The Utah real estate market presents a challenge to both authorities and residents of the state. There is a growing demand for housing, but inventories haven’t grown enough to keep pace. At the same time, prices have risen unabated for many months in a row.
Although the housing supply has remained low, Utah continues to offer strong economic opportunities. This has attracted people from other states as well as investors looking to cash in on the growing population.
Given the state of the real estate market, it can be hard to know what the right moves to make are. Here’s what buyers and sellers should watch out for in Utah.
2019 Real Estate Market Forecast for Utah
There has been a significant slowdown in home sales in Utah since 2018. There are a couple of reasons why this trend came to be.
Home prices in many parts of Utah have surged well beyond what they were in 2017. The data here shows that the median price of houses in almost every city in Salt Lake county appreciated year-on-year. Some zip codes in Salt Lake City saw prices go up as much as 27%.
The median price of a house in Salt Lake city reached $350,000 by the end of 2018. That’s a whole $25,000 more than it was in the final quarter of 2017.
This pattern was seen across the cities on the Wasatch Front. Median house prices across the five counties that form the Front averaged $334,000 in 2018, constituting an 11% increase compared to the previous year. Six zip codes in the Wasatch Front have a median house price in excess of $500,000.
The surging house prices aren’t the only reason there has been a slowdown in home sales in Utah. That can also be chalked up to the state’s limited housing supply. Research shows that there’s a huge discrepancy between the increase in households in the state and the increased availability of housing units.
The situation is likely going to be exacerbated by the increasing interest rates in the state. Pundits see the Federal Reserve hiking rates this year, which could lead to higher mortgages in Utah. This change may dissuade potential buyers from putting their money down for a new house in 2019.
All of those factors contributed to a 9% decrease in house sales in the Wasatch Front counties in 2018. The increasing home prices and mortgage rates will continue to keep buyers wary across many parts of the state in 2019.
When Is the Best Time to Sell a House in Utah in 2019?
Spring is generally considered a good time to sell a house in the United States. There remains a healthy demand for housing late into the summer months. Although these general trends remain true for Utah, there are also some state-specific trends that make things different here.
Utah was the third fastest growing state in terms of population in 2018. If you consider the population numbers over the last decade, Utah is the fastest growing state in the United States. Almost 400,000 new people have been added to Utah in the last 10 years, either through new births or immigration.
The state attracts immigrants from across the country looking for both better jobs and education. Utah boasts a strong economy, another reason why it is an attractive market for working professionals.
The growth in population is an important factor to consider for those selling homes in the state. There is a healthy demand for houses in the state almost throughout the year. The main impediment to selling a house is pricing it in a way that attracts buyers. Housing units remain at a deficit, so sellers pricing homes at realistic rates shouldn’t have trouble finding buyers in most parts of Utah.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Utah in 2019?
Going by data drawn from the last couple of years, winter has emerged as a good time to buy a house in Utah. That goes against a lot of conventional wisdom about how to time a purchase.
The data shows that there was a 6% increase in new listings in Salt Lake County in the last quarter of 2017. There was a smaller but still appreciable increase in listings in the winter of 2016 as well.
This shows that buyers enjoy a higher amount of choices in the last quarter. Homeowners who haven’t been able to make a sale deep into winter are generally more amenable to negotiations. So winter might be the best time to buy a house at under market value in Utah.
That said if you’re set on buying a house in Utah in 2019, the earlier the better. We’ve already seen how the median prices of houses in the state have been trending up since 2018. To make things worse, mortgage prices are likely to go up this year. Economists see home prices increase by as much as 10% in certain counties.
While you may think that waiting for a slowdown is the way to go, that’s unlikely to happen. So the right time to invest in a house in Utah in 2019 is as soon as you can.
In its current form, Utah is a tricky real estate market for both buyers and sellers. The former find themselves having to shell out higher and higher amounts of money as median prices of houses in the state continue to increase. Sellers, on the other hand, observe high demand but may not know how to price their own property in a way that coaxes hesitant buyers to make an offer.
Whichever side you’re on, hiring a real estate agent can help you make the right moves in the Utah housing market. Clever Partner Agents help clients set a listing price, field offers, and negotiate a price that they deserve.
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