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2013-01-09 11:54:46
2012 Utah Home Sales Up

Utah Home Market Stronger, Consumer Confidence Not So Much

Professional real estate manby Joel Carson
President/Principal Broker
Utah Real Estate P.C.

2012 Utah home sales increased 13 percent over 2011, according to Wasatch Front Multiple Listing Service (WFMLS) data. Year-end stats show a total of 31,526 home sales closed last year compared to 27,912 in 2011. The sales total is substantially more encouraging than that of 2010 when only 25,702 homes sold.

2012 Utah Home Sales

2012 Home Sales Graph
Copyright 2013 Wasatch Front Regional MLS All Rights Reserved

A drop in Utah home inventory could account for a slight increase in median home prices. The 2012 median home price came it at $181,000, 3.49 percent higher than 2011, but still lower than the median price in 2010 ($190,000).

The simple principle of supply and demand can be applied here (although there are many, many other factors driving home sales and impacting pricing). Fewer homes were listed for sale in 2012 than in 2010 or 2011.  A lower inventory gives Utah home sellers a little bit of an advantage when negotiating price. In 2010 a total of 59,898 new listings were recorded with the WFMLS. A reported 42.91 percent of those new listings sold. In 2011, 51,554 homes were listed of those, 54.14 percent sold (26.18 percent more). In 2012, only 48,431 new listings were added to the WFMLS, about six percent less than the year before. A whopping 65.09 percent of those sold in the same year.

Consumer Optimism Wavered

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®:

'Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook plummeted in December. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 17.6 percent from 21.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 21.5 percent from 15.8 percent.

'Consumers’ outlook for the labor market also turned more pessimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 17.0 percent from 19.5 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs increased to 27.3 percent from 21.2 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes was virtually unchanged at 15.4 percent. However, those expecting their incomes to decline rose to 18.7 percent from 15.6 percent.'

Interest rates are still incredibly low. Let’s watch that unemployment rate and hope it gets lower too so more people can afford to buy homes. Consumer confidence is key and, unfortunately, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in December, as did the job outlook.

A Dec. 27 index report said, “The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined slightly in November, posted another decrease in December. The Index now stands at 65.1 (1985=100), down from 71.5 in November. The Expectations Index declined sharply to 66.5 from 80.9. The Present Situation Index increased to 62.8 from 57.4 last month.” The decline is attributed, in part, to looming concerns over the oncoming fiscal cliff.

“While consumers are quite negative about the short-term outlook, they are more upbeat than last month about current business and labor market conditions,” Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said.

The next report is scheduled for public release on Jan. 29, 10 a.m. I, for one, will be interested in the results based on Congresses’ most recent actions (and pending actions) with regard to the Budget Control Act. Hang on to your hats!

In the meantime, Utah Real Estate has some amazing listings available for browsing online at www.allutahhomes.com. Whether you’re looking for a Utah condo, Utah townhome, Utah single-family home or any other type of residential property you’re likely to find it right here! Need help or have questions? Call me at 801-673-3333 today.

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