SNOWBIRD: noun. 1) any of several birds seen chiefly in winter 2) a ski resort in Utah 3) one who travels to warm climes for winter. Right now, spring fever is RAMPANT here in our state even though Spring Break at our state universities and colleges was last week. Some will have joined the crowds of hikers, bikers and ATV’s in southern Utah while others avoid that chaos and will travel in the next month to enjoy their favorite warm vaycay spots and/or our ‘Big 5’ National Parks.
More established folk look to St. George and Washington County as a place to retire or to have a second home to get out of the cold and snow in other areas of the country. With the amount of Winter that Mother Nature dropped on so many areas this season flights, hotels and B and B’s are in high demand. One of my twin daughters lives in Lake Arrowhead, CA and got 11 feet of snow in 5 days, and another 5 feet the following week. She and her husband are chomping at the bit to find the warmth, and places like St. George have them eyeballing prices.
It’s not surprising then to learn that Washington County was awarded the nation’s top luxury second-home market in the country this past year as gathered from data by Pacaso-a luxury home real estate website that hooks up dreamers who want to make owning a luxury second home a reality. The firm analyzed lock-in rates for second mortgages with lenders by buyers in Utah, California, Florida and Nevada. Their definition of a luxury home is any residence listed at over $1 million or more that is specifically designated as a second residence. The MLS in Washington County currently lists 1504 homes and condos for sale in all price ranges, with 208 of them (14%) asking $1 mil+. The MLS for Salt Lake County has 230 properties (16%) listed at over $1 million with a total of 1452 active listings in all price-ranges.
The most expensive home listed in Salt Lake County right now is a 15,540 sq. ft. seven bedroom home at 2304 S. Oneida Street for $11.9mil. There are two homes in Washington County listed at $10mil, almost two dozen asking over $1mil in Summit and Wasatch Counties with the highest price property I can find in Utah going for $50,000,000 in White Pine Canyon. That one sold last year for $36mil-17,567 sq. ft, 6 BR/10BA, 15 fireplaces, 6 car garage, 60’ indoor/outdoor stainless steel pool, motorized interior walls, spa with a Himalayan salt room, hammam, bowling alley and cinema laser projection system. Hey, if you have the bucks I’d be more than happy to sell you any of these whether it’s your primary residence or second home!