Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 13, 2017
Pace of home sales picks up but volume sees decline

Lack of entry-level homes driving current market’s higher prices  

An already fast pace of home sales in Tooele County picked up even faster in the second quarter of 2017, according to data from the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Along with faster sales, prices for homes in Tooele County climbed while a lack of homes to sell caused the number of homes sold to decline in the second quarter, according to local brokers.

The average median days on the market for a home listed for sale in Tooele County during the first quarter of 2017 was 23 days. Local brokers reported at the end of the first quarter that the 23-day average was not indicative of the current market. Some brokers cited examples of homes that sold in less than six days.

Second quarter home sales statistics confirm what local brokers reported at the end of the first quarter: The average cumulative days on the market for a home listed for sale in Tooele County during the second quarter of 2017 was eight days.

“Homes are selling quick because we have more buyers than sellers,” said Faye Hall, president of the Tooele County Board of Realtors and branch broker with Wise Choice Real Estate.

While days on the market were down, the median price of a home sold in Tooele County jumped by 8.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017 to $215,900 from $198,500 in the second quarter of 2016.

Vicki Griffith, broker for Premier Real Estate of Tooele, said low supply and high demand of homes on the market is causing homes to sell fast and driving prices up.

“But it’s a healthy stable growth,” Griffith said. “Prices are rising slowly in a sustainable pattern.”

Both Hall and Griffith agree that the market shortage is in the lower price end, the range of homes for first-time buyers.

“Anything below $200,000 to $220,000 gets snatched up real fast,” Hall said.

While the homes that are for sale are selling fast and for more money, the number of homes sold has slowed down.

The number of homes sold in Tooele County during the second quarter of 2017 was 380, down 13.6 percent from 440 in the second quarter of 2016.

The reason is simple, according to Hall.

“We can’t sell homes if we don’t have homes to sell,” she said.

The current market is good for buyers, as well as giving owners a chance to build equity as home values go up, according to Hall.

Griffith said the homebuyers she is seeing are a mix of people moving into Tooele County and Tooele County homeowners who are moving up to a larger home.

“Interest rates are still low and there are some good loan programs out there,” Griffith said. “It’s a good time to buy.”

According to Hall, word of mouth advertising is bringing people to Tooele County.

“We’re seeing a lot of referrals,” she said. “People are coming out here, buying a home, and telling their friends that they are happy out here.”

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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