Negative housing headlines should be read with calm or skepticism, not alarm. National housing trends, like the steady rise in home prices and decline in inventory, should certainly be observed with care, but tracking wider economic conditions is also necessary. Buyers want to get into the market, but unlike the rising-price sales environment of ten years ago, people are not diving headlong into risky mortgages or uncomfortable situations. This carefulness should be celebrated, not feared.
New Listings in the state of Utah were down 3.0 percent to 6,328. Pending Sales increased 4.8 percent to 5,131. Inventory shrank 27.6 percent to 12,306 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 6.8 percent to $235,000. Days on Market decreased 18.8 percent to 56. Months Supply of Inventory was down 33.3 percent to 3.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
Employment figures are positive, wages are going up and employers are hiring. Consumers are holding for the right deal, even in the face of extremely low mortgage rates. As seller and builder confidence increases, we should see more activity in Q2 2016. The second quarter tends to rank as the best time to list a home for sale. But if inventory stays low, it will be difficult to sustain sales increases in year-over-year comparisons. Prices are seemingly not so high as to stall the market completely. Demand is present but an abundance of choice is not, and therein lies the rub.
Additional reports, including a Monthly Indicators and Housing Supply Report, may be found on the Utah Association of REALTORS® website, or by clicking HERE.