Real Estate Market in Southern Utah
Home prices across southwestern Utah shot up in 2021. The increases have made buying a home unaffordable for many people. In Washington County, the median sales price for a home is now $500,000. This median sale price was a 28.5% increase from last year when the median price was $389,000.
The new price milestone marks a continuation of the area’s rapid rise in recent years. In addition, this high demand has resulted in homes being listed for a much shorter time period. In November 2020, the average time a home was on the market was 44 days. In November 2021, that average was down to 29 days, which was actually up slightly from the 12-month average of 22 days. Historically, a home would usually stay on the market for longer than 45 days and most homes in the county are being bought.
Many all-cash buyers came to St. George and made it harder for people who need a loan to purchase a property. However, since spring and summer, the level of all-cash buyers has dwindled. Cash buyers aren’t the main reason for price increases, though. The central problem was simply that there is a high demand for homes and a low inventory. Increasing inventory is vital since southern Utah’s population is exploding.
Iron County’s population grew by 6.2% — the biggest percentage increase in the state — from July 2020 to July 2021 to 61,000 residents, while Washington County grew by 4% to 189,000 residents. With Washington County’s real estate market being heavily used by non-locals, it creates another factor in housing: vacation homes and short-term rental properties. Tourism in the county seems to be more popular than ever before with St. George set to host international competitions like the Ironman Triathlon and with Zion National Park breaking visitation records.
Although the numbers aren’t exact, a 2021 report on St. George’s housing market created for the Community Development Block Grant fund estimated that of the homes not used full time in the city, 72% are used as second homes.
Currently, in 2022, the average sale price for single-family homes in St. George, Utah was $621,263, which is a year-to-year increase of 28.75%. There were 338 single-family homes sold in St. George last month, which is a year-to-year drop of 26.2%. A total of 481 property listings went under contract during February, this is a year-to-year drop of 9.6% in pending contract activity. There were a total of 579 new listings to hit the market in St. George last month, this is just a slight year-to-year increase of 0.7%. Homes were on the market for an average of 41 days before being sold during February, this is year-to-year slowdown inactivity of 57.69% from the 21-day average the previous February. Sellers are getting 98.1% of their list price at closing, and there is just one month of inventory in St. George available to buyers.
If you are coming in as a cash buyer or with a large down payment, this may be a great investment area for you. Be patient with your search but jump quickly at the opportunity when you find the right home.