Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Time for Home Buyers - Herald Jouranal Article quotes Cornerstone

  • Cornerstone Real Estate was quoted in the News as the Logan Utah Real Estate Market Experts. Funny thing is that this article took one stat from the FFHA and made false assumptions that Logan's home prices were up. That just isn't reality. That stat was taken from Mortgage Loan Values as well as Home purchases during the second quarter. The actual price of homes sold was substantially down in Logan, not up. If you bought a home a year ago and are planning on selling now, don't expect to get more than you bought for (unless of course you got a screami'n deal).

    tags: logan, herald journal, buying

    • Buyers of relatively inexpensive houses like the Knights are helping keep Logan’s housing market moving, said Ben Brown, owner of Logan-based Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals. The cheap stuff is getting snapped up, he said.

      “First-time home buyers are what drives any market,” said Brown. “The government hit it right on the nose with incentives. In our market it’s worked extremely well.”
    • According to data from the Multiple Listing Service, the average sale price of a home in the Logan area in June 2008 was $193,919, while in June 2009 it was $174,894 — a 10 percent drop. Sale prices were about 6 percent lower in July 2009 than in July 2008.

      Speaking of the lower-than-$200,000 market, Brown said, “It’s just recovered quicker and never dropped as severe” as higher-end housing.

      Sales of homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 range remain slow, said real estate agent Alan Barker, contributing to a flood of available properties. The approximately 850 houses on the market in June was double the number in the summer of 2007.

      Sales the first few months of the year were off 20 to 30 percent lower then in 2008. Activity picked up in June and July when about 200 homes sold. Still, the inventory backlog is seven to eight months, Brown said — not as bad at the 12-month inventory of a few months back but still significantly off the four to five months of a normal market.

      “There’s still enough inventory that prices aren’t going up anytime soon,” said Barker. “It’s good news for buyers.”

      It is still great news for buyers. I predict that the housing market will continue to move and inventory will decline through November. I think real estate this winter will be very slow though, especially with the end of the first time buyer tax credit November 1st.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Rise by the End of the Year

For most of the year, mortgage interest rates have been at their lowest ever. One of the main reasons they've been so low is because the Fed was buying Treasury bonds. At the latest Federal Reserve Policy Meeting, this is what they said:
  • The Feds efforts to artificially reduce mortgage rates will end in October. This means if you want a sub 6% interest rate, you'd probably better act quickly.
    • The Fed said, “Economic activity is leveling out.” It added that it expected inflation would remain “subdued for some time.”

      The Fed said it will keep the short-term key interest rate near zero, but it will end its program to buy $300 billion worth of Treasury bonds by the end of October. Buying bonds was one of the Fed’s efforts to drive down the cost of home mortgages.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Active Cache County Listings down to 808

The number of active listings of homes for sale is dropping steadily.
We're now down to 806 active homes for sale in Cache County, down 50
homes since the peak less than a month ago. Less inventory is
essential for pricing stability. This is good news for home sellers
and real estate owners in general.

While the number of home sales is rising, the number of homes requiring short sales has risen. There are now nearly 40 short sale homes in Cache Valley.

Monday, August 3, 2009

July Home Sales Down for Cache County

Real Estate in Cache Valley saw a slow down in July compared with June, and year over year sales were down by 27% compared with July of last year.

The good news is that it looks like active inventory may have peaked and is on its way down. There are currently 833 home listings in Cache County including: Logan Utah Real Estate, Providence Utah Real Estate, Smithfield Utah Homes, Hyrum Utah Real Estate, Nibley Utah Real Estate, Hyde Park Utah Real Estate, Richmond Utah Real Estate, Lewiston Utah Real Estate, and the other outlying towns in Cache Valley Utah. At one point during July there were 855 residential listings for sale.

Despite the fact that listings are down, there are still too many for a healthy real estate market. At July's sales pace, Cache County has more than 9 months of inventory.

Prices of Cache Valley Real Estate have also declined. The average price of homes sold during July was $181,135, down 5.77% from July of last year. The median July sold price was $170,500, which is actually the highest single month median this year. The average home sold at $81 per square foot.