April Utah Home Sales Slow, Prices Up
by Joel Carson
April Utah home sales slowed slightly this year compared to last year with a slight decrease in the number of home sales, but a significant increase in home prices.
The median home sales price in April was $206,000, a total of $6,000 higher than the 2013 median price. The median cost of 2014 homes per square foot in April was $96.85 compared to $93.67 per square foot in the same month in 2013.
Analyzing Utah home data from one time period – say, one month – is a little tricky. There are so many factors that can influence fluctuation in a market in such a short period of time. The data can be misleading; however, it helps to compare April to the same time frame throughout the years to get a clearer picture of market conditions.
Looking Back on a Wild Ride
Things had begun to turn ugly when for the U.S. housing market in 2005 when what we had come to know as “the housing bubble” burst. Home buyers, home sellers, mortgage lenders and the entire industry had enjoyed a wild ride on surreal success in the years just preceding the burst.
In 2006 the market continued to grind down. Home prices tumbled, but so did sales and the results were proving disastrous. A total of 1,259,118 foreclosures were filed in 2006 (that was 42 percent higher than in 2005, according to Realty Track, a real estate information company.
In January 2008 the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced the largest drop in existing home sales in 25 years had occurred through 2007. The announcement came days after a significant downturn in the stock market. The global stock market was volatile as it attempted to correct itself. Fears of a U.S. recession loomed and eventually proved valid.
In 2009 3,957,643 foreclosures were filed on 2,824 properties (21 percent more than the year before). Foreclosures inched up in 2010 when foreclosures were filed on 2,871,891 properties, according to RealtyTrac’s year-end report.
By the end of 2010 more than 2.23 percent of all households were experiencing foreclosure at some level.
In 2011 foreclosures began to slow. It was still a sticky situation for 1.45 percent of all households who were in some stage of foreclosure, but it was less than the 2.23 percent we saw a year earlier. In 2012 the foreclosure notices slowed further. Home sales began to perk up.
Finally, 2013 showed us substantial appreciation in single-family home sales. A strengthening economy boosted consumer confidence, the jobless rate decreased, historically low interest rates had greased the wheels and the housing market began to find its new normal.
Utah’s April Home Sales
What does all of that history have to do with our statistical comparison today? As we look back on year-to-year sales, it’s interesting to note the sordid market trends nationwide compared to Utah’s history. There is no question Utah was deeply impacted by heavy hits to the housing and construction industries; however, our state is recovering nicely and record fluctuations in the housing market are not nearly as deep as those experienced in many other states. Spring seems to be the home sales season in Utah and this year the tradition continues.
Following is a history table reflecting April home sales in Utah for the past five years. We saw a notable increase in sales in 2013, but sales have slowed a little this year. That’s not too concerning in and of itself considering a $6,000 increase in the median sold price of homes. It’s much healthier for the market to grow slowly and steadily. I’m encouraged by the steady growth in prices and feel confident conditions will continue to improve.
April Utah Home Sales Year-to-Year
Mdn OL $ = Median Original Listing Price
Interest rates are still low, consumer confidence is up and the national job market is beginning to take shape. This is a good time to buy a home. If you are ready to buy a Utah home for sale, contact me at 801-673-3333 and let’s see how we can take advantage of existing conditions. Let’s make sure we use them to put you in the best possible position.
Browse all Utah homes for sale listed in the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service (WFR-MLS) at www.allutahhomes.com.
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