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2010-04-19 13:54:25
Utah's housing market: Good time for buyers, but f

Utah's housing market: Good time for buyers, but for how long?

In deals involving short sales, bank-owned and other right-priced listings, local agents are usually fielding multiple offers. Activity remains sluggish across the remainder of the retail market, although there may be early signs that things are starting to stir there, as well.

The median price of a single-family home in the Salt Lake Valley has fallen to $219,000 — down $37,000 from the peak, according to Dave Anderton, communications director for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. The good news is that correlates with more homes being sold. Anderton said more than 5,200 homes and condominiums were sold during the six months between Oct. 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, compared to less than 4,000 for the same six-month period in 2008-09 — a 31 percent increase.

But the next time someone tries to make the argument that recent plunges in price are an aberration, you might want to cover your ears as chances are that the real aberration was the jaw-dropping run-ups in valuations over the past decade. Despite strongly trending downward of late, the median price of a single-family home in Salt Lake County still stands $45,000 higher than what it did at the start of 2005.

Salt Lake County condominium prices, meanwhile, have shown surprising resilience in holding on to their gains. The median condo in Salt Lake County sold for $150,000 in each of the past two quarters, down from a peak of $162,000 midway through 2009.

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