Even though the weather has cooled off, Utah’s housing market remains hot.
That’s according to a new report from the Utah Association of Realtors that shows Utah Realtors had the second-best November on record with Utah Realtors selling 4,511 properties during the month.
When compared to 2020, sales are down about 11%. However, November 2020 was an unseasonably active month because of exceptionally low interest rates and pandemic-related buying. When compared to 2019, which was a more normal year for real estate, 2021 sales increased 9%.
Among counties with at least 50 sales, Uintah County had the highest growth with November sales increasing 22% from 2020. Box Elder County came in second with a 5% gain.
Nationally, U.S. existing home sales fell 2% from a year ago.
“Determined buyers were able to land housing before mortgage rates rise further in the coming months,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, in a press release about existing home sales. “Locking in a constant and firm mortgage payment motivated many consumers who grew weary of escalating rents over the last year.
“Mortgage rates are projected to jump in 2022, however, I don’t expect the imminent increase to be overly dramatic.”
Yun expects rates on 30-year fixed mortgages to average 3.7% by the end of 2022.
In addition to mortgage rates, home prices are also headed higher.
In Utah, the median sales price increased 25% to $469,500 in November. That’s an increase of $94,500 from last year’s median of $375,000. It’s the 116th straight month of year-over-year increases.
Among counties with at least 50 sales, the counties with the highest price increases were Cache, Tooele and Uintah counties with increases of 44%, 33% and 31% respectively.
On a national level, U.S. home prices rose about 14% to $353,900.
In 2022, home prices should continue to rise but at a slower pace. The consensus of 22 economists at the National Association of Realtors Real Estate Forecast Summit is that U.S. home prices will rise 5.7%.
The lack of housing inventory continues to be a catalyst for the higher home prices.
In Utah, the number of properties available for sale fell nearly 14%. There were 4,295 properties for sale at the end of November. In comparison, there were 4,981 active listings in November 2020 and 10,980 in November 2019. Even in 2019, the number of listings was significantly below that needed to meet demand.
Among counties with at least 50 sales, the biggest drops in housing inventory were in Summit County (down 61%), Wasatch County (down 57%) and Uintah County (down 49%).
On a national level, inventory fell 13% in November and represents a 2.1-month supply at the current sales pace.
“Supply-chain disruptions for building new homes and labor shortages have hindered bringing more inventory to the market,” Yun said. “Therefore, housing prices continue to march higher due to the near record-low supply levels.”
Yun notes that housing demand continues to be high as evidenced by the fact that homes are quickly purchased.
On average, Utah homes placed on the market go from “listed status” to “under contract” in 26 days. That’s down from an average of 32 days in 2020. In fact, this is the fastest sales time on record for this time of year, according to Utah Association of Realtors data going back to 2006.
“Buyer competition alone is unrelenting, but home seekers have also had to contend with the negative impacts of supply chain disruptions and labor shortages this year,” Yun said. “These aspects, along with the exorbitant prices and a lack of available homes, have created a much tougher buying season.”
A local Realtor can help buyers looking to navigate the challenges of this hot housing market. To find a Realtor who specializes in your area, visit UtahRealtors.com.