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Carl Wright of R1 Appraisal: Where are St. George Home Prices Going? (St. George Real Estate Radio Show)

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Below is the actual St. George Real Estate Morning Drive show, hosted by St. George Real Estate Agent Jeremy Larkin, word for word! Enjoy and please share if you find it valuable! 

Jeremy Larkin and The Larkin Group @ Keller Williams Realty can be reached by calling 435-767-9821, or emailing sales@gostgeorge.com. 

Andy: These guys have maybe the coolest theme music out there.
Jeremy: Yes, we do.
Andy: St. George Real Estate show with Jeremy Larkin. Jeremy joined today Carl Wright. Guys, I love talking about real estate. I am always kind of in the market for a different house even though I have been in my current house seven years. Maybe you can help me out a little bit.
Jeremy: Listen, I have got some stuff in the $2-3 million range I think you should look at.
Andy: Okay, can I borrow a couple of mill?
Jeremy: Yeah.
Andy: Okay.
Jeremy: Here is the deal. I would happily contribute to your down payment. I cannot say what, but hey, by the way –
Andy: A couple of cows or –
Jeremy: — welcome. Welcome to the show, Andy.
Andy: Thank you, Jeremy. It is great to be here. I have been looking forward to this day for about a week. I have been here what, three times now, sitting and listening to you guys –
Jeremy: Yeah, yeah, this is –
Andy: — but Mike would never let me talk.
Jeremy: No he would not. He would not.
Andy: Now, I get to talk.
Jeremy: Last week was the famed, final, final, the farewell show. Mike is no longer with us. Is that how you say it?
Carl: That is sad.
Andy: Well, I will say this. I called a basketball game with him last night, so I know he is still with us, he is just not with us.
Jeremy: He is with us. Which game did you guys call?
Andy: Pineview Dixie. Three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime. It was a great game.
Jeremy: Wait a minute. Who won?
Andy: Pineview won it.
Jeremy: Oh man.
Carl: Oh wow.
Jeremy: See I was not, literally I was so focused in other things I did not even know they were playing last night, which is sad because I am a Dixie High graduate. And that used to be, that was the rivalry. But the rivalries now, there is a variety of rivalries. It used to be Pineview and, excuse me, it used to be Cedar-Dixie, which was –
Andy: Right.
Jeremy: — when I was young. And then it became Pineview-Dixie. And now there is, there is kind of a variety of rivalries. Isn’t there, Carl? What do you think? What do you think the real rivalry is now?
Carl: Gosh, it is, I think there is a rivalry between everybody now.
Jeremy: Your kids, your kids will go where? Crimson or Desert Hills?
Carl: We will go to the new Crimson.
Jeremy: You will go to Crimson.
Andy: Brand-new school in the fall.
Carl: Brand-new school.
Jeremy: Yeah, so it is has changed. The dynamic has changed. Three-pointer at the buzzer. Good grief. I think I just had a traumatic episode thinking about Jordan and him, the fallaway three-pointer on the Jazz in the 1996 –
Andy: Oh, flashback.
Carl: Thanks for bringing that up.
Andy: Yeah, thanks a lot.
Jeremy: Yeah, we are never going to live that down because genuinely speaking the Jazz are never, ever going to probably have that chance again. I am sorry, guys. It is what it is. It is hard to attract, hey welcome to St. George Real Estate sports show. It is hard to attract, I have said this forever. Now, I am going to beat up on my own state. I was born and raised in St. George, Utah. My father was born and raised in St. George, Utah. So we love, we love this state. We love this city. We love, but it is very hard to attract talent to Utah. Right?
Carl: Agreed.
Jeremy: Because the big stars are not super interested in, and can we just call it what it is, our liquor laws. Our lack of nightlife. Very much like state religious kind of predominance. They are just not interested. And that is the same for BYU and University of Utah. University of Utah has done pretty well, but at the end of the day, I love my state, but it is just hard, right, to attract talent.
