Home prices and sales in Tooele County rose for the fourth consecutive year during the first quarter of 2014, bucking a regional and national trend for a softer housing market in the first quarter of 2014.
In the first three months of 2014 there were 213 single family homes sold in Tooele County compared to 160 sold during the first quarter of 2013 for an increase of 53 homes or 33.1 percent, according to statistics from the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The Wasatch Front MLS also reported the median sale price of a home in Tooele County jumped during the same time period from $154,250 to $166,390, a $12,140 or 7.9 percent increase.
“That slow steady increase is a good sign the market is stable,” said Vicki Griffith, broker for Premier Utah Real Estate in Tooele. “This is normal growth and it is good growth.”
The National Association of Realtors reported a .2 percent decrease in sales of existing homes for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported a 4 percent decline in the sale of single-family homes for the first quarter of 2013 in Salt Lake County.
“The dip in home sales is a reflection of higher home prices,” said Angie Domichel Nelden, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, in a prepared statement. “The median home price in this year’s first quarter increased to $245,000, a 29 percent rise compared to a median price of $190,000 two years ago. Higher home prices have made home buying less affordable.”
Tooele County’s median home price increased 7.7 percent during the same two-year time period, a much more reasonable increase, according to Chris Sloan, broker for Group 1 Real Estate Tooele.
“The almost eight percent increase is very sustainable and I don’t think we need to worry about another bubble,” he said.
Tooele continues to do better than other areas because it is a better market, according to Sloan.
“We have a great quality of life, plenty of room for growth, and buyers get more for their dollar out here,” he said.
Griffith agrees with Sloan.
“We’re still seeing a lot of buyers from Salt Lake coming out here because our home prices are better but we are close enough to commute to work in Salt Lake,” she said.
Griffith attributes the slow steady increase in both home sales and prices to a healthy balance between buyers and sellers.
“People that waited to sell their homes because prices were low are now putting their homes on the market, while people that waited to buy because getting credit was hard are now able to get credit,” she said. “The result is more homes on the market, but also more buyers.”