Thursday, March 18, 2010

Washington County Housing Report March, 2010

February, 2010 home sales were strong and up 75% from February, 2009. PUD/Condo sales also climbed 43% year over year. Year to date vacant lot sales more than doubled over last year. West St. George, Washington City and Bloomington Hills enjoyed the largest percentage of year over year sales growth in Washington County. New lot sales were the highest in many months at 25 and resale lots jumped to a several month high at 31. Commercial sales dropped year over year. New building permits nearly doubled in February over January and both January and February building permits outpaced new home sales by a significant margin. Both notices of default and foreclosures dipped in February even though the ratio of foreclosures to notices of default remained high at around 50%. The number of loans remain low at only 428 real property loans in Washington County. A large percentage of sales continue to be cash. The average loan amount has climbed. After months of declining sales, stagnant permitting and growing foreclosures it is refreshing to see home sales up, lot sales up, permits up and foreclosures down.—SUTC Developer Services

Monday, March 1, 2010

Know What The Bank Wants

Ultimately, to negotiate successfully with a lender to modify a loan, a borrower needs to understand how banks see the world. Typically, banks have the following three goals when dealing with loan issues:

Keep the loan in “performing” status.

Continue receiving a “market” rate of interest on the loan.

Have a realistic exit strategy for full repayment of the loan.

The bank will measure any proposal to modify loan terms against these three goals.—

The Home Truth

Will residential real estate improve during 2010? At a recent Salt Lake Board of REALTORS annual housing forecast breakfast, many Realtors and industry analysts were feeling enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic regarding the 2010 Utah residential housing market forecast.
There is now “pent-up” demand for tens of thousands of new housing units,” stated Chris Nelson, director of the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Research Center during the event. “Combined with continuing growth in Utah, (that) will lead to a robust housing market starting in the middle of this year, but (actually) taking hold by 2011.”
But his actual message to everyone in the room was this: have patience, perhaps two or three decades of it.
Nelson says that over the next 20 years, as Utah’s population continues to grow faster than any other state, the demand for housing will grow with it. By 2030, Utah could add another 1.5 million residents to its current 2.7 million, and 700,000 new jobs could be created. He also says that along the Wasatch Front, 450,000 units (residential and commercial combined) would be needed. That’s 50 percent more real estate than what’s available in Utah today.
Citing a handout prepared by James Wood, Director of the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Nelson says Salt Lake County can expect about a 3 percent growth in home sales this year, or just more than 9,000 units. That would mean the recent downturn in the residential housing market was short-lived, only lasting a couple of years. However, he also expects housing prices will fall about 3 to 5 percent more this year before they bottom out and start to rise again in 2011.—