April 29, 2020 at 2:48pm | Dave Diegelman - Broker Associate

COVID-19 and Our Real Estate -6
April 27th 2020 Update

Hello, I pray that you and your family keeping your social distance during these precarious times. I do want to reach out to anyone who might have special needs that we can help with. If you or someone you know needs assistance getting groceries or anything that they can't do, please let me know and between myself and my associates we will do everything in our power to help.

Looking at the numbers this week is again very encouraging for home sellers, not so much for home buyers. We are in a seller's market with very low inventory and are still finding that there are more buyers trying to purchase the limited properties that we have. One thing that remains to be seen in Washington County, is what's going to happen with short term vacation rentals if they continue to have high vacancy rates due to COVID-19. They could literally flood the attached dwellings market and in a very short time. This means that existing attached units like condos and town-homes might be harder to sell in the near future. On the bright side the greater St. George area has remained in the top 5 places to retire and we don't see that slowing down anytime soon.

Below is a recent survey done by the National Association of Realtors.  Reator's surveyed were closely split on expectations of prices falling verses increasing. Keep in mind this is a national survey and doesn't reflect our little bubble here in Southern Utah.  We seem to have prices slowly increasing much the same as they have for quite a while.  Buyer's who are sitting on the sidelines might just have to pay a lot more next year verses this year. 

Real estate business is considered at the state and federal level, a vital activity and very specific, cautionary guidelines for both client and realtor safety. Houses are still being shown (although many Realtors are using Facetime, Zoom or other such video tours), inspections are still being made, transactions are still being closed. We at the Diegelman Synergy Group have made all of our listings available for online viewing and even online offers. These newly enhanced features actually make it feasible to put forth an offer, get it accepted with a contingency of being able to view and/or inspect the property within a period of time (usually 15-20 days) and be able go forward or back out and recover one's earnest money without conflict.

We will continue to post this section for temporary housing with the local hotels in town:
"We are renting hotel rooms by the month. Fairfield Inn by Marriott is $775/mo, Holiday Inn is $775/mo, Hilton Garden Inn is $775, Hyatt Place is $840/mo. $300 refundable deposit. Includes utilities, WIFI, and housekeeping once a week. Does not include breakfast, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. feel free to pass on my info to anyone you think might be interested.This is month to month based on availability, and from the looks of it, they could probably stay at least 4 or 5 months!  Chris Bengtzen
St. George Regional Director of Sales
435-229-4007 - Cell

Here's what happened from the past week:




New Listings: 168

New Listings Under Contract: 27

(That's Over 16% of New Listings Going Under Contract 1st Week)

Pending / Under Contract: 204

Closed: 115

Now, let's look at the year over year charts:

We really don't know exactly what the future holds during the COVID-19 crisis but we do know that many have lost jobs and unemployment is spiking.  The odds are this will continue with less entry level and first time home buyers as time goes on.  There are so many buyer's that are kicking tires on the sidelines and they could be in for a rude awakening of price surges if our weekly performance continues to trend they way it has.  It will be interesting in May to see what April numbers close out at but right now we are experiencing strong year-over-year increases in all but the luxury market with indications that the luxury market may follow (there has been an increase in advertising activity and it could translate into closed sales shortly).  What most buyer's seem to be waiting for are prices to fall but what the rest of the country is experiencing, especially in upscale urban areas that have been hard hit, is the migration out of densely populated areas for retirees which is something we are really attractive for. It's like the ball has been thrown and we're sitting behind the plate with the catcher's glove on (sorry for my baseball fans out there, sore subject). One thing that I'm fairly certain of is when we get back to business as usual, when the quarantines are lifter, we will still be practicing social distancing for a good long while.  Business that have been able to adapt to having their employees work from home will thrive. Those that haven't figured this out will most likely be in trouble.  This could, potentially, bring on a whole new wave of buyers into our market.  The ones that can tele-commute from anywhere in the US have a lot to gain from our neck of the woods and I suspect we will be seeing this wave in 6-12 months.  
Let's look at the year over year numbers and 1st quarter.  Absorption Rate (3.28) is probably the biggest news on this chart. Anytime we have less than 4 months supply of available inventory versus the demand, we have a severe shortage of inventory. Next the total number of listings is hovering at 1,500 which also indicates more demand than inventory in Washington County. The Median Sale Price is hovering at $350k over $305k last year, while the Median List Price has jumped above the $417k range indicating that there are more homes in high price ranges.

The Average Sale Price is up 8.62% year over year


This will pass but how soon is really a big question. There will be opportunities and pitfalls. I do hope and pray that you and your family will stay safe. If you need anything myself and several other agents in our office have offered to help where we can. Please reach out to me.

God Bless and be safe!

Dave Diegelman - Equity Real Estate
(435) 412-1722



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