Our Smokin' Hot Seller's Market | Urban Living
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Our Smokin' Hot Seller's Market

Great news for those looking to sell their house in Utah—but not so much for buyers.



It's so much fun to tell a seller two days after listing their home that they have 16 offers—but not so much when you have to tell the buyers they are competing with 15 others. I listed a condo last month with a selling strategy that's been working wonders for my clients. We went on the market at $189,900 and offers started flying in as high as $210,000. But at the last minute, a Park City agent came in with a cash offer of $243,000. Bam! That's now the highest sale ever for that particular complex.

Utah home prices continue to run well above the national average, according to property data and analytics company CoreLogic. In our market, prices have increased by 9.4 percent since April 2017, whereas the nationwide average is 6.9 percent. We are smokin' hot, but it's not going to get any better than this for buyers in the near future. Why? Here are several reasons:

• More people are moving into the Beehive State than out.

• Builders are not keeping up with demand.

• Illegal Airbnbs have decimated the rental market. Why rent to a tenant for a year at $1,000 a month when you can rent nightly for cash and make $50,000 in a year?

• All the high-rise buildings going up in the valley are either for offices or apartments—not condos for sale.

• Developers are finding that apartment buildings are where the money is—not single-family homes.

Real estate news site RISMedia predicts affordability/ability to buy a home will fall an average of nearly 9 percentage points across all 75 major markets in the next three years, with approximately 5 million fewer households able to afford the local median-priced home by 2019. "U.S. homeownership rates are stuck near a 50-year low," reads a recent RISMedia report. Yet mortgage rates are still cheap and jobs are abundant, so buyers are buying—if they can find something to purchase. But with every slight bump to interest rates by the Federal Reserve, a few more buyers will become unable to qualify for a home loan. Besides, it's hard to save for a down-payment when you've got massive student loans to pay off, right?

Zillow named Salt Lake City and Ogden among their "hottest housing markets of 2016" and realtor.com announced at the end of last year that Provo/Orem and SLC were in its top 25 markets for 2017. Six months later, we're living up to that prediction.