Wasatch, Summit Counties See Huge Growth In Property Sales
PARK CITY, Utah – As the state keeps a close eye on the growth of the virus, places like Park City are seeing a different kind of growth, at least in part because of the impact the virus has had in cities out-of-state.
“We thought we’d be here maybe a month or two, max,” said Megan and Justin Schultz, after they packed up their car in Los Angeles and headed to Utah with their kids in the spring.
They’ve lived in Los Angeles for nine years and had only planned to get away for a bit because of the impact the virus was having on their community.
“At one point in the spring, they shut down the beaches. The parks were closed,” Megan Schultz said.
“We planned our escape from L.A, and we arrived here in May and we’ve been here ever since,” Justin Schultz said.
Park City has always been a hot spot to visit. But this year, the town has seen a jump in property sales — and many people are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
“It was nice when we got here,” Megan Schultz said. “I felt like we could breathe.”
And their story isn’t unique.
“You’ve got people coming in from all over the country,” said William Winstead, president of the Park City Board of Realtors.
Winstead said Wasatch and Summit counties have already seen more than $2.3 billion in property sales this year, compared to $1.79 billion in all of 2019. When it comes to inventory, they’re at an eight-year low. The area normally carries an inventory of 2,200 homes. They’re down to 1,300.
“We’re getting short on inventory but there are always new listings that will come on,” he said. “So we’ve already almost doubled our sales we did last year and we still have three months. And we have 985 properties under contract. You tell me. Whoever thought this was going to happen?”
Winstead attributes much of the growth to people like the Schultz family, who are leaving bigger cities where COVID-19 has had more of an impact.
“As they realize they can come be here in this outdoor playground and enjoy it and not have to have the hustle and bustle of the city and feel confined, they are coming and staying,” said Kelli Brown, General Manager at Promontory. “I think that if nothing else this has taught us that we can do far more remotely than we ever could before.”
The Schultz moved into what began as their second home in Promontory, a private community with 6,400 acres. The community accounts for 22% of Park City’s July and August home and land real estate spike. They’ve seen more than 165 sales in the community so far in 2020, easily passing the 142 sales in all of 2019.
“I think being here just kind of opened my eyes to the ability to be able to work really wherever I would like to work from,” Justin said.
The Schultz family still own their home in L.A. But with the lasting impact and uncertain future of COVID-19, they and others are content making Utah their home.
“Normal. It feels normal,” they said.
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