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October marked the fifth consecutive month of slowing home sales for Salt Lake County as edgy buyers scoured one of the slimmest inventories of available properties the Wasatch Front has seen in decades.
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors said sales fell 21% last month from the year before as those scant supplies kept pushing prices up by double digits over their 2020 levels.
That news comes after sales plunged by 17.2% for the Wasatch Front as a whole in the third quarter, which usually brings a seasonal lift to homebuying.
Sales were down in all but 16 of the area’s 86 ZIP codes, compared to the year before, as property listings reached lows.
At the same time, the median price on a single-family home crept up to $542,250, 24% above last year’s prices. For town homes, condominiums and other multifamily units, the median countywide is now at $394,200, up 23%.
All sales combined, the price for any kind of home in Utah’s most populous county was at $477,000, also up 23% from last October.
In a statement Thursday, board President Matt Ulrich pointed to “higher prices and limited inventory,” adding that “multiple offers are commonplace on most properties.”
October’s numbers surface as experts are predicting that the region’s housing market isn’t a bubble and that sharply rising prices won’t be reversing course anytime soon.
Low interest rates, a sharply rebounding state economy and pandemic-driven demand for new living spaces have kept housing demand in Utah at historic highs. Inventories were low before the pandemic — estimates are Utah lacks at least 40,000 affordable dwellings or more — and those supplies have been thin enough since midsummer to pinch sales in a hot market.
Sales from January to October are now down 7% in Salt Lake County, the board said.
Median prices on single-family homes in several Wasatch Front counties climbed above key benchmarks in the third quarter, including Weber County, where they inched over $400,000 and Utah County, now at $500,000.
Salt Lake County’s quarterly median home price was at $550,000 but appeared to edge back slightly in October.