Carl: True, but I have to say that Donovan Mitchell has totally –
Jeremy: Yes.
Carl: — revitalized the sports enthusiasm —
Jeremy: Yes.
Carl: Can I say that?
Jeremy: Yes.
Carl: — for the Utah Jazz. I love Donovan Mitchell. I love what he is all about. His on and off the court. He is a great, great face for the Utah Jazz.
Jeremy: Yeah, and they have come along.
Andy: To illustrate your point a little bit, Rudy Gobert should be an all-star right now. He did not get it, and I think, more than anything, is because he plays in Utah and not in New York City or LA or –
Jeremy: Bingo.
Andy: — somewhere else. And that is another reason why the great talent is not going to sign –
Jeremy: Not. It is, it is frustrating.
Andy: Yeah.
Jeremy: That is okay. That is okay. Here we are. We are here. We are live. St. George Real Estate Morning Drive. I am Jeremy Larkin, the host of the program. I have got, by the way, if you look on Facebook it says the insanely handsome Carl Wright. By the way, the insanely handsome Carl Wright joins us to share some trends that are not being told or shared, I should have said shared, by any other real estate professionals in town. And the reason I say this, it is not that it is going to be that controversial, but it is what we have been talking about, and there is this kind of, remember when you were a kid and you plugged your ears and said I am not listening, I am not listening –
Carl: Right.
Jeremy: — to your brother, sister, sibling, cousin. There is a lot of that going on right now in Washington County. A lot of I am not listening, I am not listening, I am not listening. Gang, we are inviting you this morning to actually save yourself a whole bunch of pain in 2019 by listening to what we have to say in this program. And the question that might come up, are they going to tell us that the market is crashing? No.
Andy: No.
Jeremy: No, but, but, right, Carl? But there is information that people need to know if they want to make a good decision this year.
Carl: Totally.
Jeremy: We are happy to be here. I am happy to have Carl here. Happy to have Andy Griffin here, who is not the new Mike McGary. He is Andy Griffin, and he is going to be fantastic. You moved here from where?
Andy: I have been in Southern Utah for 25 years. I grew up in Texas. In high school, my parents, much to my chagrin, moved to Salt Lake County and I told them flat out I am not going. I am staying here. I am going to stay with my friends. But when you are 14, 15 years old, you really do not get that choice.
Jeremy: Yeah.
Andy: So they actually sent me off to a camp and moved while I was gone.
Jeremy: Nice.
Andy: I no longer had a home.
Jeremy: You were strong when you said you were not going even though you were going.
Andy: Yeah.
Jeremy: Yeah.
Andy: Exactly. And then, I have been kicking around Utah. Spent one year, way northern Idaho, Moscow, Idaho on a (indiscernible) there. The thing I did not like about Idaho is the thing I love about here. The clouds rolled in October and did not leave until March. It was gloomy. It is cold out there, guys, but it is a glorious, sun shiny day. I love it.
Jeremy: It is. I am a big mountain biker. And I would happily go out this afternoon, get a beautiful ride in, put an extra layer one. It is going to be high 40s. That is a cold day, but not a big deal. Right? By the way, Bryant Head Ski Resort, I have, just so everyone knows how I operate. The Bryant Head webcam is typically pulled up on, there you go, Carl. On my computer.
Andy: Oh wow.
Jeremy: It is just always up. Bryant Head, check this out. So I was up there over the weekend. They had 10 inches Saturday night, and I thought well, that was nice. They have had 35 inches since then. So 45 inches, almost four feet. Eagle Point Ski Resort is at 31 inches. Storm total. So if you are wanting to get up there and get some skiing in –
Carl: It is a good time.
Jeremy: — or snowboarding, I have got to say –
Carl: That is the wonderful thing about St. George is that you can enjoy —
Jeremy: Right. That is why –
Carl: — you can enjoy the sunshine and not having to shovel your walks, but 45 minutes you can be on the slopes.
