just kept going. What a woman!

Going to the Marathon Finish line has been a tradition of mine for many, many years. It began with wathching my father run "back in the day." If you don't get choked up watching people of all ages, shapes and sizes struggle in after 26.2, you may not be human. The general "energy" around town the entire weekend is electrifying and the traffic is downright 'thick' by Southern Utah Standards, but it adds to the excitement.

If you haven't run or at least attended the St. George Marathon, put in on your calendar for next year. If you aren't brave (or stupid) enought to run 26+ miles, do the "Mayor's Walk", put on by the St. George Exchange Club. It starts at 7:00 am that covers the last 2 miles of the course and includes a T-shirt & scones after at the finish line. It is the perfect chance for families of runners and other interested spectators to drink in the excitement and see the course without major risk of blisters or bleeding nipples (really)....

See you next year!

Tuacahn's "Les Miserables" does not Dissappoint

by Jeremy Larkin

Ok, it's time for a break from the monotony, doom & gloom of the real estate market to point out an absolute TREASURE sitting right here in Utah's Dixie. It is one of the perfect examples of why living here is so great! It is, of course, the Tuacahn Outdoor Ampitheatre & Center for the Arts.

For those who haven't been there, Tuacahn is located near the mouth of Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, Utah ("St. George, Utah" for easy reference). Imagaine a 2000-seat ampitheare tucked up in a canyon below 1500' towering red sandstone cliffs....yes, it is amazing.

I just saw a sold-out performance of Les Miserables for the 2nd time this summer and was even more blown away than the first time! f you are familiar with the show, these 2 to the left absolutely stole the show as the characters they portrayed most often do in any casting of the program.

I've seen the show in London & Las Vegas and quite frankly, this was surprisingly comparable. My brother has seen it in even more venues and said the same. We ran into old friends now living in Huntingon Beach, CA who were absolutely mind-boggled at the setting & performances.

My brother & father were arguing about who should pay for the tickets. Many thanks to the winner (or loser) of that argument!

I'm going to make sure I see Big River before the season is out, (October 17 for Big River, the 18th for Les Mis). You should too!

 

Aspiring First-time Home Buyers who have been sitting on the proverbial real estate fence may see their "ship" coming in this year in the form of a new Federal Housing initiatives.

In the latest move by the U.S. government to stop the national housing & economic bleed, first-time buyers will be able to take advantage of a temporary tax credit of up to $7500.00.

The stipulations look like this:

-Home must be purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009

-Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for full credit

-Only primary residences qualify (no 2nd homes, rentals, etc)

It's no doubt that one of the challenges the encomy faces in getting jump-started is that of fewer financing options for today's buyer. The Media isn't helping either, but despite their mass over-dramatization of the issue, we have to expand rather than contract to beat this current situation. One of the best ways to do that is to get first-time buyers off the fence and into the equity-producing tax shelters we call home ownership.

Don't Forget New FHA Limits
One program that has made a HUGE comeback this year and, quite frankly, seems to work on 99% of the deals I've seen it used in, is the FHA loan. New loan limits for FHA will be the greater of $271,050 or 115% of an area's median home price.

Conforming loan limits for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be the greater of $417,000 or 115% of the an area's median home price; up to $625,000. In Washington County this will be $417,000.

Get detailed info here: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/.

 

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Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

St. George Real Estate - Your premier destination for St. George,Utah Real Estate Listings, Home Values, MLS Search, REO/Foreclosure Info &  St. George Real Estate Statistics.  Serving St. George, Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville & more! Specializing in REO/foreclosure properties, frustrated Sellers, First-Time home buyers, and Investors. Looking for the most LOCAL St. George, Utah real estate information available? Your search is over!