The Shortage of Home Inventory in Salt Lake County

There is a shortage of home inventory Salt Lake County….. Today, looking at the inventory of homes and condos for sale there are 4267 units. Also today, there are 2248 home and condo units Under Contract. A rule of thumb to measure the health of the market is supply and demand. Supply and Demand is snapshot of the current market and how long would take to absorb the current inventory. A healthy market will have an absorption of 5 to 6 months of inventory. This supply and demand ratios keeps prices in check. If there is not enough inventory for the number of buyers, prices will increase. If there is a glut of inventory and not many buyers, prices will decrease. See chart below.



Based on the figures I gave you about the snapshot of todays market, we have approximately 2 months of inventory! This is at the extremely low range of the spectrum, which has and will cause extreme upward pressures on home prices. The chart below come from the National Association of Realtors for May of 2013. This reflects a national trend. 

So what does this mean for a buyer or a seller, and what is expected in the coming months? Today, the sellers have the upper hand in the negotiations process. There will be little, if any room for a buyer to negotiate in price. There will most likely be multiple offers on the same home. The only thing that is keeping home prices from heading back to pre-bubble prices is the role of Appraisers and banks. They allow certain appreciation levels on sold comparable properties, so we are seeing small steps in appreciation based on what banks will allow. The second reason, that will play a larger role, is the negative equity home owner. The current negative equity loan count from Fannie May for April of 2013 is approximately 10,400,000 units. These are homes that are essentially locked up from the market pool because buyers are waiting for the market to improve before they even think of selling. So as prices appreciate, more and more of these homeowners will start putting there homes on the market. This should ease the upward pressure as time goes by. 

Currently, in Salt Lake County, the negative equity is approximately 25% according to Zillow. See the interactive map below for other counties along the Wasatch front. When will this negative equity number be absorbed? Experts don't have a timeframe, and only say that the inventory in dwindling monthly. So stay tune for more updates as we see changes in our local market…. I will report it here.


Posted on August 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: home appreciation, home ownership, Market Conditions, Salt Lake Real Estate, statistics | Tagged , , ,

Did You Miss the Housing Price Bottom in Salt Lake City?

The news lately has been filled with housing price appreciation… With all the numbers flying around it's hard for the average person to make sense of what this all means. How does this affect me?! There are a few of scenarios you need to understand. First, is year over year price appreciation, second, price appreciation from the bottom, third, the number of units sold and lastly, prices as compared to the top of the market.

If you've been following the news, just about every week there are articles about how prices are up. A lot of these numbers are year over year appreciation for a particular month, say June, compared to June of the previous year. They also like to throw in the number of units sold, this is the number of units sold year over year, or sometimes month over month. If you don't read the article carefully, these numbers can be very confusing and misleading. 

The following chart shows the median price of a home at the top of the market in Salt Lake City only. It shows the median home price at the peak of the market at $223,751. Four years later in 2011 we saw the lowest median price of $177,204. (these numbers are year over year starting in January and ending in December, except 2013 which will be year to date, June). A price drop of 20%. Some parts of Salt Lake County experienced closer to a 40% price drop, mostly newer construction south and west of the city center. See chart below.

Something I want to point out in this chart is where housing prices are so far in 2013. They are 10% lower than they were at the peak. 

Below is an example comparing the number of housing units sold. This graph shows that the peak of the number of units sold was in 2005. A full 2 years before we started to see the housing prices start to fall. As you can see there was a 48 percent drop in the number of units sold, NOT price change…. this is big difference.

I also want to show you how housing prices in other parts of the country compare to Salt Lake City's. The following charts show the 20 city Case Shiller index. As you can see, every single city is still below their peak home prices, even though some have experienced over 20% appreciation!


Here is a map of the 20 city index for better visual comparison on which parts of the country are fairing better.


So, the question in the title of this blog is did you miss the housing price bottom? Yes you did…. The good news is that the market is far below the peak prices we saw back in '06 and '07. Should you be considering purchasing if you have been on the sidelines waiting? That depends on your situation, and only YOUR situation.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below…. What's the best situation for you now? Call or email me and we can schedule an appointment to review what is best for you.


Posted on August 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: home appreciation, Home Buying, Market Conditions, statistics | Tagged , , , , ,

Salt Lake County Real Estate Stats for November 2008

Salt Lake County
Image via Wikipedia

What happened to real estate sales for November 2008 in Salt Lake County?

According to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, the number of homes and condominiums (units) sold in November 2008 was 576 units. In November of 2007 there were 924 units sold, that’s a decrease of 38%. Another statistic to note was that median price INCREASED by 4% to $229,900 from $221,300 in ’07.

