Did You Miss the Housing Price Bottom in Salt Lake City?

The news lately has been filled with housing price appreciation… With all the numbers flying around it's hard for the average person to make sense of what this all means. How does this affect me?! There are a few of scenarios you need to understand. First, is year over year price appreciation, second, price appreciation from the bottom, third, the number of units sold and lastly, prices as compared to the top of the market.

If you've been following the news, just about every week there are articles about how prices are up. A lot of these numbers are year over year appreciation for a particular month, say June, compared to June of the previous year. They also like to throw in the number of units sold, this is the number of units sold year over year, or sometimes month over month. If you don't read the article carefully, these numbers can be very confusing and misleading. 

The following chart shows the median price of a home at the top of the market in Salt Lake City only. It shows the median home price at the peak of the market at $223,751. Four years later in 2011 we saw the lowest median price of $177,204. (these numbers are year over year starting in January and ending in December, except 2013 which will be year to date, June). A price drop of 20%. Some parts of Salt Lake County experienced closer to a 40% price drop, mostly newer construction south and west of the city center. See chart below.

Something I want to point out in this chart is where housing prices are so far in 2013. They are 10% lower than they were at the peak. 

Below is an example comparing the number of housing units sold. This graph shows that the peak of the number of units sold was in 2005. A full 2 years before we started to see the housing prices start to fall. As you can see there was a 48 percent drop in the number of units sold, NOT price change…. this is big difference.

I also want to show you how housing prices in other parts of the country compare to Salt Lake City's. The following charts show the 20 city Case Shiller index. As you can see, every single city is still below their peak home prices, even though some have experienced over 20% appreciation!


Here is a map of the 20 city index for better visual comparison on which parts of the country are fairing better.


So, the question in the title of this blog is did you miss the housing price bottom? Yes you did…. The good news is that the market is far below the peak prices we saw back in '06 and '07. Should you be considering purchasing if you have been on the sidelines waiting? That depends on your situation, and only YOUR situation.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below…. What's the best situation for you now? Call or email me and we can schedule an appointment to review what is best for you.


Posted on August 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: home appreciation, Home Buying, Market Conditions, statistics | Tagged , , , , ,

Median Home Prices in Salt Lake City Stabilizing

According to Altos Research, an online statistical graphing company, the median price for homes in Salt Lake City has stabilized during the month of May 2009. See the following graphs below:


The median price per square foot is also stabilizing:


Average days on Market has increased slightly, but still lower than it was the latter part of 2008:


Inventory of homes on the market has come down from a few months ago:


Posted on May 20, 2009 at 10:42 am
Marvin Jensen | Category: Market Conditions, statistics | Tagged , ,

Use Your $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit at Closing.


UPDATE: September 16, 2009:

The Utah Housing Corp has implemented a program to loan money for the $8,000.00 first buyer tax credit to use at closing. The program is called Equity Now and has some conditions. To find out more, click here. Although there are proposals in congress to extend the tax credit, it is still expected to expire November 30, 2009.

UPDATE: August 6, 2009:

To monetize the $8,000 at closing, a bridge loan must be obtained through the state housing finance agency. In Utah it would be the Utah Housing Authority. As of this morning, they are still NOT offering to monetize the tax credit.
As of mid-2009, more than a dozen state housing finance agencies (HFAs) were offering bridge loans to prospective buyers, and many more were planning to do so. Currently, the following states have programs in place: Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Since the program is over November 30th, 2009, you have to wonder if they will be doing this at all. I will keep checking with them and updating here if there are any changes.

UPDATE, May 29,2009: It’s official from HUD’s Shaun Donovan, the hold on this program is now over:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers homebuyers a tax credit of up to $8,000 for purchasing their first home. Families can only access this credit after filing their tax returns with the IRS. Today’s announcement details FHA’s rules allowing state Housing Finance Agencies and certain non-profits to “monetize” up to the full amount of the tax credit (depending on the amount of the mortgage) so that borrowers can immediately apply the funds toward their down payments. Home buyers using FHA-approved lenders can apply the tax credit to their down payment in excess of 3.5 percent of appraised value or their closing costs, which can help achieve a lower interest rate. To read the FHA’s new mortgagee letter, visit HUD’s website.

Don’t wait until you file your taxes to receive the Federal Stimulus money of $8,000. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that buyers can monetize their proceeds for a down payment through participating banks.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

First time home buyers in Utah who purchase a new construction home or condominium can also take advantage of the Utah’s Home Run Program that allows buyers of new homes a $6,000 grant at closing. With these 2 combined programs, home buyers who qualify can receive $14,000 at closing to purchase their home. With rates hovering in the mid 4% range and prices at 5 year lows, what are you waiting for?

image: hud.gov
Posted on May 16, 2009 at 10:01 am
Marvin Jensen | Category: Home Run Grant Program, HUD, Tax credit | Tagged , , , , ,

Low-Cost Landscaping Tips for Spring


Posted on April 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Green, Landscaping, Salt Lake Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Thinking of Buying a Home? WHAT are You Waiting For?!

majesticoakproperties.com, hatcityblog.blogspot.com

Posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:46 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, home ownership, Market Conditions | Tagged , , , , , , ,

IRS Allows First Time Homeowners to Take Tax Credit in 2008!

