Low interest rates and record numbers of people relocating means real estate sales exploded this past year, making 2020 the best year on record for Park City.
Many of the trends that started in 2020 have continued into 2021. Right now, it is a seller’s market. Inventory is low, with only about a fifth of homes usually listed on the market at this time.
Low Inventory, High Sales
Park City Board of Realtors’ Executive Director Jamie Johnson said even with low inventory, the pending sales for 2021 so far are higher than last year.
“Inventory is actually a little higher in numbers or how many new listings we had compared to this time last year,” Johnson said. “It’s just that pendings are higher, so they’re going off the market quicker.”
The first-quarter sales numbers are already up more than 50% over last year. Jacobsen said if inventories remain high enough, it could be another record-breaking year in real estate sales.
“For Park City proper right now, we’re up 55%,” he said. “Our median price is $2,050,000. Our sales volume is up 163%, and our average is up 35%.”
“We always have people that are downsizing,” he said. “Right now, they’re looking at what they can make on their property, but they can’t find a place to go. So, everything is moving outward. We have kind of the wheel effect where we’re in the hub of Park City, and everything is moving out towards Heber and Jordanelle. Sky Ridge has been selling tons and tons of lots. And we’re starting to see the houses go up over there. So, it’s nice to see the developments there that are helping us push out.”
A Housing Shortage?
Added to the heated real estate market is a housing shortage in the entire state of Utah. The Park City Board of Realtors has begun conversations with Park City and Summit County on affordable housing challenges. They have recently completed a phone survey and plan to meet with housing authorities in May.
It’s an issue that’s worrying a staggering 8 out of 10 Utah residents — and one that reaches well beyond Utah to other states in the West.
This isn’t just happening in Park City – it’s happening all over the state. Just nearby, the Salt Lake City metro area is a contender for having the No. 1 housing market in the West, competing with other burgeoning regions like Boise, Idaho.
Adding more pain are record-high lumber prices, which are dragging homebuyers of new homes to the woodshed with a nearly 400% hike in the essential component for homebuilding just in the past year.
The frenzy of home buying and renovation activity in Utah and around the country, driven by consumers throwing off the shackles of pandemic-induced home isolation, has skewed the market and led to price increases that, as of April, were 374% higher than the same time last year.
So What Can You Do as A Buyer or Seller?
But what should potential home buyers and home sellers do with this info? The answer is not so simple. For home buyers, you may want to expand your list of houses and make more offers than usual on the homes you are looking to buy. Other tips include:
- Don’t automatically pass up properties that need cosmetic repairs. Most buyers want a turn-key home. If you’re willing to do a little work to upgrade the house, you may find the home of your dreams.
- You must be pre-approved by a mortgage lender. Not just “pre-qualified.” Your loan must be approved and ready to close as soon as you pick a property.
- Do not submit a contract with any contingencies. In a buyer’s market, selling a current home is a typical closing contingency. It won’t work in a hot seller’s market.
- Being responsive is critical. Work with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional.
- Ask your friends and family and see if they know of any homes about to go on the market. Be first in line.
- Some sellers are very emotional about selling. Sometimes having your realtor relay how much you love the property or how well you plan on taking care of it can tip the seller your way.
If you are a seller or a potential seller, you must consider the state of the housing market. Right now is a hot seller’s market, and many buyers are offering above asking prices to secure a home. This leaves you plenty of room to negotiate.
But it’s still important to price your home correctly to assure you have the best leverage to sell your house quickly. A stagnating home on the market looks bad and will often hurt the bottom line. Let an experienced real estate agent help you find the sweet spot.
Still, to get the very best price, make sure you take the proper steps with your real estate professional to get your house ready for showing, either virtually or in person. Something as simple as a few things out of place or an overlooked repair can have a detrimental effect on your sales price.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is crucial to keep in mind the state of the housing market as you make your change. Moving can be a traumatic experience if not handled correctly: it’s essential to have someone in your corner. For all of your Park City real estate needs, consider using Jensen and Company today.