How can home prices be going up when all the indicators, and may cities home values, are going down?  Well, most of the homes sold, 75%, were under the $300,000 price point, only 10% of the homes sold were above $500,000. The big difference between this year and last year is that interest rates last year were a full 1% higher. Usually when interest rate go down, people can afford more, so they usually purchase a more expensive house. Plus when interest rates are lower more people can afford to buy, so you see more entry level buyers come into the market, thus the large margin of home buyer’s in the entry level price range. When interest rates rise, people can afford less, and there are less buyer’s in the buyer pool, so more inventory means prices tend to go down.

It also might mean that prices in Salt Lake County have stabilized and may start to rise. It also might be temporary, prices should stabilize, then rise for a period of 4 to 6 months before we can claim victory over declining home prices. See my post on when it is a good time to buy to learn more about if you should wait.

What are your thoughts?

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Posted on January 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, home appreciation, home ownership, Market Conditions, Real Estate, Salt Lake Real Estate, Seller's | Tagged , , , , ,

Home Ownership; Good in Any Market?!


photo by shutter stock

photo by shutter stock


home is a place of residence or refuge.[1] It is usually a place in which an individual or a family canrest and be able to store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food.  Wikipedia 


Where does it say that a home has to make its owner a bazillion dollars OR is of no use in a declining market? With all the talk these days about the housing bubble and home values, to buy or not to buy, I want to look at the issue from another angle.

People NEED a place to live, shelters from the weather, a place to raise a family, to store their things, create memories. There are 2 options; you are either the owner of your domicile, or a renter/tenant of your domicile.  Why own? First, it cost less to own than rent. Second, payments stay the same monthly (fixed rate over 15 or 30 years) eventually the mortgage is paid off. Third, the tax benefits from owning. Finally, after it is paid, there is a nice little nest egg, and even if it’s worth nothing, you have a place to live!

Let’s look at the last few years and why people are in such a huff over the real estate market. Without going into the details of what and why we had a real estate bubble (there are hundreds of articles out there to read), prices have fallen drastically in some markets of the country, BUT NOT ALL markets! Yes if you purchase 2 years ago and HAVE to sell now, you could loose money. But how many people have to do this? Don’t most people live in their homes at least 5 to 7 years? The problem with the last few years is that some people where caught up in the lure of rising prices and speculation, the upward spiral continued to feed on itself. The mantra for home ownership became, how much can I make on my home? And should I buy 2 more?  But is this what home ownership is all about? For some, yes, for investors, for sure, but for most people, no way!  Owning a home is about shelter, raising a family, security from the weather and the world? Why hasn’t this been the mantra of late? How can we bring this mantra back?

We bring it back by talking about all the reason for home ownership; what are the basic tenets of home. Reinforce the definition of HOME at the beginning of this blog, ask the question, where are you going to live and why would you wait to buy home? Taking this basic premise of home ownership, is it good to own in any market? Must you make money on your home every year? Is the requisite for home ownership to turn a profit?

I would like to take this opportunity, the beginning of the New Year, 2009, to educate and change the mantra of what it means to be a homeowner. Show that it is good to buy a home almost anytime.

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Posted on January 1, 2009 at 9:08 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: home appreciation, home ownership, Market Conditions, Park City, Real Estate, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Real Estate, Seller's, Utah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pending Home Sales Down Slightly in September

MIAMI - APRIL 08:  A for sale sign stands in f...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Daily Real Estate News | November 1, 2006

Home sales are expected to hold fairly steady in the months ahead, according to the latest reading on pending home sales published by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in September, slipped 1.1 percent to a level of 109.1, following a 4.7 percent gain in August. The index remains 13.6 percent below September 2005.

The index shows home sales will not be moving much in one direction or another, says David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist. “The present level of home sales is relatively high in historic terms, and we can expect generally minor movements around this level,” he says. “We don’t expect to see any changes of note until early next year when we’re likely to see a modest lift.”

The market currently is a little lower than expected as buyers try to time their entry, Lereah adds. “In the meantime, there’s some build-up in demand that will move when consumers realize that conditions are optimal for them.”

The index is derived from pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed and the transaction has not closed; pending sales typically are finalized within one or two months of signing.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be examined and the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales. There is a closer relationship between annual changes in the index and year-ago changes in sales performance than with month-to-month comparisons.

Regionally, the Pending Home Sales Index in the Midwest rose 2.1 percent in September to 96.4 but was 18.4 percent below September 2005. The index in the West slipped 0.4 percent to 112.5 in September and was 15.2 percent below a year ago. In the South, the index eased 1.3 percent in September to 125.0 and was 9.0 percent below September 2005. The index in the Northeast fell 5.9 percent to 89.9 in September and was 15.9 percent lower than a year earlier.

— REALTOR® Magazine Online

Content is copyrighted by NAR and is reproduced with NAR permission

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Posted on November 1, 2006 at 6:58 pm
Marvin Jensen | Category: Buyer, home appreciation, Market Conditions | Tagged , , , ,