Utah’s median home price rises to $500k despite high mortgage rates

Jun 14, 2024, 5:30 PM | Updated: 6:27 pm

Utah’s home prices are going up – again.

After falling slightly due to spiking mortgage rates, the median housing price in the Beehive state reached $500,000 in April, according to the latest data from the Utah Association of Realtors.

Prices are rising even though mortgage rates remain stubbornly high.

April 2024 local market update.

April 2024 local market update. (Utah Association of Realtors)

“Housing prices turned out to be really sticky,” said Jim Wood, a housing analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute who has studied the market for 50 years. “What we’re seeing, I think, now is the real estate market adjusting to higher interest rates.”

The half-million-dollar median price in Utah is for all housing types – single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums – and is 4.2% higher than April 2023.

The last time Utah’s statewide median price was this high was in August 2022, said Dejan Eskic, who also analyzes the housing market at the Gardner Institute.

Jim Wood, a housing analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

Jim Wood, a housing analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. (KSL TV)

Meanwhile, mortgage rates are hovering around 7%, according to Mortgage News Daily.

“This is the new normal,” Wood said. “Rates are going to be a little bit higher.”

Ryan Barrett decided to buy a house despite the higher rates. The Salt Lake City attorney searched for years for the right place. He found one near Liberty Park and is set to close at the end of the month.

“I want to have a house that’s mine,” Barrett said. “I want to be able to make it mine and decorate it the way I want to.”

But the market wasn’t easy.

“It’s more than I wanted to spend, that’s for sure,” Barrett said.

Ryan Barrett, a Salt Lake City attorney who is still trying to find the right place to buy in Salt Lake City.

Ryan Barrett, a Salt Lake City attorney who recently found a home to buy after years of searching. (KSL TV)

Demand for housing in Utah is expected to remain very strong. Absent a major recession, Wood said, prices likely won’t fall.

For buyers who can afford it, he said, “my advice would be to get in now.”

That’s what Barrett did.

“I think it’s a good financial decision,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it might not be, and I don’t care.”

Barrett hopes to refinance later if rates fall.

“If they don’t, I know what I have to pay,” he said, “and it works out.”

Home prices in Utah vary by county. Housing is most expensive in Summit and Wasatch counties, where the median prices are over $1 million, according to the data.

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Utah’s median home price rises to $500k despite high mortgage rates