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Archive for January, 2010

Economic Cartoons.. The economy sometimes is a joke?

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 30, 2010

This past week has been a long one, and so therefore I was in need of a little pick me up.. These funny economic cartoons make me smile. I hope you all have a wonderful saturday, contemplating the status of our world wide economy.. Good luck

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New St. George Utah Airport

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 28, 2010

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JAN
Posted by utahcribs as Utah News

New St. George airport hits halfway mark

January 27th, 2010 @ 10:34pm

By John Hollenhorst

ST. GEORGE — The biggest and most expensive construction project in St. George history has passed the halfway mark. It's that city's new municipal airport, and it's so big it's helping to keep the economy alive during hard times.

The project was in the planning stages for many years, and was delayed significantly by studies to determine noise impacts at nearby Zion National Park. All that is history now, and it's starting to look like a real, big-city airport.

Map of new St. George Municipal Airport, courtesy SGU Construction. Click to enlarge

Not so long ago, the valley where the new airport is going up was pretty much empty — except for an abandoned airstrip from the 1930s, adopted by enthusiasts from a model airplane club. Now, all that history is buried under the future St. George airport.

“This airport is five times bigger than our current airport,” says Larry Bulloch, public works director for the city of St. George.

The price tag is $160 million, plus another $100 million for an expressway connection to Interstate 15. It's a complete replacement for the existing St. George Airport.

For years, growth has been hamstrung by the existing airport's location: on top of a 0.5-square-mile mesa, with take-offs and landings directly over St. George neighborhoods.

“It was constrained. It could not be expanded and upgraded to meet the FAA safety standards,” Bulloch says.

By the numbers… St. George Municipal Airport

• $160 million project

• 9,300 ft. (1.8 miles) runway expandable to 11,500 ft.

• Built on 1,200 acres, nearly five times the size of existing airport

• Will accommodate regional jet aircraft, 737s and Airbus 319s

• To be completed by January 13, 2011

The new runway is more than a half mile longer than the one St. George has relied on for years. That puts it in a whole new category, with lots more opportunity.

“This new airport will be able to handle both regional jets and 737s,” Bulloch says.

With St. George's first airliner capability, and a new two-story terminal with jet ways and baggage carousels, city leaders hope to lure major airlines and attract businesses that will boost the regional economy.

Meanwhile, hundreds of construction jobs over the last 16 months have been more than welcome in a part of Utah hard hit by the recession.

“It has been the project that has carried us through the last few years, economically,” Bulloch says. “There would have been more people out of work, hundreds of people out of work, I'm sure.”

The new runway is just about ready for paving. If construction crews manage to stay on schedule, St. George's new airport should open a year from now, on January 13, 2011.

via ksl.com – New St. George airport hits halfway mark.Spencer Janke

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Federal Reserve Meeting..

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 28, 2010

28JAN
Posted by utahcribs as Uncategorized

Once again, our good friend Josh Mettle has given us some great insight.. Here is his breakdown of the Federal Reserve meeting from Jan. 27th.. I found it helpful.

A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (January 27, 2010 Edition)

The Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate within its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.

In its press release, the FOMC noted that the U.S. economy “has continued to strengthen”, that the jobs markets is getting better, and that financial markets are supportive of growth.

There was no mention of the housing market’s strength. The last 3 statements from the Fed included that specific verbiage.

It’s the fifth straight statement in which the Fed spoke about the economy with optimism. This should signal to markets that 2008-2009 recession is over and that economic growth is returning to U.S. economy.

The economy isn’t without threats, however, and the Fed identified several in its press release, including:

Credit remains tight for consumers

Businesses are reluctant to hire new workers

Housing wealth is down

The message’s overall tone, however, remained positive and inflation appears is still within tolerance.

Also in its statement, the Fed confirmed its plan to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period” and to wind down its $1.25 trillion commitment to the mortgage market by March 31, 2010. This is noteworthy because Fed insiders estimate that the bond-buying program suppressed mortgage rates by 1 percent through 2009.

Mortgage market reaction to the Fed press release is, in general, negative. Mortgage rates are rising this afternoon.

The FOMC’s next scheduled meeting is March 16, 2010.

via Josh Mettle Blog – Josh Mettle.