Jeremy: Yeah, gang, I have absolutely biked and skied in the same day in St. George.
Andy: Nice.
Jeremy: Many times.
Andy: Nice.
Jeremy: So you can do that, and that is kind of why I segued that. I thought how fun is this that Bryant Head, by the way, an hour and twenty up, typically I am an hour and twenty up and an hour and fifteen down. It is always just a little quicker coming down. That is pretty static. I am an 85 guy on the freeway, cruise control, and it is an hour and twenty minutes to that resort, and I am talking on a stormy day it is an hour twenty. It is just kind of an hour twenty to go up there. So check that out if you are looking for some fun this weekend, but welcome, Andy. Where do you live now, by the way?
Andy: I live in Washington City.
Jeremy: Washington City.
Andy: Yep, a new subdivision. Hobble Creek subdivision, and I have a beautiful home and really enjoy it. My only complaint is where our backyard backs up to 300 East there in Washington, so we are kind of looking to get something that is a little more secluded, a little off the busy road.
Jeremy: You know exactly what he is talking about.
Carl: I do.
Jeremy: Yeah. I know people who can help you. But –
Andy: I know you do.
Jeremy: — do that when you are ready to do that.
Andy: Yep.
Jeremy: Carl Wright. Welcome aboard.
Carl: Thank you for having me.
Jeremy: Yeah, I am happy to have you. We are going to have, so this is fun. We are going to have Carl today, and then we are going to have Carl and his entire team at my office at noon. His team, our team. Carl is with R1 Appraisals here in town. By the way, I need to have you guys go measure a home in New Harmony. That is after show, but –
Carl: Right.
Jeremy: — just so you know.
Carl: Love to do it.
Jeremy: We are listing an incredible, oh my goodness, incredible home in New Harmony. We will be placing this home on the market hopefully in the next week, and amazing views. Almost 5,000 square feet. Pretty cool home. So it has an entire detached guest house –
Carl: Wow.
Jeremy: — and when I went in it, it is like country home, like going into my home I grew up in with my mother. It is interesting, Carl, this is probably a great way to start this off, is they had the home on the market for six months with another agent, and they are very frustrated. Right? With an agent from Cedar City. So if you are in New Harmony, I want you to think through this. They listed the home with a guy from Cedar City because it was geographically closer by the mileage. But the issue is New Harmony is not in Iron County. It is in?
Carl: Washington.
Andy: Washington.
Jeremy: Bingo. So what they did is they hired somebody on the Iron County MLS to sell a home that is actually in Washington County. Now I am sure the home was on both Multiple Listing Services. And when we list your property and sell a property, we are always on Washington, Iron, and Wasatch MLS. We kind of go for the trifecta. But they were frustrated and then as we dug into this, it looked like everything was fine, and at a glance. So we do what is called a home marketing audit. And by the way, if you are selling a home right now, very quick plug, but it is not selling. That is the key is if your home is on the market and it is not selling and you are frustrated, I invite you to visit, this is kind of fun, we have a page that we have never talked about. It is called Why My Home Won’t Sell dot com. Literally. Why My Home Won’t Sell dot com. Go in there and plug in your critical information. This is not a solicitation of your listing. It is what called a home marketing audit. Maybe you are someone whose home just came off of the market, and it did not sell. Right? Let us know, and what we do is we just do an audit. And the audit is we look at three factors, which are marketing, condition, and pricing. And then, Carl, you know because you are a professional appraiser, that underneath those three, that canopy of three are probably another fifteen items. Right? So either marketing, the story that was told about your home was not compelling enough or it was not told to enough people. The condition, either the condition, the staging, or the location or all three were such that it was not compelling to a buyer. And or, and maybe all three factors were present, or the price of your home was such that either just buyers said sorry, there is something better for us at that price. Or maybe it was bracketed in a way that they did not, they did not see it. But we did this audit, and what do you think we found when we started looking through the square footage? The main floor was wrong. The basement was wrong. The upstairs was wrong. It was not reflective of a guest house. There is an entire detached guest house that is completely legal on the property that is about $150,000 to build that was not advertised.
