Archive for January, 2009

Park City Short Sales

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

            The national and global economies have affected the Park City real estate market. We know that at our market peak, Buyers were coming to Park City to buy second homes and vacation property from all over the world. Loose lending standards made finding the money for a second home easy.  Housing prices rose everywhere. Higher property values wherever the Buyer’s home happened to be made for great equity to borrow against for the purchase vacation property. We know that all this has come to an end with the bursting of the housing bubble. Short sales and foreclosures are now a staple story item for the nightly news. Many boom cities have seen home values drop by 40% or more. Stories abound about the ability to purchase bank owned and distressed properties for truly pennies on the dollar compared to what they sold for just two years ago. In Park City, we’re often asked by visitors where the deals are here.

            A recent look at the Park City area Board of REALTORS® multiple listing service showed 1871 active listings (653 single family homes, 798 condominiums and 420 parcels of vacant land).  Of these, only 26 were listed as a short sale, bank owned or in foreclosure. That is less than 1½ percent of the total number for sale. National figures while the real estate market was booming put the “normal” foreclosure rate at around 3%. Does this mean that Park City has somehow not been affected by the national and global economic changes? No.

            Park City and Deer Valley real estate have been impacted by the global economic changes, just not to the extent of Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and Southern California.  The scarcity of land along with tough hillside builds and tight city regulations have meant that the housing boom did not leave Park City overbuilt. Changes in the market have occurred and prices have fallen from their peaks, but there appears to have not been the speculation and dependence on property appreciation to fund loans here that has lead to the demise of markets in other areas.

            The local economy in the Park City and Deer Valley area is only beginning to feel the pinch of the national and global economic downturn. I cannot remember previously seeing signs on Main St stating that restaurants are not hiring. A look through the local paper shows few job opportunities (in a “normal” winter, service and tourism industry jobs are abundant). We are starting to experience job losses. It is possible that the downturn may be just beginning here. Or it is possible that the effects of current low interest rates and the push for new jobs on a national level will turn everything around quickly and all our market will see is just a slight downturn. Only time will tell.

            All real estate is local. Are there deals to be found in Park City, Utah? Absolutely. Are there short sales, bank owned and distressed properties? Yes. Will you be able to find 5 homes in a row all in some state of foreclosure and buy them all up for a price that previously would buy one? No. Have the fundamentals of what makes Park City and Deer Valley a desirable place to live or vacation changed? Not at all!

            For more information on Buying or Selling homes, condominiums and land in the Park City and Deer Valley Utah area contact the Group.

A poem for the New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2009
  • I hesitate to make a list
  • Of all the countless deals I’ve missed;
  • Bonanzas that were in my grip -
  • I watched them through my fingers slip;
  • The windfalls which I should have bought
  • Were lost because I over-thought;
  • I thought of this, I thought of that,
  • I could have sworn I smelled a rat,
  • And while I thought things over twice,
  • Another grabbed them at the price,
  • It seemed I always hesitate,
  • Then make my mind up much too late,
  • A very cautious man am I
  • And that is why I never buy.
  • When tracts rose high onSixth and Third,
  • The prices asked I felt absurd;
  • Whole block-fronts bleak and black with soot
  • Were priced at thirty bucks a foot!
  • I wouldn’t even make a bid,
  • But others did — yes, others did!
  • When Tucson was cheap desert land,
  • I could have had a hip of sand;
  • When Phoenix was the place to buy,
  • I thought the climate much too dry!
  • “Invest in Dallas-That’s the spot!”
  • My sixth sense warned me I should not,
  • A very prudent man am I
  • And that is why I never buy.
  • A corner here,
  • then acres there,
  • Compounding values year by year,
  • I chose to think and as I thought,
  • They bought the deals I should have bought.
  • The Golden chances I had then
  • Are lost and will not come again,
  • Today I can not be enticed
  • For everything’s so overpriced.
  • The deals of yesteryear are dead;
  • The market’s soft — so’s my head!
  • Last night I had a fearful dream,
  • I know I wakened with a scream;
  • Some Indians approached my bed –
  • For trinkets on the barrelhead,
  • (In dollar bills worth twenty-four,
  • And nothing less and nothing more),
  • They’d sell Manhattan Isle to me,
  • The most I’d go was twenty-three.
  • The redman scowled: “Not on a bet!”
  • And sold to Peter Minuit.
  • At times a teardrop drowns my eye
  • For deals I had, but did not buy;
  • And now life’s saddest words I pen
  • “If only I’d invested then!”   

I don’t know who to attribute this poem to, but I found it timely given our current market and peoples’ wish to buy at the bottom. 

  • Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2009 
  • Todd