My goal is to keep you educated about all things real estate so that you have the ability to make great decisions when it comes to your own home selling, buying, and investing goals. With that in mind, I want to talk to you today about the first quarter housing statistics for the Wasatch Front.
First quarter sales are actually up this year, having increased about 6% from 2017. Already, 6,500 homes have been sold in the first quarter of the year. That’s compared to 6,100 in 2017.
Additionally, we’ve seen an 11.5% increase in the average sales price year over year along the Wasatch Front. Right now, we’re actually nearing $400,000.
With interest rates beginning to rise, and with inventory being exceptionally low for starter homes, first-time homebuyers are being squeezed pretty tight. On top of that, the average time on the market for all housing types along the Wasatch Front is decreasing. Last year, the average was about 53 days, and right now, the average is about 48 days. That’s about 10% less time to sell a home at the start of this year.
For all price ranges, we have an inventory level of 3.7 months, meaning it would take 3.7 months for us to sell all of the homes we currently have on the market if no new homes were added. A balanced market is one with around six months’ worth of supply, so we are indeed in a seller’s market.
Currently, we have a tale of two markets: If we look at homes priced under $350,000, our entry-level price, we have well under a three-month supply of properties. However, when we look at homes priced above, say, $500,000, we have close to a seven-month supply of homes. The higher up in price that you go, the more the market favors buyers. Really, the market is kind of a trickle-up market; first-time buyers give the rest of the market the ability to move on as well. For example, when a first-time buyer purchases a home, that gives the seller the ability to move up into a home in a different price range.
We can see how the lack of supply and affordable housing actually impacts the market in the higher price range. We have more supply of those higher priced new construction homes along the Wasatch Front. The average price is up just over 8% for the first quarter of this year over last year.
Given the fact that cities like Salt Lake City, Provo, Lehi, and Ogden have all made top-10 lists for places to live, work, and invest in homes, it’s expected that prices will continue to increase through the remainder of 2018. I expect that we’ll continue to see very tight inventory at the entry-level price range with lots of competition.
It’s a great time to sell your home! There are strategies you must use to ensure that you get the most from your agent. For buyers, you’ll need a full-time buyer’s agent with experience in navigating these waters. Do not go it alone. If you’re thinking about selling your home or you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.