Q1 2021 Utah Real Estate Market Update

The following analysis of select counties of the Utah real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Real Estate agent.

 

Regional Economic Overview

Much like the rest of the nation, COVID-19 had a very significant impact on employment levels in Utah; the state shed 140,000 jobs in only two months. However, I am delighted to report that—as of the end of the first quarter—the region has not only recovered all of the jobs that were lost, but employment levels are now 11,300 jobs higher than the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020. With the recovery complete, at least for the time being, the unemployment rate continues to drop and is currently only 2.9%. At this level, Utah—along with Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont—now has the lowest jobless rates of any states in the Union.

utah Home Sales

❱ In the opening quarter of 2021, 6,822 home sales occurred, representing a drop of 4.6% compared to the same period in 2020 and 33.4% lower than the fourth quarter of last year.

❱ Total sales activity rose in Summit, Wasatch, and Salt Lake counties, but fell across the balance of the market covered in this report.

❱ I am not concerned about the lower level of home sales as the cause is directly linked to a shortage of inventory. The average number of listings in the quarter was down 66.8% compared to a year ago and down 35.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

❱ With such low levels of inventory, it wasn’t surprising that pending sales were down 8.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. This suggests that, unless we see a significant number of homes come online as the spring ends, closings in the second quarter may also be lower.

utah Home Prices

A map showing the real estate market percentage changes in various counties in Utah.

❱ With far more demand than supply, it wasn’t surprising that home prices continued to trend significantly higher. Year over year, the average home price in the region was up 32.6% to $536,024. Home prices were also 4.5% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

❱ When compared to the fourth quarter of last year every county, other than Wasatch (+.7%), experienced very solid price growth.

❱ Price growth was influenced by very significant gains in Morgan and Summit counties, but double-digit increases were seen across the board.

❱ The economics of supply and demand are clearly impacting home values in the region. The question will be how long this pace of growth can continue. The market needs more supply; without it, affordability will continue to drop.

A bar graph showing the annual change in home sale prices for various counties in Utah.

Days on Market

❱ The average number of days it took to sell a home in the counties covered by this report dropped 27 days compared to the first quarter of 2020.

❱ Homes sold fastest in Davis, Utah, and Weber counties. The longest time it took to sell a home was again in Summit County. Unsurprisingly, it took less time to sell a home in all markets than it did a year ago.

❱ During first quarter, it took an average of 33 days to sell a home in the region, down 1 day compared to the fourth quarter of last year.

❱ As suggested earlier in this report, the market is in a state of imbalance, with far more buyers than sellers. As frustrating for buyers as this is, I am afraid that I do not see it changing in the near-term.

A bar graph showing the average days on market for homes in various counties in Utah.

Conclusions

A speedometer graph indicating a seller's market in Utah.

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

An economy that has recovered from the COVID-19- induced decline, combined with historically low levels of inventory, have provided a “perfect storm” that continues to benefit sellers.

I was hoping that the spring would see more sellers put their homes on the market, but that has not yet happened. Concerns about listing before everyone is vaccinated, as well as sellers who are likely waiting until they find a home to buy, are keeping many of them sidelined. This has certainly benefitted those who did decide to sell, and it remains a market that heavily favors sellers. As such, I am moving the needle a little more in their favor.

 

About Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner - Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

The post Q1 2021 Utah Real Estate Market Update appeared first on Windermere Real Estate.

Q4 2020 Utah Real Estate Market Update

The following analysis of select counties of the Utah real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

 

Regional Economic Overview

The recovery in employment following the very significant job losses in Utah from COVID-19 continues to impress. Of the over 144,000 jobs that were lost in the state, all but 7,800 have returned. With the recovery clearly in place, the unemployment rate, which peaked at 10.4% in April, has dropped as jobs have been recovered and now stands at a very respectable 4.3%. In the third quarter Gardner Report, I mentioned I was a little concerned that rising COVID-19 infection rates might curtail the economic recovery, but the impact thus far has been minimal. I am pleased to see new infection rates starting to drop again and hope this trend will continue.

utah Home Sales

❱ In the final quarter of 2020, 10,237 homes changed hands, representing a solid increase of 14.4% compared to the same period in 2019—a great way to close out this unusual year.

❱ Total sales activity rose in all counties covered by this report other than Morgan. The small counties of Summit and Wasatch saw significant gains.

❱ The number of homes for sale in the quarter was 62.8% lower than during the same period a year ago, which likely frustrated buyers.

❱ Pending sales in the fourth quarter were down 26.3% compared to the third quarter. This is due to a lack of homes for sale and seasonality, so I am not concerned.

utah Home Prices

A map showing the real estate market percentage changes in various Utah counties.

❱ The average home price in the region continued to rise in the fourth quarter, with a year-over-year increase of a very impressive 27.6% to $512,894. Home prices were also 18.5% higher than in the third quarter of 2020.

❱ Price growth was again influenced by very significant gains in Wasatch County, where average prices jumped from $681,000 to $1.027 million.

❱ Outside of Wasatch County, every county covered by this report saw double-digit price appreciation compared to the same period a year ago.

❱ Home prices are still rising at very significant rates as the economy recovers, supply limitations persist, and mortgage rates remain attractive.

A bar graph showing the annual change in home sale prices for various counties in Utah.

Days on Market

❱ The average number of days it took to sell a home in the counties covered by this report dropped 24 days compared to the final quarter of 2019.

❱ Homes sold fastest in Davis and Morgan counties. The longest time it took to sell a home was in Summit County. It took less time to sell a home in all markets than it did in the fourth quarter of 2019.

❱ During the fourth quarter, it took an average of 34 days to sell a home in the region, down 6 days compared to the third quarter of 2020.

❱ Market time declined due to growing demand and limited supply. I do not see it dropping by much more, as I hope listing inventory will rise in the spring. However, that is far from certain.

A bar graph showing the average days on market for homes in various Utah counties.

Conclusions

A speedometer graph indicating a seller's market in Utah.

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

The region’s housing market continues to perform very well, with substantial demand for the limited number of available homes. This has led to significant increases in home prices. Although this has been a boon for home sellers, affordability issues are increasing.

I believe we will see the number of listings increase in the spring of 2021, which, in concert with modestly rising mortgage rates, should take some of the heat off the market. For now, though, it remains a staunchly seller’s market. As such, I am moving the needle a little more in their favor.

 

About Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner - Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

The post Q4 2020 Utah Real Estate Market Update appeared first on Windermere Real Estate.