In April, Utah Realtors sold nearly twenty‐seven hundred homes, a nineteen percent drop from last year. The numbers, however, look lower than they otherwise might because they are compared to a period of higher‐than‐normal sales. Last year, buyers had to sign contracts by the end of April to qualify for a home buyer tax credit. Compared to two years ago, however, April sales were up ten percent. Realtors should expect at least one more month of exaggerated comparisons since many tax credit sales were still being finalized last May.
Like Utah, April U.S. sales were also down from last year’s elevated pace. The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said U.S. sales should be stronger based on affordability, new jobs and pent‐up demand. However, tight credit and low appraisals are holding back the market. He said sales could be twenty percent higher if lending standards weren’t overly restrictive.
Like last month, the best news from Utah’s April report was the continued decline in inventory. The number of homes on the market was down fourteen percent from last year. Inventory levels remain at mid two thousand seven levels. It would now take ten months to sell the entire supply of inventory at the current sales pace. Nationally, the month’s supply of inventory is at about nine months, but many areas in Utah are beating that.
Sales were highest in the very low and very high price ranges. In Utah, single‐family sales were up twenty‐two‐and‐a‐half percent for homes under one‐hundred‐and‐fifty thousand. Single‐family homes priced above seven‐hundred‐and‐fifty thousand were up six percent.