Carl: Not presented. Yeah.
Jeremy: So it looked like everything was fine at a glance. I said, man, I do not know why this home has not sold. Then when we dug into it, so how often do you see data, Carl, as a professional appraiser that is just not accurate?
Carl: Oftentimes. Our job as an appraiser is to sift through all of the information that is out there and try to come up with a realistic value. We are looking at everything from marketing time. We are looking at the square footage. That is why we do not ever rely on what the county says or the, as far as square footage, bedroom, bathroom count. That is why we go in and we assess the property. We measure the property so we know what your square footage is. We will come up with your bedroom bathroom count. We look at your condition, the quality. We look at from your roof to your foundation and everything in between to determine how the market reacts to what components you have in your home, and then we come up with a value.
Jeremy: Okay, so this is kind of a fun question. Real estate agents, typically when they go to put a home on the market, they pull the square footage from where?
Carl: They usually use the county.
Jeremy: Correct. They just go to the tax records, and they go well, it says it is 4100 feet. How many appraisals have you done in your life, because you go out and you laser measure, you digitally measure where the square footage you actually measured in real life matched the county?
Carl: Hardly ever. It is usually —
Jeremy: Like 5%?
Carl: — maybe, I would say less than 5%. We are usually a little bit smaller –
Jeremy: Crazy, right?
Carl: — a little bit bigger than what the county says, which is, we use the outside measurements. You use ANSI standard of measurement, which means we measure from the outside corner to the outside corner. So we are usually a little bit bigger than what the county says, which is beneficial to people who are selling their home because then you get the actual square footage of what an appraiser is going to be using as their measurement, and then you can market your home at a slightly larger –
Jeremy: Right.
Carl: — so it behooves you a little bit to get an appraisal or have somebody come measure your home to determine what your actual square footage is.
Jeremy: Well, and Robert MacFarlane commented, good morning, Robert, it was missing almost 900 square feet.
Carl: Wow.
Jeremy: And it was 6 months on the market.
Carl: That is –
Jeremy: Ooops.
Carl: Let’s just say $100 a foot, right? That is $90,000 that they misrepresented in that.
Jeremy: Yeah, so this is kind of crazy. We are doing something we have not done in a while. We are taking this property on that was listed by another agent, and they came to us after it was no longer on the market. We are raising the price.
Carl: Wow.
Jeremy: And we do not do this very often, but we are actually going to, we believe that we can sell this home for more money than they were asking previously.
Carl: Wow. And that goes against the trend I am seeing right now, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Yep.
Carl: As I have looked at the market and looked at trends, we look at, as appraisers, we look heavily at absorption rates and months of housing supply and things like that. Something very interesting that I am seeing right now is 2018, there was a perfect storm. There were, interest rates were good. It was like the jet was taking off the runway –
Jeremy: Oh yeah.
Carl: — and we built speed all the way until September about, and I was talking to my business partner, Nick –
Jeremy: This is exactly what I noticed.
Carl: — and this is exactly how Nick put it is that the jet took off in September and started to level off in September of 2018, and now we are gliding.
Jeremy: Yep.
Carl: We are in a gliding mode right now, and we are in a transitional from being a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. We are seeing more months, more time on market. We are going from about a two-month inventory of homes to a three-and-a-half-month inventory of homes in the greater St. George area.
Jeremy: So let me throw a perspective in here. And when Carl talks about months of supply, right, or absorption rates, what he is saying is well, two months’ supply is really simple. It is how long, there was enough housing that if no one else listed a property, now I want, this is really important, if no one else put their home on the market, it would have taken two months to sell them all. Correct?
Carl: Correct.
Jeremy: The simplest way to look at it?
