ST. GEORGE — New data suggests that housing prices in Utah may be due for a shift, according to two new reports shared with St. George News.
A new report by Move.org showed that home prices in Utah have spiked during the past year. The report said that prices for single family homes in Utah were up 20.8%. That’s the third largest increase in the country, behind Arizona (22.7%), and Idaho (27.8%).
That means that the average price for a home in Utah jumped from $373,277 to $450,745, the report said.
But another report, compiled and released by the Washington County Board of Realtors, shows that the market may be getting back to what their CEO Vardell Curtis called “balanced.”
The Southern Utah Housing Market report said there were 866 active residential listings in Washington County in September, up from 460 in May – that’s almost double. The average number of days homes spend on the market has also increased from 18 to 21 during the same period. Yet median sold prices are holding at $450,000.
“The reason the prices are holding in Southern Utah,” Curtis told St. George News, “is that we’ve reached a plateau.”
The average median price for a home in various counties around the state remains high. In Washington and Salt Lake Counties, it’s holding around $450,000. Summit County tops that spectrum at $1.13 million, while Iron County is closer to $307,000.
While Curtis said that the market is finding balance, which will be good for buyers, potentially less so for sellers, it’s not quite there yet. The reason, he said, is that the supply is catching up with demand. Inventory is building up as the market is slowing down.
“Which is ultimately good for the market,” he said. “We’re reaching equilibrium.”
Curtis said that the sweet spot is 1,500 active residential listings. Once the market hits that milestone, prices will come down. Until then, prices will be stubborn because cash buyers are still outbidding long-time St. George residents, as well as transplants from other states.
“These are people who, for one reason or another, opted to work from home in their pajamas rather than sit in traffic for two hours during their morning commute,” he said.
New construction will bridge the gap, he said, and the economy will still see benefits from current market trends.
“If a house is off the market in 21 days,” Curtis said, “a lot of tasks are being completed in a very short amount of time. You’ve got appraisals, credit checks and title searches, among other things. So these people are cranking.”
“Which means,” he added, “that there are more appraisers, lenders and inspectors coming into the market to earn their livelihoods.”
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