Utah home prices fall after nearly 11 years of increases

Mar 24, 2023, 8:17 PM | Updated: 8:21 pm

SANDY, Utah — The Utah Association of Realtors reports that after 129 months of price increases, January marked the first, year-over-year decline in statewide home prices. And in February, prices dropped again.

“Home prices are down,” said Deanna Devey, the association’s director of communications. “That’s good because affordability has really been an issue for buyers.”

The median sales price in Utah was $464,000 in February, according to the realtor group’s monthly report. That’s a 7.6% decline from last February’s median sales price of $502,000.

Utah home prices reached their peak of nearly $540,000 in May of 2022.

(Utah Association of Realtors)

Even with prices turning a corner, Devey said that prices are still “sticky.”

“Prices are sticky because the inventory is still low,” she said.

New listings last month dropped by more than 18% and were at their lowest level since the association started keeping records more than 15 years ago.

Devey said sellers appear reluctant to put their homes on the market.

“There are a lot of people who don’t want to move because they want to keep their low interest rate,” she said.

When it comes to how long houses are sitting on the market until an offer is accepted, the report said the average number of days increased to 67 in February. The previous February, it only took an average of 28 days for a home to go under contract.

“Sellers have been increasingly cutting prices and offering sales incentives in an attempt to attract buyers, who have continued to struggle with affordability challenges this winter,” the report said.

People looking to buy a home have more bargaining power right now, Devey said.

“The top concession that we’re seeing: interest rate buy-downs,” she said. “The market has a lot of opportunities in it. You just need to dig a little bit more into what’s happening to learn what those are.”

She said other common concessions are sellers paying for repairs and homeowner association transfer fees. She also said contingencies are back in the buying process, which had largely gone away during the buying frenzy.

“We saw people waiving their right to an appraisal. We saw people waiving their right to an inspection,” Devey said of the pandemic-era housing market. “We saw all-cash buyers so they weren’t using a financing contingency.”

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Utah home prices fall after nearly 11 years of increases