Homes sales hit the floor in West Valley City, Salt Lake CountyAug 07, 2022 09:01PM ● By Darrell Kirby
By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]
The frenetic pace of home sales in West Valley City and Salt Lake County, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is slowing. But it may not be of huge benefit to buyers—or sellers—for that matter.
Skyrocketing home prices and rising mortgage rates have forced a growing number of prospective buyers to the sidelines. The result was that 1,344 single- and multi-family homes were sold in June of this year, the lowest number of homes sold in Salt Lake County during that month since June 2012. It’s also a 27% decrease from June 2021, when 1,829 dwellings changed hands. Year-over-year home sales in the county have also dropped 13 consecutive months through June of this year.
With fewer people shopping for homes, inventory is climbing as homes sit on the market longer, a big change from the past couple of years when sellers were receiving multiple offers within a few days, sometimes just hours, after listing their properties. “The reason listings are climbing is that buyers are backing out so homes are on the market longer,” said Dave Anderton, spokesman for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. That hasn’t stopped the median selling price in the county from going up. The midpoint value for all housing types (single-family, townhomes, condominiums) sold in June was $545,000, up $75,000, or nearly 16%, from a year earlier.
In this year’s first quarter, single-family homes sales declined 29% in West Valley City’s 84119 zip code and 17% in the 84120 zip code from the same period in 2021. Anderton expected further drops when second quarter figures were released in late July.
The best year on record for sales in Salt Lake County was 2020 when more than 19,125 homes were sold. “We’re selling 600 or 700 fewer homes a month than at the height when everyone was clamoring for homes back in 2020,” Anderton said.
The prospects for a quick return to the torrid days of two years ago are dim. “I don’t think inflation is under control,” Anderton said, predicting more interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve to try to tame surging prices on food, gas, and other life expenses.
Real estate broker Anil Singh of Singh Real Estate Inc. in West Valley City said he’s also seeing a turn in the market. “It has slowed down because of the interest rate hike. It has put some buyers out of the market.”
Singh said homes priced between $350,000 and $500,000 in West Valley City have been the biggest sellers. “Anything above is not selling.”
A 28-year veteran of real estate sales, Singh said a few homes now are sitting on the market for 60 days or longer and owners are reducing their prices, a mighty change from when home seekers were submitting offers well above the listing price to grab anything in a tight market.
There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, notes Singh. “Maybe down the road prices will come down and then it will be a good time to buy.”