Monday, December 30, 2013

Photo of the Day: Dish Network Delight

As a landlord, one of the concerns I face is the installation of satellite dishes on my properties.  Tenant turnover can mean that a property may end up being adorned with several unsightly dishes in a matter of years.  To prevent this unsightliness and to help preserve the property condition, I have a policy of not allowing dishes to be installed on my buildings.  To work around this, I usually have a post installed somewhere in the back of the property for the tenants to use.  Some landlords have other ways of making it work for their tenants.

Well, I guess that works too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

SLAP! Weber Sales Take Hit From Uncle Sam

Nearly 10% of Weber County residence depend on the Federal Government for their income.  So, when there are palpitations in the regularity of government paychecks being issued, it has an impact on the local economy.  The impact of October's government shut down can be seen in this chart showing the change in same month sales volume year-over-year.

See anything unusual?  Real estate sales usually lag four to six weeks behind the date that offers are submitted.  So, November's sales numbers reflect real estate contracts that were were not written in October. In this case, a 23% decline is the result...the first decline year-over-year in over 30 months.

The upside is that the Federal government shutdown is over (until at least January 15th...for now) and this anomalous decline in sales volume will hopefully not repeat itself.  Excluding the risk of political events and Federal budget drama, real estate sales should continue to trend upward in the medium term for Weber County.    

The Standard Examiner also did a write up on this.  You can read their story here.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Portending Plumbing Problems

This winter has been hard on plumbing already.  However, there are simple things property owners can do to prevent plumbing problems.  Disconnecting hoses from exterior spigots is a must-do.

I found this scene while out and about this week.  It looks like someone is going to be giving their local plumber a call this spring.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ogden House Prices: Up? Down? Where to from here?

It has been about a year since I last nerded-out on everyone and cranked out some house price charts.  Although, many of you know I have had plenty of opportunity to nerd-out on other topics.  In any case, I thought it was a good time to take a look back at the year and get a feel for the dirction of house prices in Weber County.  So, without further delay, here are the charts for your visual enjoyment:

The first chart shows Weber County house prices indexed over time.  It takes real estate worth $100,000 in 1979 and shows what its value would be based on changes in Ogden's house price index (red line).  It also shows what $100,000 of real estate in 1979 would be worth today when adjusted for inflation (blue line).  Not surprisingly, the the 'real' value of real estate moves sideways.  As incomes go up, the price of milk goes up, and house prices go up.  As it turns out, there is a natural balance and proportion between people's incomes and house prices.  Variations in this relationship reflect economic distortions like non-amortizing interest-only loans, mass layoffs, or other factors that take the market some time to absorb and correct for.

Our next chart is a close up of the previous chart and zooms in on the last 14 years to show sticker prices on homes.  Can you spot the bubble in this trend line?  As you can see, we have just overcome one major run up and blow off of market value.  The last two years have been marked by an increase in house prices as low interest rates and market sentiment have combined to return the market to relative equilibrium.    

But, lets zoom in on the inflation adjusted house prices over the same period.  As you can see, the bubble is very obvious here too.  But, when house prices declined, they fell below the long term trend and over corrected.  Since late 2012, house prices have been climbing back toward their long term trend lines and restoring the natural balance between household income and house price.

These charts show data from October.  My hunch is that we have reached that "sweet spot" where there is balance in house prices.  Any appreciation we see will be tied to income inflation.  Inversely, any declines in house prices we see will be related to job losses or an economic recession.  Nevertheless, any decline we see should not be nearly as catastrophic as the housing depression we have just survived.

Look for a more stable market for buyers and sellers for the time being.  If you are in the market for property, CONTACT ME, and lets discuss your real estate needs.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Photo Gallery: Deferred Maintenance Disasters

Whenever I go out shopping with clients, I always make sure to have my camera with me.  I never know what kind of interesting things we will find along the way.  For your amusement, here are a few of the more interesting sights we have seen.  You won't find these photos on the MLS.

If the bare concrete walls and makeshift curtains don't make you feel at home, the giant sewer pipe intruding in your space certainly will.  

This is what happens when water is allowed to seep under the linoleum floor tiles. 

And this is what happens to your basement walls when you have a swamp cooler and sprinkler head dripping onto dirt that slopes into the foundation.  

Remember that time you ran your swamp cooler duct only to discover you made it pop out where you had framed a wall?  Then remember how you salvaged a box fan grill to cover it?  I do. 

This water is melted snow.  Typically we like to find this in the parking lot, not on the office floor and running down the hallway.

You know there is a design and water management problem when moss is growing on the stucco.  You know you have neglected to take care of the problem for a very long time when there are lichens growing there too.

I think it has been a while since someone has used this door.

Can you spot where the BBQ grill was?

Every property has its flaws, but these are just a few of the more interesting ones I have bumped into lately.  There will be more to see and share in the future.