Home prices along the Wasatch Front slowed some at the end of 2019, following recent years of steady growth. That was likely a temporary lull, though, as experts expect home prices to climb this year.
Salt Lake County’s median price for an existing single-family home closed the year at $378,000, higher than the same time in 2018 but down from a high of $381,500 reached over the summer of 2019, according to a report from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.
Median prices for the same period — October, November and December — in Weber County also inched down from their summer highs, closing the year at $271,200 compared to $277,500 earlier in 2019.
In contrast, prices in Davis, Tooele and Utah counties all moved higher throughout the year, the report said.
Forecasters now project Salt Lake County’s median price will rise to $400,000 sometime in 2020.
"It's going to go higher, just because demand is there," said Dave Anderton, spokesman for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, which covers the five-county area.
Utah economists say that with the state’s population growth — driven both by the state’s relatively high fertility rate as well as people moving here — housing demand continues to outstrip supply, which leads to rising prices.
High prices appeared to dampen sales of both existing single-family homes and condominiums in Salt Lake County in 2019, with both down from their 2018 levels. But sales in both categories were up across the other four counties for the year, making it the fourth best year for home sales overall since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.
Condos and town homes — considered a bargain option for some buyers — accounted for more than 1 in 4 of all sales in 2019, the highest share on record.
The median price for a condo on the Wasatch Front now ranges between $215,000 in Weber County and $278,700 in Salt Lake County.
In a further sign of slowing, the average number of days a home stayed on the market rose in all five counties in the last quarter of 2019. That average duration now stands at between 43 days in Davis County and 55 days in Utah County.
Homes in ZIP codes with the highest prices along the Wasatch Front all rose higher in the fourth quarter compared to the year before.
In Utah County, the community of Alpine (84004) saw price gains of 30.3% year over year, pushing the median price there to $752,500.
Salt Lake County's most expensive ZIP code is 84108, spanning Emigration Canyon, where the median home prices rose to $646,500 in the fourth quarter. Close behind is 84103, covering Capitol Hill, The Avenues, Federal Heights and the University of Utah, where the median price is now at $644,000.
Homes in Weber County’s community of Eden (84310) — that county’s priciest ZIP code — now have a median price of $578,000.
In Davis County, the most expensive area is Farmington (84025) with a median of $455,000 and for Tooele County, the top-priced area was Stockton (84071), with a median of $412,500.