Navigating the Housing Shortage

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice, Update

Utah is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. While that’s great news, it also means it’s a challenge for the supply of homes to keep up with the demand. There’s a housing shortage, and affordability is a big concern for those wanting to buy. A recent Associated Press study analyzed five years of data and found there’s a growing shortage of affordable housing in the Beehive State. Utah has reached the 3 million population mark and has one of the best economies in the nation, yet that growth has pushed up prices and limited the number of homes for sale. There was a five-year decline in housing inventory between 2012 and 2017. In Salt Lake City, the drop …

Tips for Winning in a Seller’s Market

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice, Update

If you’ve been shopping for a home, you know it’s a seller’s market. Home prices are rising, the number of houses for sale is declining and properties are selling very quickly. In Weber County, the median sales price increased substantially in February — up 19 percent from last year to $200,000. In Davis County, prices rose 11 percent — an increase of nearly $25,000 from the median in 2016. The same conditions prevailed in Morgan County where prices were up and buyers had fewer housing choices. The current environment is the result of a housing shortage. In fact, the Kem Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah finds the number of new Utah households is now growing faster than …

Study: Ogden Tops Utah for Housing Affordability

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice

If you’ve been struggling to find an affordable home, consider house-hunting in Northern Utah. Recently, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) named Ogden-Clearfield as Utah’s most affordable metro area for buying a home. The Ogden-Clearfield metro, which includes Box Elder, Davis, Morgan and Weber counties, also ranked fourth-best regionally and No. 37 nationally among more than 200 metro areas studied. Even with some price increases, nearly 84 percent of new and existing homes sold between October and December were affordable to families making the area income of $73,000. That’s according to NAHB’s fourth quarter 2016 Housing Opportunity Index. In Utah’s other metro areas, affordability isn’t quite as favorable but still outperforms the U.S. average. In Salt Lake, about 71 …

The risks of selling and buying on your own

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice

In a world where Pinterest, online videos and specialty blogs encourage you to try any number of projects, it’s easy to think you’re up to any do-it-yourself challenge. While some projects are low-risk, like trying a new recipe, others, like shingling your roof, can cause serious problems if done without the proper expertise. Buying and selling a home are activities that fall into the latter category. Without the experience of a real estate agent who knows your neighborhood, you risk losing thousands of dollars. Or you could find yourself in a lawsuit because you didn’t understand your legal responsibilities. Here are just a few of the costly mistakes that “do-it-yourselfers” risk making:   Buyers Paying too much Just because a …

What will higher interest rates mean for home buyers?

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice

With the recent jump in mortgage rates, some would-be home buyers are wondering what the higher rates will mean for their purchasing prospects. Throughout 2016 rates on 30-year mortgages have remained under 4 percent or even 3.5 percent. In the remaining weeks of the year, however, rates on 30-year mortgages have steadily increased into the 4 percent range. With an improving economy, experts tell home buyers to expect above 4 percent to be the new normal. Inflation is on the rise and with it long-term interest rates are likely headed up. In fact, the Federal Reserve recently raised the all-important federal funds rate at its December meeting and likely will increase the rate several more times in 2017. While the …