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Interest Rates will rise. FHA guidlines are changing.. Interest rate are going up in 2010

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 27, 2010

Interest Rates WILL RISE, the question is WHEN. Currently FHA is tightening even further their borrower qualifications. Soon borrowers will need at least a mid 600’s score to still qualify for the 3.5% down program; if not they will be forced to put 10% down. Furthermore 2 things are changing with FHA: # 1 seller gifted funds max amount will be lowered from 6% to 3% AND upfront mortgage insurance is going from 1.75% to 2.25% of the loan amount. All this is being put into action so that FHA can build their reserves account as they had vastly increased their market share. Simultaneously bonds are expected to raise and perhaps the largest factor in mortgage interest rates is the fact that the government has been subsidizing the purchase of mortgage backed securities; this will go away in April.

As these three things converge you can be SURE of one thing: Interest Rates WILL GO UP. The cost to buy a home on a monthly basis WILL GO UP. The things still in question are:

# 1 WHEN, if all this happens SOON how long will it take to directly effect MTG. RATES? My guess, as soon as June, as late as beginning 2011.
# 2 WILL this effect CAUSE housing prices to fall even more? My guess, under $300K in Salt Lake City, NO.

The math is simple. If rates rise 1.5% (as many experts predict) then the average priced home in SLC (Currently $221K) will cost you $210.00 MORE a month. OR put another way, rates go up 1.5% you will spend $100 more a month PER $100K you finance.

This can make a marginal difference; think about it! Many are fence sitting thinking the house they want may still come down $50K. Well if you wait and really do save $50K it may still cost you hundreds more a month in RATE.

IT really comes down to finding that sweet spot between price and rates and the bottom. I am an expert and watch it everyday…..so want my honest opinion? Rates are as LOW as you will get NOW, and prices under $300K are as low as you can get. Best time to buy for price and rate: NOW. Once again. Right now you can own the average priced home in SLC at $211K with 3.5% down for $1095 a month. And that price will get you a nice home around 2500 square feet with a 2 car garage in a good neighborhood in the south west end of the valley! HEY, believe me…..I know the market is BAD, I live eat and breath it……but is there anyone out there that REALLY BELIEVES it will get better than that???

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Existing Home Sales Plummet In December, But It Was Expected

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 27, 2010

This is an article from a fellow Loan Officer “Josh Mettle”. Very informative, the important part of this article is that for buyers currently in the market, this will help with negotiations.. For sellers? Take note, lower your price to the market analysis and sell your property. 2010 is going to be a rough year just like 2009, I am not going to even begin to predict what is ahead once the tax incentives go away… Scary…

Just one month after from blowing away Wall Street, December’s Existing Home Sales hit the skids, shedding nearly 17 percent and falling to a 4-month low.

Don’t be alarmed, though. The plunge was expected. And not just because Pending Home Sales crateredlast month.

When November’s Existing Home Sales surged, it was clear to observers that an expiring $8,000 federal tax credit was the catalyst. At the time, the tax program was slated to expire November 30 and the looming deadline pushed a lot of would-be buyers from a December time frame into November.

The expiration date has a cannibalizing effect on December’s sales figures. It was only later that Congress extended the tax credit to June 30, 2010.

So, with home sales plunging in December, it’s no surprise that home supplies rose for the first time in 9 months. Home Supply is calculating by dividing the number of homes for sale by the current sales pace.

The national housing supply now rests at 7.2 months.

Despite December’s Existing Home Sales report appearing shaky, it’s actually terrific news for home buyers.

See, for the past few months, as housing has been improving, sellers nationwide have been bombarded by messages of “hot markets” and rising home prices by the media. Psychologically, a seller is more likely to hold firm on price if he believes the housing market is improving and now December’s data is deflating that argument.

This is why we say there’s always two sides to a housing story — the buyers’ side and the sellers’ side. And, usually, what’s good for one party is bad for the other. It’s what we’re seeing now.

Because of soft data like December’s Existing Home Sales, buyers may retake some negotiation leverage that’s been lost since Spring 2009, helping to improve home affordability and, perhaps, spur more sales.

In the Salt Lake Metro Area, Single-Family Home Sales were up 36% in the Fourth Quarter.

Sales of single-family homes in Salt Lake County were up 36.2 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter last year. There were 2,403 homes sold, up from 1,764 homes sold a year ago. Last year at this time fourth quarter sales were down 21 percent.