IR-2009-14, Feb. 25, 2009

taxdayWASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers who qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit and purchase a home this year before Dec. 1 have a special option available for claiming the tax credit either on their 2008 tax returns due April 15 or on their 2009 tax returns next year.

Qualifying taxpayers who buy a home this year before Dec. 1 can get up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married filing separately.

“For first-time homebuyers this year, this special feature can put money in their pockets right now rather than waiting another year to claim the tax credit,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This important change gives qualifying homebuyers cash they do not have to pay back.”

The IRS has posted a revised version of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit, on IRS.gov. The revised form incorporates provisions from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The instructions to the revised Form 5405 provide additional information on who can and cannot claim the credit, income limitations and repayment of the credit.

This year, qualifying taxpayers who buy a home before Dec. 1, 2009, can claim the credit on either their 2008 or 2009 tax returns. They do not have to repay the credit, provided the home remains their main home for 36 months after the purchase date. They can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

The amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers.

For purposes of the credit, you are considered to be a first-time homebuyer if you, and your spouse if you are married, did not own any other main home during the three-year period ending on the date of purchase.

The IRS also alerted taxpayers that the new law does not affect people who purchased a home after April 8, 2008, and on or before Dec. 31, 2008. For these taxpayers who are claiming the credit on their 2008 tax returns, the maximum credit remains 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $7,500, or $3,750 for married individuals filing separately. In addition, the credit for these 2008 purchases must be repaid in 15 equal installments over 15 years, beginning with the 2010 tax year. 

Source; Internal Revenue Service – check with your tax professional for further details, this is not tax advise!


Posted on March 4, 2009 at 9:53 am
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, Taxes | Tagged , ,

Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky Program

windmillI signed up for Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program a few years ago. Each year they send me these updates about my participation in the program. This year I received the following:

We are pleased to present your personalized 2008 Blue Sky support details to show you the difference you’ve made:

  • Your current purchase of 2 blocks per month
  • Your total 2008 Blue Sky purchase of 2,400 Kilowatt-hours helped avoid the release of 2,908 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions into the air,
  • Providing environmental benefits equivalent to not driving 2,949 miles.

I think the 2 blocks of wind power cost about $3.90 per month extra. Not releasing 2,900 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air is worth far more than this! To join this great program, go to the Blue Sky Program website and sign up.

Posted on February 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Green, Utilities | Tagged , ,

Hot off the Press; 4th Quarter Salt Lake Real Estate Stats

printingpressJust released;  4th quarter real state statistics for 2008. This includes the counties of Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. These are provided by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and have not been made available to the media as of this posting.

Summary of Results:

These changes were significantly less compared to 3rd Quarter 2008.

What does this mean?

This shows that prices in most counties around the Wasatch Front have slowed their descent; it does not mean they have stopped going down. As I have said before, buying a home is not always about how much a homeowner can make on a home, it’s about a place to live, nest, shelter, and a place of rest. Either you are renting or you are owning. If your horizon is 3 years or more, buying is the logical choice.

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Posted on January 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, home ownership, Market Conditions, Salt Lake Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Affordable Home Program for Utah Buyers

home-windowA program called Home Sweet Affordable Home was created by the Utah Bankers Association in collaboration with the United Way to help essential workers in the communities where they live, enjoy the benefits of home ownership with special programs that meet their needs. They have produced a brochure outlining the information for individuals and families seeking affordable housing options throughout the state.

According to Governer Huntsman:

Finding an affordable place to live plays a key role in having a good quality of life. Our communities are greatly improved when essential workers live near their work. However, with escalating housing prices, to find affordable apartments and homes. 

Teachers, police, firefighters, retail clerks and other essential workers in Utah, could find a good opportunity to live in the communities they serve through this program.

photo = homesweethomeutah.org

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Posted on January 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, home ownership, Utah | Tagged , , , , , ,

5 Myths about Buying a Home in Today's Market

An example of a breaking news intro graphic
Image via Wikipedia
Barbara Corcoran gives an excellent example of myths about the current real estate market, and why it might be a good time to start your home search. These apply to the Salt Lake City real estate market as well.

5 Biggest Real Estate Myths:

1. Sellers are desperate.
2. Don’t buy before prices have bottomed.
3. You must have 20% down to buy a home.
4. Now is the WORST time to sell.
5. Before you refinance, shop around.
Watch the video below to find out the answers to these questions. Then, read my post about why home ownership is good in any market.
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Posted on January 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: home ownership, Market Conditions, Video | Tagged , , , ,