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Salt Lake Home Sales Rise Even As Supply Tightens

Kasey O'Killion
A home under contract in Salt Lake County. Home sales are up despite dwindling supply.

Salt Lake’s home sales are once again trending upward, but a tightening supply is worrying some realtors.

About 1,370 homes sold last month in Salt Lake County — that includes condos, single-family and townhomes.


“It is pretty big,” says Dave Anderton, communications director for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. He says that’s about 230 more homes than sold this time last year.


“We’re up about 20 percent compared to November 2015,” he says.


That tracks with what’s happening nationally, with home sales rising to their highest point in 10 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.


“I think we’ll see this jump continue into December’s and into next year’s numbers,” says Anderton. “People are saying next year at this time we could see mortgage interest rates near 5 percent or higher. So I think people who were already thinking of buying, maybe there’s a little bit of a rush.”


The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark, short-term interest rate about a quarter of a percent this month and hinted at more increases next year.


Lisa Woodbury of Windermere Real Estate says she thinks this and a dwindling supply of homes are motivating buyers.


“At the end of the quarter this year, we had a 2.3 month supply of available homes. And last year at the same time, we had a 3.3 month available supply. So we’re seeing a huge shortfall of what’s available and what people need,” she says.


Salt Lake is also seeing prices climb, with the median sale price now hovering close to $269,000 for all housing types.


“We think for the year, they’ll rise about 5 to 7 percent over 2015 prices,” says Anderton.


Likewise, Anderton expects overall unit sales to end around 10 or 11 percent higher, with more buyers looking to lock in historically low mortgage rates.

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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