Too Many Home Buyers and Not Enough Sellers
SANDY (April 27, 2017) – Tight inventories resulted in falling home sales across the Wasatch Front in the first three months of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®. In the first quarter, sales of single-family homes along the Wasatch Front dropped 5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Troy Peterson, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®, said sales would be climbing if there were more listings. New listings in the first quarter along the Wasatch Front are down 6 percent from a year ago. That represents more than 500 fewer homes for sale along the Wasatch Front this year compared to last year.
“This is the strongest seller’s market ever,” Peterson said. “To be a buyer right now is just brutal. Competition is fierce for homes priced under $500,000. Many sellers are making the sale of their home contingent on them finding another property.”
Utah’s hot economy, strong net migration, and new household formations are making it difficult for first-time buyers to find homes. Competition even exists for higher-priced homes, according to Peterson, who added he’s never seen anything like the current market in his 22 years of selling real estate. A recent $950,000 listing received three offers, each offer coming in at $1 million. The competition is especially hard for first-time buyers. Peterson recently represented one buyer who offered $215,000 on a $190,000 listing.
While sales of single-family homes are showing slight declines, condominium sales are on the rise. In Salt Lake County condo sales climbed 6 percent in the first quarter year-over-year. Typically, condos are less expensive than single-family homes, driving many first-time buyers to consider them.
The median price of a single-family home on the Wasatch Front increased to $280,000, up from $255,000 a year ago. Salt Lake County had the highest single-family home price of the five counties along the Wasatch Front at a median of $300,000 in the first quarter, up 10 percent from a year ago. Utah County home prices were the second highest at a median of $287,000, an 8 percent year-over-year rise. Homes in Weber County were the most affordable along the Wasatch Front at a median price of $205,000.
The average cumulative days homes (all housing types) were on the market in the first quarter in Salt Lake County fell to 48 days, down from 59 days in the first quarter of 2016.
About the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors® is the Wasatch Front’s voice of real estate and the No. 1 source for housing market information. Established in 1917, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors® is a leader in protecting private property rights. As Utah’s largest real estate trade association, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors® assists its members to serve the public through continuing education, advocacy and a professional code of ethics.