Forecast is Positive

SANDY, Utah (Jan. 30, 2015) – Despite a few challenges the outlook for the Salt Lake County real estate market in 2015 is positive, according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®, which today released the 2015 Salt Lake Housing Forecast report.

“We predict that residential sales will increase by 7 percent to 15,500 sales and the median sales price will increase by 4 percent to $265,000,” said Dave Robison, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®. “Strong job growth, fewer underwater loans and an expanding national economy will benefit the Utah economy and the local real estate market.”

The report noted that in 2014 housing price increases slowed from the sizzling pace of 2013. The median home price today at $255,000 is now at 88 percent of the pre-recession peak price ($291,000) when measured in inflation-adjusted dollars.

For those who qualify, housing is still relatively affordable in the Salt Lake metropolitan area. According to the Wells Fargo National Association of Home Builders Opportunity Index, a family of four earning a median income could afford two-thirds of the homes sold in the Salt Lake metropolitan area.

“There is still room for moderate increases in housing prices provided mortgage rate increases are incremental and gradual,” Robison added. “Our historically low mortgage rates, now at a 44-year low, provide a rare opportunity to capture long-term savings in housing costs.”

Challenges this year include some households facing high debt loads, particularly young households. High debt levels hamper homeownership and hurt demand. In addition, sluggish wage growth postpones home buying.

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