Greg Johnston Real Estate Blog Pocatello Idaho Real Estate Information


Pocatello Idaho real estate market statistics for 3rd quarter 2015

Another quarter is behind us. It is now October and the busy summer real estate market is behind us. What a summer it was! I have compiled the real estate market statistics for the Pocatello and Chubbuck area and all of Bannock County, Idaho. Here are some interesting statistics to be aware of. This will give us an idea of the health of the market and predict the future real estate market.

Right now there are 430 single family homes on the market for sale. Last year at this time we had 509 homes for sale. That is a big drop in inventory - about 20% change! In 2015 we have sold 783 homes year-to-date. At this time last year we had 709 home sales. That is also a big change for the positive. The number of days on market for homes is 112 days. That is lower than in the past. However, home values have not changed dramatically. Year-to-date in 2014 the average sales price was $156,092 and in 2015 it is $156,889. That is only 1/2% higher.

The figures show a steady market in new home construction, but larger homes are being built based on the average sales price. We still have a shortage of residential building lots. We need more land to build on. Investor interest also remains consistent with 49 multi-family units sold in the past twelve months compared to 50 sales at the same time one year ago.

How do we interpret the numbers? We have lower inventory and higher sales than in the past. This is a sign that we could begin to see home value appreciation in our market soon. Click on this link to get a copy of the 3Q 2015 Bannock County.


Selling a home with owner financing

Some property owners ask me if they should carry a contract or offer owner financing when they have a home to sell. This is a scenario where the seller of a home acts as the lender and takes payments on the home over time. It is a good concept to get your money over time and earn some interest on it. There are definitely some advantages and disadvantages to doing this. I want to point out that this can only be done if there is no mortgage against the home. Any loan against the property will need to be paid off before you can transfer the property to someone else.

The advantages of selling a home on owner financing:
1- You can earn a very good amount of interest on your money
2- You may be able to defer income tax on the equity since you have not received it yet
3- More home buyers will be interested in the home (such as those who cannot qualify for a loan).
4- Quicker closing. No waiting for appraisers and loan underwriting.

The disadvantages of selling a home on owner financing:
1- You do not get all of your money at the time you sell the home
2- Possibility you have to foreclose if the buyer cannot make the payments
3- If it was your primary residence, it may have been sold tax free if you lived there for more than two years. Now it is considered an investment and is taxable income.
4- You are considered a lender and may need to comply with lending guidelines and disclosures.

Everyone's situation is different. Sometimes it is a good idea to sell a home on owner financing. However, there are scenarios where it is not a good idea. That is why it is wise to talk to an accountant, financial planner, and your REALTOR(R) at the time you plan to sell a home.


Owners overvalue home by large margin

I found an article to be interesting. Here is an excerpt. Take a look:

For the seventh consecutive month, the gap has widened between what home owners say their home is worth compared to what appraisers say, according to Quicken Loans’ August 2015 Home Price Perception Index. Home owner estimates now stand 2.65 percent higher than appraiser opinions, the largest gap in more than a year, according to the index. “The perception trend of most of this year suggests home owners may be assuming that home values have been in a steady, linear path upward,” says Bob Walters, Quicken Loans chief economist. “In reality, home values have remained mostly flat this year, and this false assumption may be leaving home owners disappointed when their appraisals come in.” "

This is a national story, but what does this mean for us in Idaho? As a full-time Realtor, it is not uncommon for me to meet with a home owner and for them to tell me what they think their home is worth and for me to tell them it is not worth that much. It may be human nature to always feel our property is better than a neighbors. We take pride in ownership and try to improve what we own. However, we have to be realistic in valuing a property. As a Realtor I can help show you comparable sales to put a value on your home. We never want to overprice a home for sale. No matter how nice the home is it will not sell if a buyer can find a comparable property at a lower price. Pricing your home accurately and fairly is the best thing you can do to get your home sold.


First time home buyers making a comeback

A recent report published by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has shown that the first time home buyer market has picked up significantly. In the past few years the market for first time buyers has been sluggish both nationally and locally. This is due to the economy in general and the fact that many of the "great" first time home buyer loans were taken away several years ago. The NAR study says that 32% of all recent home sales have been to first time home buyers (the majority under the age of 32). That is by far the largest segment in the market.

The first time home buyer market is making a come back. So, how does this affect you? 1- If you have a home under $100,000 that you would like to sell, we may have the buyer. 2- If you know of anyone who is renting a home, great first time home buyer loan programs are back. There are low-down payment and zero-down payment loans available. They need to take advantage of this and buy a home now. The busy spring real estate market is here. Now is the time to buy and sell. Give me a call with any questions you have about buying or selling a home.


Pocatello Storage Units for sale

One popular real estate investment is storage units. They are popular because of the ease of owning them. Compared to residential apartments, this simple building is very low maintainance. No plumbing repairs. Ne electrical repairs. It is very easy to manage. Do you know of anyone who may have an interest in buying storage units in Pocatello, Idaho? I have a building with 93 units for sale at a price of $300,000. Having been built in 2010, they are still in excellent condition. The monthly rent when fully occupied is $3,210. The other good news is that there is an assumable first mortgage on the building. That will make financing much easier for a new buyer. I can give you all the terms.

