Bubble Trouble | Urban Living
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

Bubble Trouble



Uh oh! Is the bubble bursting? Park City's Board of Realtors reports that all three of their major weekly stats—new, pending and closed listings—continue to drop when compared to 2020.

That makes seven weeks in a row this has happened. And the drops are either the largest year-to-date (new listings) or second-largest (sold listings). "Pendings" are down as well, but not as severely.

They see a trend developing here, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as the market traditionally trends downward starting in late summer. That's because people are getting their kids ready for school or are going back to classes themselves. Inventory is still at insane lows (less than a month's worth of inventory).

Most Boards of Realtors/MLS sites are reporting a slowing in September, from Washington County to northern Utah. Interest rates on home mortgages remain at all-time lows and the Federal Reserve isn't expected to raise rates anytime during these last few months of the year. The stock markets in the U.S. are at the highest they've ever been and there really aren't any indicators that the financial markets are headed to hell in a handbasket. So what does this mean to you?

If you're in the market to shop for a home or condo, now would be a great time to get super serious! You may have a chance to not get in a bidding war on a property or only go up against a few other buyers in an attempt to win a contract. Although homes at entry-level prices are still flying off the MLS in record time, you may be able to discover a gem that has been sitting too long on the market at an inflated price.

Many property owners have dipped their toes in the real estate market this year to see how much buyers are willing to pay for their property. Given that Salt Lake City homes were selling in less than 10 days this summer, a home still on the market after 30 days looks quite suspicious. Savvy buyers who've been paying attention to the MLS feeds ask me, "What's wrong with that house? It's been on the market for three months! Is it broken, or haunted?"

My sage advice to any buyer who hasn't been able to secure a contract this summer is look at properties that have "soured" on the market by sitting there without aggressive pricing and price reductions. Grab your cajones and throw in a low bid and see what bounces back at you. It doesn't cost a dime to make an offer on a home, and who knows, you might just get an accepted contract! (Mind you, if you do get a seller to agree to your terms, you would have to deposit your earnest money within four days of the contract being accepted.)

Back to the bubble—no, it's not bursting. Our markets are slowing because that's normal this time of year when many of us would rather be rooting for the home team on a Saturday or Sunday than out looking at homes to buy.