You might think that the economic problems created by coronavirus would stifle the real estate market. Such is not the case. Real estate is stronger than it has ever been in some parts of the country, including Utah’s Wasatch front. Salt Lake City is one of the hottest markets in the country. In the five counties considered part of SLC’s greater metro area, it’s all on the table.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported in January 2021 that real estate sales “reached historic highs in 2020” thanks to low interest rates and other unexpected influences. In Salt Lake County alone, more than 19,100 properties were sold in 2020. That is up some 1,000 units from the year before.
Existing Single-Family Homes
Agents at CityHome Collective, a Salt Lake City real estate firm, say that they had fewer listings to work with in 2020. Still, more than 43,200 homes sold in the city in that year. Existing single-family homes did extremely well. These were homes inside the city proper and the immediate suburbs.
Single-family homes selling well is no surprise. They are the foundation of America’s property market. And in a place like Salt Lake City, they are the most in demand property category among transplants. Professionals are moving their families to Salt Lake City. They want single-family homes to live in.
Builders Are Very Busy
Fortunately for builders, there are not enough existing single-family homes to meet demand. Local builders are as busy as they have ever been, putting up new homes as fast as they can. Every new home has a buyer waiting to sign the paperwork and take the keys.
As you might expect, Salt Lake City’s suburbs are expanding. The Wasatch front continues to see growth as companies relocate to Salt Lake City and bring transplanted workers with them. No one knows how long the growth will last, either.
Condominiums and Townhomes
Buyers preferring condos and townhomes have their own inventory to look at. In downtown Salt Lake City, condos are a hot commodity. In the suburbs, townhomes are equally popular. Both types of units can offer everything from entry level to luxury housing.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that condos, townhomes, and duplexes accounted for some 25% of all Salt Lake County home sales in 2020. And because they typically cost less than single-family homes, experts say robust sales are a sign of bargain-hunting.
Utah’s Real Estate Logjam
The real estate market in Utah looks impressively strong from a solely financial perspective. But not all is as it seems. The state is experiencing a logjam of sorts in both the SLC and Provo areas. That logjam is especially pronounced in Salt Lake City.
It is caused by a lack of inventory. You have multiple families all bidding on a single home. Since only one successful bid wins, all of the other families move on to the next house in line. Nearly every home on the market receives a slew of competitive bids within a short time of listing.
There is also the issue of families selling their homes in order to take advantage of the equity. But then they have to turn around and buy new homes themselves. They only add to the already high demand.
A real estate logjam is a good problem to have. It suggests that the housing market and economy are both strong. That is definitely bearing out in Salt Lake City, where population growth and a robust housing market are pushing prices to all-time highs. It is a good time to be involved in SLC real estate.