Real estate • House, condo prices rise as number of units sold declines.
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Prices of homes and condominium sold in Salt Lake County in February continued to show gains, even though the number units sold fell, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors said Thursday.
The median home price in the county increased to $210,000, up 20 percent from $175,000 in February 2012. Almost two of three homes, 64 percent, sold for less than $250,000.
Home prices in the county have risen every month, year over year, since April 2012.
"Strong consumer confidence in Salt Lake's job markets is directly benefiting the housing sector," Dave Frederickson, president of the realtors group, said.
"The biggest obstacle we face is a lack of housing inventory. Limited supply is driving home buyers to build new homes or look at multifamily options," Frederickson said.
Inventories of homes and condos stood at a 15-year low at the end of 2012, the board of realtors has said.
Based on sales trends over the past 12 months, Salt Lake County has a 4.93-month supply of housing inventory. A seller's market, where buyers outnumber sellers, is typically characterized by inventory levels below four months.
The number of single-family homes sold last month totaled 841 units, down 2 percent from 857 units in February 2012. Sales are showing slight declines because of the limited inventory, Frederickson said.
Short sales , where the sale price is less than what is owed on the mortgage, fell, another hint that the real estate market is healing. Short sales accounted for 12 percent of the units sold last month, down from 17 percent a year earlier.