In August, statewide home sales rose twenty-three-and-a-half percent. Utah Realtors sold nearly three thousand homes, townhomes and condominiums compared to about twenty-four hundred sold last August.
While the percentage increase may be higher than it otherwise would be because sales dropped off after the expiration of last year’s tax credit, the report shows many signs of life.
In fact, sales are on track to exceed the number of properties sold during 2010. For the first eight months of the year, Utah Realtors sold about three hundred-fifty more homes than they sold during the same period in 2010.
The number of contracts signed suggests the improvement will continue. Pending sales, which is a leading indicator, were up about thirty percent in August. More than thirty-two hundred contracts were signed to buy homes. This is the highest level since July 2007, excluding the tax credit months of March and April 2010.
Another indicator that saw improvement was inventory. The number of homes on the market fell more than nineteen percent compared to last August. There have not been fewer properties on the market since May 2007.
The month’s supply of inventory also dropped to nine-and-a-half months. Inventory in August was absorbed at its quickest rate since February 2008.
Sellers also sold their homes faster in August. This year it took an average of eighty-eight days to sell a home, compared to ninety-four days last year. This is the third consecutive month the days on market indicator has fallen.
Affordability continued to set records as mortgage rates fell. The UAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose nearly nine percent to one hundred sixty-one. The index has never been this high since the UAR started tracking it in 2006.
The median price of homes sold in August was $175,000, down ten percent compared to August 2010. However, the median price has hovered around $175,000 since January.