What’s Happening in the Wasatch Market During COVID-19?
Since Governor Herbert declared a State of Emergency for Utah in early March:
• 4,195 homes became active.
• 5,294 have moved into under contract statuses.
• 5,601 have sold.
Active listings are down 22.5% year-over-year.
• 8,370 beginning January 1st, 2019.
• 6,493 beginning January 1st, 2020.
Under contract listings are actually up about 12% over this time period last year. Buyers are more willing to buy now as they are taking advantage of 60-year lows on interest rates. If there were more inventory, we’d have more sales. For perspective, the average interest rate for the last 44 years is about 8.3%, we’re currently in the low to mid 3% range. Let’s call that a 5% variance from the average. Every percentage point the interest rate goes up on a 30-year mortgage, the cost of owning your home goes up by 10%. So we’re 50% lower on home costs than average.
Why the lack of listings? Most sellers are waiting for the dust to settle. While this is a prime opportunity for sellers to maximize their sales price, most sellers are unsure of what the market is doing. Based on our conversations with sellers, many assume the market is dropping. In fact, prices have not given up any ground. Others are concerned about the safety of selling their home during COVID times.
The Stern Team has a modified Safe Seller Program that helps to alleviate those concerns.
• We’re doing 24-hour virtual open houses.
• Any in-home visits require gloves, booties, and hand sanitizer for each and every showing.
• Additionally, we have the sellers leave all the lights on and all the doors open to ensure fewer surfaces are touched. Only one group of buyers in the home at one time.