Utah Home Sales Up, Inventory Down Over Past Year

(KCPW News) Home sales in Utah rose 16.4 percent from July of 2010 through July 2011, according to the Utah Association of Realtors. And President Kenny Parcell says the 17.5 percent drop in the number of homes on the market is also good news.

“You’re seeing a change in the inventory; the inventory’s also going down,” he says. “To get a stabilized real estate market, you have to have some kind of a balance, and this is exactly what we needed. We needed a shot in the arm, and this is it.”

Nearly 2,700 homes were sold by the association’s members last month, compared to 2,300 last year. And the trade group notes the number of purchase contracts went up 22 percent, which indicates August home sales are likely to be higher as well.

However, the association says the median price of homes in July was down 12 percent, at about $175,000.

“Sellers that are considering selling, even though they’re selling for a little less, they’re also going to be buying for a little less,” says Parcell. “Right now, interest rates are at historic lows, and there’s a lot of opportunities to get a pretty good home that you normally couldn’t afford.”

Salt Lake County saw the fifth-highest growth in sales from year to year, at 34 percent, while more rural counties with much lower sales volume had the top growth. The association says the number of homes on the market is at its lowest level since March of 2008.