Carl: Correct.
Jeremy: Well now he is saying well now, we are at three-and-a-half. This is what throws people off. Three-and-a-half-months’ supply is still really strong market. It is a really strong market. But the issue is we are talking about the inventory going from two to three and a half. Right? Three and a half does not sound like a lot, but an increase from two months to three and a half months is a gigantic increase.
Carl: It is a big increase.
Jeremy: Make sense, you guys?
Andy: Yeah.
Jeremy: It is not like three and a half is a big supply. It is going from two to three and a half is a massive jump.
Carl: Yeah, and I found some more statistics. I was looking at the Washington Fields area, this is right where you live, Craig. In the Washington Fields area, I was looking at homes –
Jeremy: Or Andy.
Carl: Andy. Sorry.
Jeremy: Craig just walked out.
Carl: That is right. I am sorry, Andy. I apologize.
Andy: That is okay. No worries.
Jeremy: Craig is on his way back to Parowan to play in the snow.
Carl: Washington Fields, 2000 to 2500 square feet, the months of housing supply 12 months ago was 3.26. Right now, currently, there are 6.25 months of supply in Washington Fields between 2000 and 2500 square feet.
Jeremy: But I thought Washington Fields was one of the best markets in town?
Carl: It is one of the best markets in town, but that means everybody is trying to sell their home, and so if you are going to be competitive, if you have got your home listed right now, you really need to analyze do I really want to sell my home. If I really want to sell my home, then I probably should reduce the price by, I would say, by 5%.
Jeremy: Bingo, brother. What did I say to you on the phone when we chatted?
Carl: Yep.
Jeremy: 5%. Let me share something with folks here. Carl, I have got the Multiple Listing Service pulled up. Since January 1st, have you looked at how many properties I have listed, by the way? Washington County. And of course, I should say Washington County. This includes Iron County because it is on our Multiple Listing Service. So bear with me for a second. I am going to come in here to location and I am going to say Washington County since the first of the year. Now remember, folks, when you go to sell your property, you are saying I have the best home. Hey, I looked around. I looked at every, Andy, I was over there off of 300 East in Washington, I looked around. I feel like I have the best house on the quarter mile. That is nice. Here is the issue. 724 properties hit the market in Washington County since January 1st.
Andy: Wow.
Jeremy: 700 competitors. Right? Sounds about accurate?
Carl: Yep.
Jeremy: That is what MLS is telling me.
Carl: Yep.
Jeremy: And by the way, I am talking about homes. I am not even talking about lots. If I talked about lots and water shares, there is another how many you think? A couple hundred?
Carl: Couple hundred.
Jeremy: 724 properties hit the market in Washington County since January 1st. Right? That is 700 new competitors that came to the market. Andy, how long have you lived in that house?
Andy: Seven years.
Jeremy: So you have been there seven years. The reason I asked is that is what I thought you said. A lot of our listeners have been in their property 5-7 years, 7-10 years, because a lot of people moved into the market. Right, Carl? Like ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08. Some of them ’10. But here is what is interesting. Values have come up since seven years ago in Washington County, Carl, what percentage you think?
Carl: I think we are right around 40%, 36%.
Jeremy: Since then. Close to 40%. So while Carl is telling us a story that is accurate and he is telling the truth, inventory is almost doubling. It doubled in Washington Fields. Right? We went from three to six months. At the same time, if I had told you seven years ago that your home value would go up 40%, the home values would go up 40%, how many homes would you have bought?
Carl: Everything.
Jeremy: Every one of them, right?
Carl: (Indiscernible) Right.
Jeremy: You would have bought all the $5 bills for $3 that you could have purchased. Okay?
Carl: Yep.
Jeremy: Right? Which is the math.
Andy: Makes sense.
Jeremy: We are saying hey, I have got a sale on $5 bills. They are on sale for $3. How many do you want? I want them all.
Carl: Yep.