Nearly every area of the Salt Lake Valley reported double-digit increases in single-family home sales. In Draper (84020) home sales soared by 51.7 percent. In Midvale (84047), sales were up 108.8 percent. In Herriman (84096), sales rose by 42.3 percent. In West Valley (84128), sales were up 38.5 percent. Areas of downtown Salt Lake City also saw big increases in sales. Sales in the Avenues (84103) were up 41.7 percent.

Driving the home sales was the $8,000 federal home buyer’s tax credit and more affordable home prices. In the fourth quarter the median single-family home price fell 7.6 percent to $221,650, down from $239,950 a year ago.

Spencer Janke
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Home prices rise for 6th straight month in Nov.

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 26, 2010

26JAN
Posted by utahcribs as Economy Update., Utah News

Home prices rise for 6th straight month in Nov. – Yahoo! News.

So this is interesting? I would like everyone to read this carefully.. We are seeing many different reports coming out regarding the Housing market. Take a look at the newest one.. Home prices are on the rise.. What will happen to home prices in 2010? Probably the same thing that is going to happen to Interest Rates.. GO UP..

Spencer Janke
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ksl.com – LDS Church to build new temple in Payson

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 26, 2010


JAN

Posted by utahcribs as Economy Update., Utah News

LDS Church to build new temple in Payson

January 25th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

PAYSON — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will build a new temple in Payson. Church President Thomas S. Monson made the announcement Monday.

It will be built near 930 West and 1550 South, about a mile from the 800 South I-15 interchange.

The new temple will be built to help meet the needs of the growing Church membership in the area. The Church says it will also ease the heavy use of the Provo Temple, which is one of the busiest in the Church.

“Temples answer those soul-searching questions of the purpose of life, of why we are here and where we are going. They are sanctuaries from the storms of life and bless the lives of members of the Church who worship within their sacred walls,” said President Monson.

According to the Church's website, there are 152 temples worldwide in operation or in the planning and construction phases.

via ksl.com – LDS Church to build new temple in Payson.

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Fannie and Freddi Mac, will they go the way of the dead?

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 22, 2010

22JAN
Posted by utahcribs as Economy Update.

Rep. Frank Calls for Abolishing Fannie and Freddie – FOXBusiness.com.

Every day we keep seeing interesting articles coming out about what to do with our current financial melt down? The argument between Republican and Democrat. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? What will happen in 2010? Are we ever going to recover from this mess?

All questions I wish I had the answer to! Now I have my opinions about the whole thing. But, who’s to say I am right? Bottom line is, I don’t think anyone really knows! So in the spirit of despair and true honesty.. It’s a crap shoot. You better vote for the one person or idea you think may know what to do.. And then just accept the consequences that come with that choic…… Scary!!!

Fannie and Freddie were created to ensure liquidity in the U.S. housing market and did so successfully until the inflated real estate market collapsed about three years ago and millions of Americans began defaulting on their mortgages.

Facing bankruptcy, the two entities were taken over by the U.S. government in 2008 and so far have absorbed more than $100 billion in taxpayer funded bailouts between them.

So what do we do with Fannie and Freddi? Do we do away with them and create another Govt. run program to take their place? Is that a good idea? I would love to know everyone’s thoughts…

Spencer Janke
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Mormon Church Buys corner lot in Salt Lake City..

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 21, 2010

ksl.com – Mormon church buys corner lot in Salt Lake City

21JAN
Posted by utahcribs as Economy Update., Real Estate Deals, Utah News

Mormon church buys corner lot in Salt Lake CityJanuary 21st, 2010 @ 10:18amSALT LAKE CITY AP — The LDS church is buying another lot in downtown Salt Lake City.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it bought 3.76 acres on North Temple Street as a long-term investment.Thats the same reason the church offered for its purchase announced weeks ago of a 10-acre block north of the Little America Hotel.The church picked up that parcel and a smaller one from hotel owner Earl Holding.The latest real-estate purchase is a corner lot at 400 West and North Temple from a subsidiary of restaurant chain Gastronomy.Church spokesman Scott Trotter says the church has no immediate development plans.The church through business affiliates is downtown Salt Lakes largest landowner.Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

via ksl.com – Mormon church buys corner lot in Salt Lake City.

This is always Really interesting stuff.. To see what the LDS Chursh is doing real estate wise in the Utah Realestate market…

Spencer Janke
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fax 801-326-4763
spencer
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Interest Rates in 2010. What will happen?

