The tides are a turnin' in many parts of the St. George area real estate market this month! Friends and clients on my mailing list have been hearing about this for the past few months and the positive news keeps coming.

In an article from today's "Spectrum" newspaper titled "Local Economy Stabilizing", local & regional economist Lecia Langston said Washington County's economy is beginning to stabilize. Well it's about time!

For so long our area was "insulated" from the major ebbs and flows of the economy, feeling only a percentage of the cyclical changes that may have been felt in other major metropolitan areas. Why? Well if you live here you know the answer, and if you are moving here you also understand. Great location, weather, scenery, national parks, low crime, the works!

Outside of all the economists' hard-to-understand charts and graphs, what we are seeing "on the ground" is this: Properties hitting the market and selling in a few days or less for list or even above list price, with the final price and terms being determined through a "bidding war." (see this WSJ article on just that: BIDDING WARS)

Here are some hard figures to consider:

February 
Total Pending 264
Total Active Listings 2650 %
Total Sold (30 days) 106 Sold
    % of Total
Active REO 178 7%
Active Short Sale 440 17%
Active Retail 2020 76%
Sold REO 39 37% 22%
Sold Short Sale 9 8% 2%
Sold Retail 58 55% 3%

May 5 #'s
Total Active Listings 2337
Total Pending 430 %
Total Sold (30 days) 202 Sold
    % of Total
Active REO 133 6%
Active Short Sale 472 20%
Active Retail 1733 74%
Sold REO 67 33% 50%
Sold Short Sale 37 18% 8%
Sold Retail 98 49% 6%

1. "Pending" sales up nearly 40% since February. All of the major financial and housing experts use pending sales as a major indicator of housing market health.

2. "Active" listings down 12% in that same time frame. Real estate, just like handguns and hammers, is about supply and demand. Lower supply is what we want.

There is still a TON of foreclosure inventory coming, but I think this is a good thing. Why? Because every well-priced home that hits the market right now, especially under $300k, is selling in just a few days. This tells us the public is finally ready to pull the proverbial trigger and get into the housing market.

Housing has always driven the rest of the financial markets. When people are buying, sellers are getting paid and spending that $$ on other homes, goods and services. In that process, real estate agents, title and mortgage people also get paid. They in turn spend money, and the eternal sales cycle continues.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions on this page about the figures above, as well as your personal opinions about the market. Onward!