Jeremy: But we did not know that. Did we?
Carl: Right.
Jeremy: So talk to me about a trend here because seven years, I would love, I love that you are in studio at seven years. What seems to kind of happen every 6-8 years, Carl?
Carl: Usually, it trends up for seven years and then it trends down. And you look at –
Jeremy: It is biblical, by the way. Seven years of famine. Seven years of planting.
Carl: Right. If you look at the trends, we crashed in the third quarter of 2007. That is when the trend started to go downward here in Washington County. And it went down until 2011. In 2012, we started the trend upward, and how it went, what is the math? Seven years. 2012 is when we started to trend upward. Now, I am not saying there is going to be a big crash. I do not think there is going to be a crash, but we are going to be gliding through 2019.
Jeremy: How many appraisals have you done? You and your company?
Carl: Our company, since we have opened up in 2008, we almost 21,000 here in Washington County.
Jeremy: We have two minutes. Two and a half minutes. I want that to settle in for people. I have got Carl on the show today. 21,000 appraisals. You might want to listen. Right? You might want to listen. Here is what is so fun for me. Everything you are saying is echoing what I have been saying, which clearly makes me feel pretty happy this morning. So 5% across the board. We feel like values are probably 5% overcooked. We have seen inventory in Washington Fields double. Where else? Where else is inventory going up? Everywhere.
Carl: Everywhere. Everywhere, but not to be alarmed. I do not want this to be people that panic and think that there is, that I need to make a huge, a 5% price reduction is not a very big price reduction.
Jeremy: If I am a seller, what do I do today because I want to sell and take advantage of a great market?
Carl: You want to reduce it 5%. It is like chasing that ball down the –
Jeremy: We talked about this.
Carl: We talked about this. You do not, you just want to get ahead of the ball. It is going to calm down. Usually, our market is spurred by the Parade of Homes which is coming up next weekend. A lot of buyers come in. So we are going to see some more buying right in the next near future.
Jeremy: 60 days.
Carl: 60 days. And so, I suspect that jet is just going to coast through 2019. I do not see a big fall. I do not see a big rise. I see it stable for the next year.
Jeremy: What if somebody says I really do not trust my agent? I want to call you and get a third-party appraisal. What is it going to cost them and how do they call you?
Carl: We have got a variety of products that we offer people from $200 to $400 for a full appraisal for a typical home. If your home is a little bit bigger, we charge a little bit more, but that will give you a full valuation of letting us come in, and like you said, give you a diagnostic of why your house is not selling.
Jeremy: Yeah, and by the way guys, we talked about this fun website. I almost forgot for a while that we had even created it. We created it years ago. When the market was crashing, we created this page called Why My Home Won’t Sell dot com. And when you go there, it is just a home marketing audit. And all you do is plug in your information, and then what we do is not a solicitation of a listing. I want to be very clear about that. We simply look at three categories: price, condition, and marketing. And we diagnose it. Right? We do an audit. I know no one likes an audit. But guess what? Would you, again, Carl, if I told you seven years ago that your value had come up, and Andy and everyone in this room, 40%, you would have said are you serious? But people want their value to have come up 45% and now they are frustrated. Are people going to miss out on this market because they are clinging onto last summer?
Carl: Yes, they will.
Jeremy: It is going to happen.
Carl: You have got to look forward.
Jeremy: How do they call you, Carl?
Carl: Our phone number is 435-627-0019. You can talk to anyone of our appraisers, me, Nick Lyman, Evan Wilkins, Jerry Johnson, Kenny Rawlings. We have got a whole crew over there that can help you.
Jeremy: Yep, R1. Literally, R the letter, 1 the number. You can Google it. Thank you, Carl.
Carl: Thank you for having me, Jeremy. Appreciate it. It is always a pleasure.
Andy: Jeremy Larkin with St. George Real Estate here on News Radio 94.9, 890, KDXU. Thanks, Jeremy.