Friday, September 25, 2020 / by Rachel Green
Thus began my habitual reading every article and announcement regarding the Salt Lake real estate market from a credible source [ie. Salt Lake Board of Realtors, Utah Association of Realtors, Kim C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, or the Utah Economic Summit].
But it wasn't until I started a new habit just a few years ago, that I really had a first-hand sense of what exactly was going on week to week. That is, I start every morning with an MLS search of every new listing in the Salt Lake area. I follow this up with a weekly snapshot of what is under contract and reported as sold on the MLS. So when a buyer or seller wants to know what's going on with inventory, I can answer exactly. Since statistical data is always that of the past, statistics are published for each month or quarter well into the next era. I didn't want to wait to know what had happened. I wanted to know what is happening.
So when the September issue of the Salt Lake Realtor magazine came out, I wasn't surprised to see the cover story was about the record-breaking sales in July. But I was interested to see what the author's take on this was. We are in the middle of a pandemic and nationwide, there are protests and unrest, with unemployment numbers soaring, and notice of default list for mortgagers growing – all while here along the Wasatch front and the rest of Utah is experiencing record-breaking real estate sales.
First, due to the pandemic, spring in Utah and around the country was slower, so the buying season was pushed to summer. July's record-breaking month was the first to break 2,000 homes sold in a single month, in Salt Lake County, with 2,108 homes sold. But overall, 2020 is projected to have more home sales than 2019, even during this unpredictable time. This can be attributed to several factors.
Interest rates remain at an all-time low, making current homeowners race to refinance and purchasers are able to afford more home for the same mortgage payment.
But unique to Utah, is our growth. An article in USA Today ranked Utah as the #1 best economy in the nation. This is due in part to the economic growth that Utah has been experiencing over the past several years. Additionally, buyers are moving to Salt Lake for the lower home prices [compared to metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City], but also for the access to outdoor activities.
As for today's MLS search, there were 114 homes listed in the last day, with a total of 1,390 active homes listed in Salt Lake County, and 3,027 homes under contract or in backup status. For August 2020, so far 1,825 homes have been reported sold to the MLS.
So, to answer your question... that's how the market is.
Wondering if now is a good time to buy or sell? Call to set up a virtual consultation today! 801-893-1088.