Many who travel to St. George find themselves immediately attracted to the area's scenic views and sunny weather. These are two reasons that the southern Utah city has become one fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. Data published by both the U.S. Census Bureau and HomeArea shows that St. George's home prices have been increasing more quickly than residents' incomes though.
The HomeArea report outlines how the city has been successful in attracting new industries to the area. This has created new jobs. Even still, the rise in pay that these new work opportunities have brought haven't helped residents keep pace with the ever-increasing home costs in the area. They're currently on an upward trend much more than incomes are.
An area real estate broker says that the increase in the cost of homes in the city has a lot to do with impact and other fees that have been imposed on builders. This makes them unable to build a home to meet an entry-level homeowner's budget. They argue that the cost of building materials has significantly increased as well.
In addition to more expensive building materials and impact fees, there's an increasingly stringent lending environment in Utah. Qualifying for a home loan if you're low income is virtually impossible.
Those few homes that are ideal for individuals with lower incomes also often get scooped up fast by investors. This leaves very little affordable housing for owner occupants. Many who have means buy those homes and keep them as their income properties. Some will post them on Airbnb while others take on long-term tenants.
Many real estate analysts point out that the decreased inventory and high prices that many St. George residents are finding right now is only temporary. Since the market goes through cycles, it's only a matter of time before prices will plateau or go back down.
In a seller's market like St. George is currently experiencing, many legal matters may rise to the surface.
Homeowners may become involved in disputes with their homeowner's associations. Tenants and landlords may fail to see eye-to-eye on issues. Zoning regulations may affect your ability to use your investment property as you originally intended to.
A real estate law attorney can help you navigate these legal matters while keeping your best interests at heart.