93 Storage units – newly built in 2010. Lot size is .56 Acres.

5 units measure 5’X5’ and rent for $20 per month each 4 out of 5 are rented now.
60 units measure 5’X10’ and rent for $30 per month each 50 of the 60 are rented.
5 units measure 5’X15’ and rent for $35 per month each 4 out of 5 are rented.
18 units measure 10’X10’ and rent for $45 per month each All 18 are rented now.
5 units measure 10’X20’ and rent for $65 per month each 4 of the 5 are rented.

Total rents when fully occupied is $3,210 per month, $38,520 annually.

If you have an interest in investing in storage units, call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041.


2014 Pocatello Idaho real estate market statistics

2014 went by fast, didn't it? I can not believe it is 2015 already. At the end of every year I compile real estate statistics for the Pocatello area including Bannock County. The year end statistics give us a good indication of what is happening right now and help us to predict what may happen this year. Here are some of the important statistics:

At the end of 2014 there are only 359 single family homes listed for sale on the Pocatello Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That is a big decrease in listings from both last year (429 homes at the end of 2013) and last quarter (509 homes at the end of September). Less competition is a good thing for home sellers. It also helps home values to begin to appreciate. Home values did increase in 2014. The average price was $151,690 in 2013 and up to $157,996 in 2014. That is a 4% gain. 4% really is a good figure. We like to see home values appreciating.

In 2014 we had 888 single family home sales reported on the MLS. That is up 3% from the 861 sales in 2013. So, we had more homes sell and at a higher average price. That is a good sign for Pocatello, Idaho's economy.

New homes remain popular. 55 new homes sold in 2014 compared to 50 in 2013. Some larger new homes have been built and sold. The average new home price is $226,817 up from $196,196 last year. Larger homes being sold is another signal of an improving real estate market. There are a few subdivisions with available building lots for sale. However, we do not have as many as we need. In 2014 we only had 33 lots sold on MLS, down dramatically from the 107 sold the year before. Watch out for prices on bare ground to go up since there are only 57 lots for sale on the MLS. Many of the new homes sold are owned by developer/builders and not part of the MLS reported sales.

Real estate investor interest remained consistent. We saw 45 multi-family units sell in 2014 compared to 41 in 2013. Right now we have 50 on the market for sale, almost equal to 53 listed at this time last year.

To summarize, the Pocatello, Idaho real estate market is improving at a good pace. We like to see 3-4% increase in sales and home values. We should be on pace to experience similar growth in 2015, although a few new businesses in Pocatello and American Falls could cause a demand for housing. If that happens we will see higher home sales, higher home values, and lower inventories as investors buy homes to rent and resale later. If you have any questions about Pocatello, Idaho real estate please contact Greg Johnston, REALTOR, with Keller Williams Realty East Idaho at 208-232-9041.

Click on this link to get a copy of the 2014 Market Statistics.


Greg Johnston Real Estate on FaceBook

Are you a big FaceBook user? I now have a FaceBook page for Pocatello real estate. It is my business page that will have additional information on homes for sale, real estate commentary, and community events. It will not have as much detailed and in-depth information as this blog, but will have shorter postings about new listings that can be shared with others more easily. The longer write ups will continue to be featured on this blog.

To view the page go to

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Rockwell Homes is building new homes in Pocatello

I am the exclusive listing agent in Pocatello for Rockwell Homes, the largest home builder in Southeast Idaho. Right now we have eight new homes under construction that will be complete between mid-December 2014 and early April 2015. The prices range from $144,900 to $196,000. Each home is in Brookstone Subdivision in Chubbuck. Rockwell builds a lot of square footage for the price. Each home has at least a 2 car garage. Contact me if you want to discuss having Rockwell Homes build a new home for you or someone you know. I can show you floor plans, building lots, upgrade options, homes under construction, and pictures of recently completed homes they built. They have more than 1,000 satisfied customers thrilled with the new home they had built. Let me show you why Rockwell Homes is Southeast Idaho's #1 home builder. You will be impressed. Call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041.


Pocatello Idaho Night Lights Parade

Happy Thanksgiving! Mark your calendars for the annual Night Lights Parade the day after Thanksgiving in Pocatello, Idaho. On Friday, November 28th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. This fun parade will go west through the Center Street underpass and then onto North Main Street of Pocatello. It will pass right by my real estate office – Keller Williams Realty at 150 N. Main Street. All of the parade entries will be covered with lights. It is a great way to begin the Christmas season. Santa will arrive and be available to the children. Dress warm. It is a fun parade every year. Arrive early, too. There are always events going on along Main Street and at the Old Town Pocatello pavilion.


Newly built home for sale at 2085 Sunrise Pocatello

I have a new home for sale that was just built by Ed Quinn with Quinn Homes. This home is beautiful. The location is 2085 Sunrise, just off Satterfield Drive in Pocatello, Idaho. The list price is $319,900. It is a large 3,600 square foot home. The main floor has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The finish work is excellent. The kitchen is a must see! Custom built cabinets, granite counter tops, lots of cabinet space, decorative back splash, hardwood flooring, large pantry, and lots of natural light. There is a large master suite. The walk-in closet is oversized. The master bathroom has a decorative shower with tile shower surround and glass wall. Plus, the master bathroom has a jetted tub. 3 car garage. Gas fireplace. Popular Highland area location. City view. Great curb appeal. Take a look at the interior pictures by clicking on this link for 2085 Sunrise.

If you have an interest, or know anyone looking to purchase a home in Pocatello, Idaho, please call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041. I would love to show this home to you or talk to you about having a custom home built for you.