Posted by UtahCribs, Real Estate, Homes on January 20, 2010

Back to interest Rates. Here is an intersting article written by Josh mettle, a local Salt Lake City Loan officer about the future of Interest Rates. I really think he nailed it on the head.. It is going to be an interesting year… For those of you interested in more info regarding the Utah Realestate market.. Let us know..

Spencer Janke

Josh Mettle, Sr. Loan Officer | Citywide Home Loans | josh
801-747-1210

What’s Ahead for Real Estate and Rates in 2010?

January 11th, 2010

As the real estate market begins to show signs of life and recovery I’ve been getting a lot of clients and REALTORS asking me what’s ahead for real estate and mortgage rates in 2010. I’ve been doing a lot of research and man, there are a lot of differing opinions out there on what will move mortgage rates and what experts are predicting for 2010. I’ve boiled it down and I’m going to make it simple for you to understand.

Rates are going up in 2010, no doubt about it. Here’s why:

The US Government and the Federal Reserve are wrapping up their Mortgage-Backed Security Purchase Program and when all is said and done they will be the proud owner of $1,250,000,000,000.00 (or $1.25 Trillion) in mortgage loans funded through Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie Mae. The purchase program announced late 2008, was effective in dropping the 30 year rate from the 6.25% to 6.50% range to around 5.00% for almost all of 2009. The Fed has already drastically reduced the funding of this program, as a result rates have begun to rise and by the end of the 1st quarter in 2010 the program will end and rates will return to the range they were in prior to the program’s inception. See chart below:

The US Government’s MASSIVE fiscal deficit has the Treasury auctioning off record levels of Treasury Notes. The sale of these notes is how our Government funds the US debt. Unfortunately for us, not only are we going more and more in debt as a country, but the sale of these Treasury Notes is in direct competition to raising money for mortgages. In other words there is only so much money to go around in the world. If more is going to finance the US Government’s debt, then less goes into funding mortgages and Wall St. has to raise rates to find investors for new loans.

INFLATION is the 4 letter word for mortgage rates. You see as an owner of a mortgage at say 5% interest, you have a fixed rate of return every year (5%) for your investment. But when the costs of goods and services you’re buying and using are going up, your 5% return buys less and less every year. So what do you do? You adjust the rate you want to receive to cover the increase in costs and services. If inflation goes up 2%, you might want 7% instead of the 5% you wanted last year. We’ve seen relatively low inflation thus far, but rest assured it is coming. History tells us that virtually every extended period of low interest rates is followed by inflation.

Low interest rates are to the economy like coal is to an old steam engine locomotive; you keep adding more and more getting the train up to speed to reach your destination by the scheduled time. Well this train, which is the US Economy, doesn’t have any brakes, so as the Fed starts to raise interest rates to slow down the economy it’s virtually like trying to stop a train at the correct station with no brakes. Can you imagine trying to add just the right amount of coal that you get to the station on time but you have to coast into the station and stop with not brakes? Exactly, it’s virtually impossible and that’s what the Federal Reserve is doing with the economy, they need to get things moving and get us there on time but history tells us we don’t have the brakes to slow things down, the economy is turning all this liquidity (money) so fast that inflation is almost a foregone conclusion at some point in our future.

So where does this leave real estate for 2010? This will largely depend on your location, the local employment picture and the number of foreclosures in that area. What I’m seeing here in Salt Lake County (Utah) is a steady increase in demand and some appreciation is already being seen in established sub-markets that aren’t still suffering from oversupply by speculators and builders run wild. I’m forecasting a continued shakeout of foreclosures for many Salt Lake areas and homes appreciation ranging from -5% to + 3% depending on your sub-market. I believe the first 6 months of 2010 will be relatively hot for the Salt Lake market, we’ll have a temporary slowdown as rates are rising through the summer and we see the tax credit expire in June. Towards the end of the year things will get back on track as people continue to realize this could be there last chance to get in on a deal.

I think most importantly, the market is signaling us that the bottom is near and this could be the best opportunity to get in. Today, interest rates on a 30 or 15 year fixed mortgage are virtually at an all time low, the Federal and State governments are throwing huge amounts of money at you and me to buy a home and all indicators point to us being at the tail end of things.

I find this quote by Warren Buffett particularly interesting and applicable at this moment.

“We simply try to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful”

Warren Buffett

Spencer Janke
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spencer
http://utahcribs.com/

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