Market Update, Rates, ABR, News, & New listings
The most common question I get from my friends and family and from those who find out I am a Realtor is 'How is the market?' I feel that I can now confidently state that most markets in Utah, Salt Lake and Wasatch County have turned the corner and are at least stable, if not starting to appreciate. There are definitely clear signs of recovery in these markets, most likely due to all the jobs coming to these areas (demand), home affordability (prices and interest rates), and less inventory (supply). These numbers below are according to utahrealestate.com:
Utah County - Since the beginning of the year, 1,037 already built properties have been listed on the MLS in Utah County. Of those, 279 have already sold or are already under contract. For homes built 2002 or newer, the numbers drop to 458 listed and 124 sold or under contract. For just Provo and Orem, it is 281 listed and 70 sold or under contract. It is a good sign when 25% to 30% of homes are selling (or under contract) in less than 2 months of being listed during what is traditionally a slower period.
Salt Lake County - Over 1,000 homes went under contract in Salt Lake County in January, an almost 40 percent increase compared to homes under contract a year ago. A few possible explanations for this increase in pending home sales are the creation of more Utah jobs, rising home affordability and falling home inventories. In fact, the number of new listings in Salt Lake County in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell to 3,686, the lowest level in 14 years (third quarter 1997). Currently, in Salt Lake County there are 4,723 active listings. Of that number, 36 percent of those listings are under contract or about 1,689 listings.
Interest Rates (with estimated monthly payments)
Interest rates experienced a slight bump last week but are still around 3.75% for 30 year FHA, USDA, VA and 20% down Conventional. Considering that 25 years ago, buyer's were ecstatic to see rates drop below 10%, and even 7-8 years ago we had rates drop to 6% for the first time in almost 50 years, it really is an AMAZING opportunity to purchase a home with little or nothing down for UNDER 4% interest!!
Here are estimated payments for various purchase prices with 30 year FHA financing at current rates of 3.75% (taken from FHA.com):
Purchase Price Down Payment Estimated Monthly Payment (Principle, Interest, Taxes and Insurance)
$100,000 $3,500 $540/month
$125,000 $4,375 $675/month
$150,000 $5,250 $800/month
$200,000 $7,000 $1,080/month
$300,000 $10,500 $1,620/month
These interest rates combined with home prices at decade lows, we most likely are at ROCK BOTTOM. These monthly payment amounts are INCREDIBLE for the amount of home that can be purchased at these prices!
These estimates are for FHA loans, which have high mortgage insurance amounts. If you can increase your down payment to 5%, you can use a 5% down Conventional loan where the lender buys out mortgage insurance and drastically reduces the monthly payment. A 20% down conventional is obviously even better. You can also drop your length to 15 years and reduce the interest rate about .5%.
There is also the USDA Rural Development Loan and Utah Housing Program which are awesome $0 down options.
In other words, don't hesitate buying a home, especially if it is a first-home, you are upgrading or buying an investment property, if you have the means, income and the credit score to do so!!
Two weeks ago I completed my Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) training in California and aced the exam. Last week my application was approved and I was awarded the ABR Designation. This ABR designation is the most nationally recognized and prominent designations for buyer agency, and there is only a handful of agent's who currently have this designation in Utah. For more information on why using an ABR Buyer's Agent is such an advantage, visit: http://rebac.net/why_use_an_abr.cfm
My goal is to not only be one of the hardest working and prompt agents, but also to be the best trained and educated. Receiving the ABR training and designation has taken my many steps closer to accomplishing this goal. I hope you feel confident in both using my services as a buyer's agent, but also referring me to your friends and family who are in need of a buyer's agent.
Recent Real Estate News
I have compiled a few of the most recent articles in the news that I found to be the most helpful and informative for my clients. Give these a look if you have some time:
30-year mortgage rate holds at record low
5 ways to make buyers fall in love with your home
Home buying: Most affordable in decades
8 ways to tick off your real estate agent
Fed to keep rates low until 2014
Utah economy improving, report says
Stronger Lure for Prospective Home Buyershttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203764804577060502694077494.html?mod=residential_real_estate
New Listings - Good deals
These are all new listings in the past 5 days that I thought may be worth bringing to your attention. As shown above, homes are selling, and the good deals go quickly. If you are interested in one of these, be sure to let me know quickly!
1) Provo for $119,900 - Bank Owned 4 bedroom home with hardwood floors and mother-in-law apt. - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1076995&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
2) Provo for $129,900 - 3 bed, 2 bath home lose to BYU that has been completely remodeled - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077393&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
3) Saratoga Springs for $184,900 - Bank Owned 4 bed, 3.5 bath 2 story home built in 2006 - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077187&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
4) Payson $199,900 - Bank Owned 4 bed, 2.5 bath 2 story home built in 2001 on .26 acre lot - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077188&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
5) Spanish Fork for $219,900 - 4 bed, 2.5 bath, 3600 sq.ft., built in 1958 but completely remodeled, .45 acres - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077045&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
6) Lehi for $229,900 - 6 bed, 3 bath built in 2007 - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077001&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
7) Spanish Fork for $239,900 - 6 bed, 3 bath, built in 2004 - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077426&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
8) Salem for $269,900 - 6 bed, 4 bath, 3 car garage built in 2008 with 3800 sq.ft. - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077075&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
9) Provo for $285,000 - 6 bed, 3 bath, newly remodeled, .34 acres, great neighborhood - http://myprovohome.com/fine/real/estate?pge=home_view&qsearch=true&mlsno=1077140&altqs=&mlsButton=Go
Hope you found this email helpful! Don't hesitate to contact me with any and all of your real estate needs and questions.
Have a great day!
Jared Fields, JD, ABR, SFR
Realtor, Adviser, Mediator
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