It has been a long time coming, but finally I have committed to creating and maintaining a blog with topics relating to real estate, the market, the lifestyle we represent and well, since it is a blog, anything else I fancy.
So where to begin, as with all things, change is here. It is snowing in beautiful Eden, Utah right now signifying a new season, my favorite season, and the creeping end to a long recession. Yes, this is my optimism speaking, which is innate.
I recently attended a meeting with three panelists including Juliette Tennert who manages and analyzes economic, demographic and fiscal data to the state government. In the discussion was unemployment, which Utah is still substantially behind the national average, new home starts which are down over 50% this year, and expected new home starts for next year which are expected to drop 17% more.
Utah hit this recession late, for those not following Utah, we were the golden child, fiscally sound and not affected. At Q4 2007 things changed and Utah tumbled hard, not as badly as it neighbor Nevada, but still the recession came. Where most of the nation saw this transition at Q4 2005. So the question I asked was, "If we are two years late heading into this thing, we will recover two years later". Juliette actually answered this directly and felt that we would likely recover at the same time much of the nation did. I felt this was optimistic, but she had some valid points: Utah has positive in-migration still, expected 6000 new folks to move to the state this year and slightly more next and Utah has a large echo boomer population with a high birth rate (this is also in the in-migration numbers from my understanding) and this creates a large economic demand as well as a strong work force which several states are lacking.
So where will it lead? I don't know. Additional panelists including the head of residential lending at Bank of Utah and the head of commercial lending at America First Credit Union where very negative on the situation. I will say the forecast by the commercial sector is a bit a of look out, the shoe hasn't even dropped yet due to several loans coming due and with no method to refinance the property. Other fears are another wave of postponed residential foreclosures due to Obama programs.
So we will see the future holds, none of us have a crystal ball. Locally, Ogden Valley has reduced inventory since summer to the tune of about 40 homes. While most homes that are selling are in the 300,000 range, I did sell one home for $1,060,000 and another for $875,000 but they where discounted substantially, in the 40% range. Let's see if the inventory continues to drop. Land is still overly abundant at about a 6 year supply and according to Metro Study closer to 10 years (this accounts for non-listed properties).
Buyers aren't complaining about the prices.
For a full economic report on Utah visit http://www.governor.utah.gov/DEA/EconSummaries/EconomicSummary.pdf.
Let it snow, Brandi Hammon