Friday, November 14, 2008

Market Snapshot

Utah Real Estate Market Snapshot
Listing TypeNumberMedian PricePrice Change
from Oct
Homes for Sale27,215$267,900-0.4%
New Homes105$299,9500.0%

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

13% Increase in Home/Condominium sales in September



24 October 2008 (Sandy) – Sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums in Salt Lake

County in September totaled 1,033 transactions, a 13 percent increase compared to 913 sales

in September 2007. September’s sales increase was the first time in 20 months (since January

2007) that showed a year-over-year increase in sales.

September’s sales were down a slight 1 percent compared to 1,046 sales in August.

“September’s year-over-year rise in sales came during a month of extreme negative economic

events,” said Jillinda Bowers, president of the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®. “In September,

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government. The massive $700 billion

federal bailout plan was proposed and the stock market began to crash. Yet at the same time,

Salt Lake buyers were finding deals and buying homes.”

The median price of all properties sold in September was $220,000, down 2 percent compared

to a median price of $225,000 in September 2007.

The peak median price in Salt Lake County occurred in June 2007 at $243,000. Since then, the

median sales price in Salt Lake County has fallen 9.5 percent.

“We are back to where we were in 2006 in terms of pricing,” Bowers said. “In terms of the

number of homes we sell each month, we are comparable to sales volumes in 2002.”

(Information provided by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Housing Stimulus Bill of 2008

At the end of July President Bush signed into law a bipartisan bill that is aimed at stabilizing the housing market. Some of the key provisions in the bill are the following:

First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit - a $7,500 tax credit that would be would be available for any qualified purchase between 
April 9, 2008 andJune 30, 2009. The credit is repayable over 15 years (making it, in effect, an interest free loan). The credit is good for those who are buying for the first time or whom have not owned a home in the last three years.

Additional Property Tax Deduction - provides a one-year benefit that will be available to all homeowners. Under current law, property taxes are deductible only if an individual itemizes his/her deductions on Schedule A of their tax return. The new provision will permit a deduction of up to $500 ($1,000 on a joint return) for all individuals who utilize the standard deduction and do not itemize. Instructions will be provided on the 2008 tax return when it is distributed at year-end.

FHA foreclosure rescue - development of a refinance program for homebuyers with problematic subprime loans. Lenders would write down qualified mortgages to 90% of the current appraised value and qualified borrowers would get a new FHA 30-year fixed mortgage at 90% of appraised value. Borrowers would have to share 50% of all future appreciation with FHA. The loan limit for this program is $550,440 nationwide. Program is effective on 
October 1, 2008.

FHA Reform - including permanent FHA loan limits at the greater of $271,050 or 115% of local area median home price, capped at $625,500; streamlined processing for FHA condos; reforms to the HECM program, and reforms to the FHA manufactured housing program. The downpayment requirement on FHA loans will go up to 3.5% (from 3%). The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (
December 31, 2008).

GSE Stabilization - includes language proposed by the Treasury Department to authorize the Treasury to make loans to and buy stock from the GSEs to make sure that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could not fail.

GSE Reform - including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500. The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (
December 31, 2008).

Seller-funded downpayment assistance programs - codifies existing FHA proposal to prohibit the use of downpayment assistance programs funded by those who have a financial interest in the sale; does not prohibit other assistance programs provided by nonprofits funded by other sources, churches, employers, or family members. This prohibition does not go into effect until 
October 1, 2008.

National Affordable Housing Trust Fund - Develops a Trust Fund funded by a percentage of profits from the GSEs. In its first years, the Trust Fund would cover costs of any defaulted loans in FHA foreclosure program. In out years, the Trust Fund would be used for the development of affordable housing.

Modification of $250,000/$500,000 Exclusion - The sole real-estated related "pay-for" among the tax incentives modifies the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion of gain on the sale of a principal residence. Beginning in 2009, the exclusion, as it applies to a second home (or rental property) that is converted to a principal residence will be allocated. When the second home is sold, any gain attributable to use as a second home (or rental property) will be taxed at capital gains rates. Any gain attributable to use as a principal residence will remain excludable, up to the $250,000 and $500,000 limits. A formula is provided for computing the proper treatment of these gains.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tax Credit for Home Buyers

President Bush has signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, a bill that will assist an estimated 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure by allowing them to refinance their current mortgages with a Federal Housing Administration-backed loan. The bill also permanently increases the conforming loan limit to as high as $625,500.

Another par of the bill includes a temporary tax credit for first-time home buyers of up to $7,500 for those who purchase between April 9, 2008, and July 1, 2009. This credit is available to anyone buying their first home or anyone who has not owned in three years. Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full credit. A home is eligible for the credit if it is any residence that will be used as a primary residence (single-family, townhouse, condo, etc.)

Information from

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Government agency ranks Utah no. 2 in home price increases

A respected index that tracks housing prices throughout the U.S. ranked Utah No. 2 in home price appreciation for the first quarter of 2008. Numbers from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight show Utah home prices were up 5.58 percent during the first three months of the year, only behind Wyoming where home prices were up 6.34 percent. Four Utah metropolitan statistical areas also ranked high, being among the top 25 appreciating markets in the country:

No. 6: Provo-Orem with appreciation of 6.76 percent
No. 9: Ogden-Clearfield with appreciation of 6.64 percent
No. 15: Logan with appreciation of 6 percent
No. 22: Salt Lake with appreciation of 5.39 percent

We are now open

We are proud to announce the grand opening of BLACKSTONE REAL ESTATE. We are able to service all of your real estate needs, buying or selling a home, property management as well as investments. We look forward to serving  your needs.