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Home prices increase in Salt Lake City during the pandemic

File Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Buyers always want the best deal they can get when purchasing a new home.  And sellers always want the highest price they can get.  But the pandemic appears to be widening the gap on home prices in Utah.

When the coronavirus first shut down businesses and activity across the country, many sellers took their homes off the market.  Francesca Ortegren, data scientist with Clever Real Estate, says that led to more buyers than available homes and kept prices from falling.

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More than 14% of available homes were pending in early May, compared to only 5% by mid-June. Source(s): Clever Real Estate calculations of Redfin.com data

Then, in mid-May, as Utah began re-opening from coronavirus restrictions, home sellers began relisting at prices $30,000 higher, on average, than before the pandemic, which led to fewer buyers making offers.

Only 5% of homes on the market in the Salt Lake City/Provo/Orem metro area went under contract in June.  That’s down from nearly fifteen percent in mid-May.

This trend is reversed throughout much of the rest of the nation.  Where there are fewer houses and more buyers, driving up the percentage of homes sold.

“As a second wave of shutdowns is happening,” said Ortegren “I think we’re going to see a similar pattern moving forward.”

Some cities will begin to see lower home sales and others will increase.  Right now, the Salt Lake Metro area has the second biggest drop in home sales of all cities nationwide. That puts the market just behind Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ortegren said “expect to see many more people pull their homes off the market, especially in places like Arizona, Texas and Florida where coronovirus cases are rising.”