New survey shows promising trends in Utah real estate, experts say

SALT LAKE CITY — The new American Community Survey released Thursday shows real estate prices statewide are increasing.

The survey shows good trends that benefit both buyers and sellers, according to Christy Vail, president of the Utah Association of Realtors.

What Utahns are struggling with, Vail said, is the space to build homes and the need to build them faster.

“As far as the shortage, we’re definitely feeling the pinch for sure,” she said. “We need more people to be open to the aspect of maybe a little more density ... to keep our kids here.”

Living in such a great place comes with a price — one that keeps going up.

“There’s no question that values rise and continue to rise,” Vail said.

Numbers show an 8.3 percent increase in the average sale price from August 2018 to August 2019, going from $300,000 to $325,000.

Deanna Devey, a spokesperson with the Utah Association of Realtors said anything under $300,000 in your first time home buyer category is extremely competitive.

“As you go into higher price ranges, you see a lot more flexibility and you don’t have as much competition in trying to find that home,” Devey said.

The market is so competitive because there is not a lot of inventory, or houses listed. In comparison to the the housing bubble in 2008, the home values have gone up exponentially as less have been listed on the market.

In 2018, Devey said they had a record breaking year for home sales, closing on 52,000 homes.

This year, they’ll still on track to exceed that number.

“Growth has been great,” Vail said, pointing out that the interest rate has dropped, allowing more buyers into the market. “That drop in a half percent in interest rate could make the difference of about $250 in a house payment.”

For those not buying and selling in the market, Vail said the growing real estate can still benefit Utah families.

“If you’re thinking refinance, if you’re thinking move up or move down, buy, any aspect of real estate, call your realtor,” Vail said.

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