The number of single-family homes sold in Salt Lake County in the October-November-December period was up 10.7 percent over 2011, to 2,628, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors said in releasing its quarterly report for the five-county area that stretches from Ogden to Provo.
The median sales price increased to $223,000 in the fourth quarter, up 14 percent from $195,000 the previous year. After dozens of months of falling or stagnant prices tied the economic downturn, prices have now risen every month year-over-year since April 2012, according to the board.
"In spite of rising home prices, housing affordability is at near record levels," Dave Frederickson, president of the Realtors board, said in a statement. "In 2012, the median sales price of a single-family home was up 6 percent, but 80 percent of homes sold in 2012 were affordable to families earning the median income level."
More people purchased single-family homes (192 sales) in the Kearns area (ZIP code 84118) in the fourth quarter than in any other area along the Wasatch Front. Clearfield (84015) ranked No. 2 at 179 and Farr West No. 3 at 170.
Condominium sales also showed gains, rising to 540 units in the fourth quarter, up 14 percent from 2011. However, the median condominium price fell 0.51 percent, to $145,750, down from $146,500 a year ago.
Economist Wood said construction of single-family homes has increased even more, up more than 30 percent from last year, but he noted that the sector had fallen much further than others during the Great Recession.