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Salt Lake County home sales fall to lowest numbers in 10 years

Posted at 12:06 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 23:25:32-04

SANDY, Utah — Home sales in Salt Lake County and all along the Wasatch Front have dropped to numbers not seen in nearly a decade.

According to a report from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, home sales in Salt Lake County this past June were 27% lower from the same time frame in June 2021. The county's 1,344 transactions were the lowest number for a June in a decade.

In all, year over year home sales have fallen for 13 consecutive months.

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“Finally the madness has stopped," he said. "Finally the sellers are catching up with how the buyers need it to be.”

Sellers will have to adjust to the new playing field, he said.

“Buyers can now finally take a breath," said Perry. "They can look at more inventory, more houses. They don't have to put above asking-price cash down.”

Other counties across the Wasatch Front faced similar drops to those of Salt Lake County:

  • Utah County: -19%
  • Weber County: -15%
  • Tooele County: -13%
  • Davis County: -9%

A good house in Utah that's priced well could have sold in one or two days just a couple of months ago. Now, that home is more likely to sell in one to three months, said Perry.

“I kind of think about it like stairs," said Martha Morris, realtor. "It's like we've been on the staircase for so long where price is going up. And we're now at the top stair, and the last like two months people have been reaching for stair that doesn't exist.”

Realtors believe rising interest rates to stem a possible recession are the reason for the drop in sales.

“Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve’s effort to curb inflation is having a negative impact on home buyers, who are backing out of deals or don’t qualify for financing because of higher interest rates,” said Steve Perry, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

While sales are down, the price of sales prices of homes in Salt Lake County rose in year-to-year data. The average price of a home for sale in June was $545,000, up from $470,000 in June 2021.

Despite the interest rate hikes, buyers are still getting historically low rates, said Morris.

“Marry the house, date the rate," she said. "If you can find a place that you really like, then it's probably worth taking advantage of a historically low-interest rate and making the investment in yourself and in your future.”

Although we’re still nowhere near being in a buyer’s market, the inventory is finally catching up with the demand, which is encouraging news for Utah home buyers.

“Real estate is still the number one way of creating wealth in this country," said Morris. "Our economic system is based around that.”

It won’t be quite as quick and easy to sell from here on out, but now is still a great time to sell a house, she said.