Utah home sales were up for the sixth consecutive month in November, rising more than ten percent, according to the UAR’s newest report. During November, Utah Realtors sold nearly two hundred fifty more homes than last year.
Sales were also up for the year as a whole, rising eight percent compared to the first eleven months of 2010. Since the beginning of the year, more than thirty thousand homes have been sold.
The sales increases should continue in coming months. The number of purchase contracts signed rose thirty-one percent in November. Pending sales measure future activity and have increased for seven consecutive months.
Inventory continued to decline in November, with levels down twenty-three percent. Inventory has been falling for a year, with November marking the fewest number of homes on the market since April 2007.
Contributing to the lower inventory was the fact that fewer homes were put up for sale. The number of new listings was down about twelve percent. About five hundred fewer homes went on the market this year versus last.
Houses were also absorbed faster. In November, it would have taken less than eight months to sell all of the homes on the market at the average sales pace. That’s significantly down from last year when there was an eleven-month supply. Month’s supply has not been lower since 2007.
Nevertheless, price improvements still lagged behind the progress made in other areas. The median sales price was one hundred seventy thousand dollars, down about nine percent from last November’s median. For the year as a whole, prices are down about eight percent.
Those prices combined with another month of low interest rates brought affordability close to the record high. The typical Utah family makes one hundred sixty-seven percent of what is needed to buy the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. The record was set in September when affordability was just slightly higher.