Utah’s housing shortage ‘will take years to put in balance’ as home prices surge

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SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – Did you buy a home in the last few weeks? You likely paid $120,000 more than you would have a year ago based on a new report from Utah real estate experts.

While house prices climbed to record levels during the third quarter of 2021 – July, August, and September – sales plummeted by double-digit percentages, UtahRealEstate.com reports.

In Salt Lake County, the average single-family home price jumped to $550,000, a new quarterly high and a 28% increase over the $430,000 median price reported during the same time last year. That’s a $120,000 difference.

“A recent report by the University of Utah shows that more than half of Utah’s households are now unable to afford the median single-family home,” says Matt Ulrich, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. “The report confirms that Utah is in the midst of a housing shortage that will take years to put in balance.”

In four counties – Utah, Davis, Tooele, and Weber – the median single-family home prices also set new quarterly record highs. For the first time, Utah County’s median home price surpassed the half-million-dollar mark. UtahRealEstate.com reports Davis County was close behind with a median price of $497,000. Tooele County hit a median price of $440,000 while Weber County – the most affordable in the Wasatch Front – reached $400,000.

Salt Lake County saw sales dive, despite soaring home prices. Single-family home sales fell to just under 3,500 units sold, a 20% decrease from last year. Double-digit declines were also seen in Davis, Weber, and Utah counties.

Still, realtors say this year is on track to be the second-best year in overall home sales. From January to September, nearly 13,300 housing units were sold in Salt Lake County, down just 5% from 13,975 during the same period in 2020. Last year, more than 19,200 homes were sold in Salt Lake County – a record.

A recent RE/MAX report found home prices increased 27.3% in Salt Lake City compared to last year. That is the second-largest increase in home-sale prices in the U.S. This RE/MAX report supports a recent study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. Released earlier this month, that study found which areas in Utah have seen the biggest spikes in home prices.

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