More residents flock to Salt Lake City improving market

Salt Lake City has it all for adventurers attracted to city living. The landscape is just as diverse as the people that reside in the city, which averages fairly mild weather all year round. Tucked in the mountain valley Salt Lake City is surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains to the east and north and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. Nearby national parks are quick destinations for an afternoon hike or bike ride with unmatched views of the cityscape. In the winter months, ski and snowboard resorts are just minutes away, as are year-round river adventures and wildlife tours.

It’s no wonder real estate in Salt Lake City is in high demand making now the best time to settle into a home in the area for in the past five years. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, mortgage interest rates are at record lows, which translates directly from the rising house prices. The second quarter of 2007 was the last time the median price of homes rose, maxing out at $256,000.

The rate of foreclosures has also decreased, and short sales are turning over much quicker with low interest rates because buyers are more confident with the rates and sellers are accepting offers below the asking price.

Single-family homes sold between April and May this year increased by 12 percent over last year totaling 2,954 homes. The length of a home being on the market has decreased as well. Last year, the average single-family home was on the market for 122 days, this year’s average is 99.

One real estate expert, DeAnna Dippo, said the state is seeing an influx in migration and the job market is growing. But because of this, the number of homes for sale is declining and the high demand is driving the prices up. However, Kimberlee Casaday, the president of residential lending for Zions Bank in SLC said they have experienced a 30 percent increase in loan applications over last year.

"Home prices have retreated back to 2002-2003 levels and because of that and those prices being somewhat settled, they can go out and buy something that’s larger than what they could have in the past couple of years," Casaday said.

Salt Lake City’s tourism was ranked among the top U.S. destinations by Travel + Leisure Magazine, which contributes to the rebounding economy. Travelers enjoyed the mellow atmosphere, cleanliness of the city and ease of planning a snow-filled trip.