Are housing prices in Vernal, Utah inflated?

Asked by Erica, Vernal, UT Tue Oct 14, 2008

I am looking to buy a home in Vernal, Utah. I have recently started looking and the prices seem to be extremely high for the quality of the home. I know this area has had a boom/bust cycle in the past and I am wondering if I should wait to buy a home? Rent is also ourageous.

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Carol Judd, Agent, Vernal, UT
Fri Oct 31, 2008
I agree with the previous comments. I am an Associate Broker with Century 21 in Vernal. The Vernal Real Estate Market is still holding it's value and there is no change insight. As recently as today there have been announcements of new areas being opened up for oil and gas development.
There are many first time homebuyers looking and the lower priced homes are still in demand. The number of homes sold is in line with last year.
Our office has handled a good number of foreclosure properties lately and for the buyer willing to put in a little work the return will be good equity.
Good advice on your search is the best way to approach the market. The key is finding good qualtiy and value in your investment.
Carol Judd
Century 21 Dart Realty
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Crissy Knibbe, Agent, Vernal, UT
Sat May 2, 2009
Hi Erica,

The prices are high out here in retrospect to the rest of country, but we have an industry that will sustain our growth. I really don't foresee too much more of a drop in prices. With the Utah Home Run Grant, the Federal Tax Credit and a lot of builders are offering incentives combined with the low interest rates makes for perfect timing for a first time home buyer in Vernal. If you haven't owned a home in 3 years considers you a first time home buyer. Call me and I would be happy to get you more information.

Good luck,

Crissy Kremin
Office: 435-789-2828
Home:435-789-6068 (forwarded to my cell phone so you don't have to call long distance)
Cell: 801-656-8324
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Joe Patton, , Ogden, UT
Tue Oct 14, 2008

I'm going to answer these questions one at a time to the best of my ability and I'll try not to put you to sleep.

First, "are housing prices in Vernal inflated"? No, not really. If you look at conditions in the market place, there is a high demand for affordable housing currently going on in Vernal. This causes a supply shortage and prices to rise. High school economics, I know, but the reason behind the supply shortage is that this area of Utah has an incredible amount of natural resources that are in high demand right now. Natural gas, oil and oil shale being the big ones. There is also a Utah State University campus being built in Vernal. The companies bringing employees to the area have had to resort to housing them in hotels until more affordable rent space is constructed. All of these companies are going to continue to need housing, but new construction projects (especially town houses) are popping up all over. Unfortunately, affordable houses ride the coat tails of all housing price increases. Yes, eventually supply will equalize with demand (I think you are getting close to that happening even as I write) and pricing will eventually level out or even fall. Your guess is as good as mine as to when you might see any serious decrease though.

Second, rent pricing is going to follow the housing demand pretty closely, and maybe even overtake it because some of the influx of workers only require temorary housing. Utah is seeing a VERY low rental vacancy rate state wide (like 1.8 or 2%). Plus you have a bit of a credit crunch still effecting borrowers. Lenders have tightend up their parameters on who can borrow. So in a high demand place like Vernal... you can see where I'm going here. Sorry.

Third, Boom/bust cycle. Not likely that you are going to see a severe drop in prices given the current economic conditions nation wide. Oil shale is the new energy buzz word and we currently have 2 people running for president that are wanting to expand domestic oil production. Congress is also feeling the pressure from voters and no matter which political party you follow, pretty much everyone is wanting more domestic energy production. That means Utah is going to have demand put on us to answer some of these needs and since it is unlikely we are going to make wind farms on the salt flats, or put solar panels on every roof top, oil shale and natural gas are going to be in high demand for some time to come. Vernal has both. In spades.

I hope I didn't make you pass out with the long winded explination, but that question sparked my inner nerd and I guess I can't help myself.... This is the kind of stuff my wife has to put up with all the time. You can call her for some horror stories of my long winded diatribes if you would like. She has threatened me with duct tape more than once.

I hope you are able to connect with a good Realtor to help you decide on which housing choice is best for you. The benefits of having local insight as to what is happening in the market place and what is, or is not a good buy are priceless. Especially to a buyer. 99% of the time buyer agent commision is paid by the seller, so your agents help is pretty much free to you. Good luck!

Joe Patton
Century21 Golden Spike Realty
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LeAnn Walters, Agent, Saint George, UT
Tue Oct 14, 2008
Yes! The homes out there have skyrocketed since the oil boom. My daughter lives out there and against my advice she didn't buy 3 years ago like I tried to get her to do. Buying right now will be a good idea if you think the oil boom is going to last and all the people I talk to out there say it is going to last for awhile. Do you notice that people are still driving like crazy even with gas at $4 - If you want a referral to a good agent in Vernal call me at 435-619-3619 - I used to live there too. It is really a beautiful area and it is always a good time to buy if you have the right people working with you to help you make good decisions and a good loan officer etc.
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