Short supply and high demand for homes in Tooele County continued to increase prices during the first quarter of the year, according to local real estate agents.
“It’s a seller’s market,” said Chris Sloan, broker for Group 1 Real Estate Tooele. “We’re down to less than a six-month supply of homes, which is a low supply.”
The median price of a home sold in Tooele County during the first quarter of 2013 was $149,950 compared to $143,900 for the first quarter of 2012 — a 4.2 percent increase.
“That’s a good sustainable increase,” said Vicki Griffith, broker for Prudential Utah Real Estate Tooele. “It’s not too high, but a good increase.”
This is the fifth consecutive quarter that the median sales price of a home in Tooele County increased over the same quarter in the previous year, according to statistics from the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The total number of homes sold in the county also increased in the first quarter.
First quarter homes sales reached 168 in 2013 compared to 148 in the first quarter of 2012 — a 13.5 percent increase.
The amount of time homes stay on the market has been cut in half from a year ago.
In the first quarter of 2013 the average time on the market for a home in Tooele County was 43 days compared to 87 days in the first quarter of 2012 — a 50.5 percent decrease.
The decrease in time on the market is due to fewer and faster short sales along with increased demand, according to Griffith.
Tooele County real estate agents see the first quarter of 2013 as a continuation of the market recovery of 2012.
The real estate market in the county improved in 2012 following a four-year trend of decline.
The median price of a home in 2012 rose by 12.6 percent over 2011 while the number of homes sold increased in 2012 by 6.9 percent over 2011.
The average number of days a home stayed on the market before selling declined 44 percent, from 88 days in 2011 to 49 days in 2012.
The average days on the market peeked at a high of 159 days in October 2011.
Sloan expects sales to continue to increase in the next quarter as buyers try to close on homes before a USDA program that provides a no-down payment and no mortgage insurance expires for homes in Tooele City on September 30.
The rate of growth in the market the last five months has been a steady one that is sustainable, according to Griffith.
“It looks like the market has settled down and sales are coming back to more of a normal pattern,” she said.