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Business & Economy

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.

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