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A regional public media collaboration serving the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

In The West, Home Sales Are Down But Prices Remain High

The surge in home prices in the West may be slowing down.
Dan Moyle
The surge in home prices in the West may be slowing down.

This summer, the housing market was expected to be extremely competitive, with lots of buyers vying for a limited number of homes. But it turns out, the housing market, including in our region, may finally be cooling down.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, says home prices have been rising too fast -- much faster than people’s incomes.

“Even in a strong local economy -- in places like Denver, Salt Lake City or in Seattle -- the home sales are coming down,” he says. “People are getting priced out, or people are being much more cautious of this high price appreciation. So the home sale activities are lower now compared to this time last year.”

According to data from NAR, sales of existing homes in the West are now 5 percent below what they were last year. But when it comes to pricing, it’s a different story. The median price of an existing home in the region was $417,400, which is about 10 percent higher than it was last year.

Yun says prices will probably keep inching upward, but more slowly.

“It will be a much healthier, steady growth,” he says.

At the same time, says Yun, rents remain historically high, making it harder for people to save up for a home.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado. 

Copyright 2020 KUNC. To see more, visit KUNC.

Rae Ellen Bichell is a reporter for NPR's Science Desk. She first came to NPR in 2013 as a Kroc fellow and has since reported Web and radio stories on biomedical research, global health, and basic science. She won a 2016 Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award from the Foundation for Biomedical Research. After graduating from Yale University, she spent two years in Helsinki, Finland, as a freelance reporter and Fulbright grantee.
Rae Ellen Bichell
I cover the Rocky Mountain West, with a focus on land and water management, growth in the expanding west, issues facing the rural west, and western culture and heritage. I joined KUNC in January 2018 as part of a new regional collaboration between stations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Please send along your thoughts/ideas/questions!
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