Since the beginning of the year, Utah home sales are up more than 7 percent compared to the same 10 months in 2010.
Homes are also being absorbed at their fastest pace in more than four years. In October, it would have taken 8.5 months to sell all the properties on the market at the current pace, compared to 11.3 months last year. This indicator has not been lower since September 2007.
“We are improving both in terms of having increased demand from buyers as well as having fewer properties come on the market,” said Lori Chapman, 2012 president of the Utah Association of Realtors. “The fewer months it takes to sell the entire inventory, the more likely it is that home prices will increase.”
For example, the month’s supply in Uintah County is 4.6 months and prices are up nearly 14 percent. Similarly, in Washington County, the month’s supply is 6.5 months and the median price has increased about 11 percent from last October.
Statewide, the number of homes on the market has come down more than 21 percent over the past year. There were 22,993 properties for sale at the end of the month compared to 29,239 in October 2010. This is the fewest number of homes on the market since mid-2007 and the eighth consecutive month of double-digit declines.
In October, the median price of Utah homes sold fell 3.6 percent compared to last year at the same time. The median price was $174,750, which was close to the $175,000 level where prices have hovered throughout the year.
In addition to Uintah and Washington counties, several other areas saw increasing prices, including Emery, Grand, Juab, Morgan and San Juan counties. The median price in Weber County stayed nearly the same, coming in at $139,500 compared to $137,990 last October.
Other statewide housing market indicators were favorable. Pending sales, which measures future home sales activity, were up 20.5 percent compared to October 2010. This number counts how many contracts were signed to buy properties during the month. The closings for these homes often take place in subsequent months, which is why it is a forward-looking indicator.
Another positive sign was the fact that sellers received more of their asking prices. October sellers received an average of 91 percent of their original asking price compared to 89 percent last year.
Affordability continued its upward trend, increasing more than 2 percent compared to last year. A typical Utah family makes 162 percent of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.
“Our leading indicators are headed in the right direction,” Chapman said. “Should these trends continue, prices will eventually rise as they already have in some areas.”
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The Utah Association of REALTORS® serves more than 11,000 members and is the official trade association for real estate professionals in Utah. More information about the Association is available at http://UtahRealtors.com.