At the end of the first quarter of 2020, the importance of tracking trends in year-over-year housing statistics for Summit and Wasatch Counties continued to pale in the face of the growing influence and impact of the COVID-19 on the industry. The numbers show strong appreciation with increases in both average and median sale price as well as dollar volume as reported by the Park City Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. But the effect of the virus, which hit Utah in mid-March and prompted isolation orders for citizens and closures of nearly all small businesses across the region has yet to be fully realized in the numbers in the first quarter.
The greater Park City market in general continues to show great stability in single family homes. The number of homes sold increased 11% with the median sale price rising 5% year over year. During the same period in 2019, the median sale price gained 10% indicating a sustained period of steady, consistent growth.
The strongest single-family price gains appeared in the fast growing Jordanelle area to the southeast of the Park City metro area, south of State Rd 32, and in the Tuhaye/Hideout area on the east side of the Jordanelle Reservoir. Jordanelle overall posted a 85% median price increase over the same period in 2019 with a 70% increase in homes sold.
Condominium sales continued sustained strength in first quarter increasing 19% in units sold (971 vs 815 sold in 2019) with a solid median price gain of 12%. Vacant land sales did not fare as well with sales down 5% due to a shrinking inventory of available lots. Median prices for vacant lots dropped 9% over last year.
A closer look – Single Family Homes
Among the five major areas measured by the Park City MLS, homes within the Park City limits fared well with a 13% rise in units sold while prices dipped slightly putting the median sale price to just under $2.M.
- Within Park City Limits, total unit sales were up 13% to 180 units over 2019 while sales volume was down slightly, $456 million, a 2% drop year-over-year.
- The median price of a single-family home across the city fell 10% to $1.9 million
- But in Old Town, while sales volume was up 13% (52 units), the median price rose 7% over 2019 to $1.9 million
- Snyderville residents saw a slight increase in sales volume (up 4%) while the Median price remained flat at $1.25 million
- The hotspots were south and east of the metro area in Jordanelle which saw an explosion of activity (sales units up 70%) that more than doubled the sales volume to $128 million from the year earlier.
- Heber Valley saw a 23% spike in sales units and 32% higher sales volume while the Median price remained steady at just over a half-million dollars.
- Tuhaye/Hideout was the hot spot in the region with Median price jumping 68% in a year on more than double the sales units and volume.
The Jordanelle area continued its dominance in the two-county area when measured by Median price appreciation jumping fully 85% in median price to just shy of $2.1M on unit sales that were up 70% over last year. That median price bumped Park City proper from its long-held perch as the most expensive area.
Heber Valley again had over 350 home sales in the last 12 months as demand remained strong for this growing community with good schools and near proximity to the Park City ski resorts.
The number of home sales in the Snyderville Basin tracked closely to last year’s number and while prices remained steady to slightly down.
- The Pinebrook neighborhood led the price appreciation parade with 30% growth in their median price, topping the $1 million mark.
- In Jeremy Ranch sales were flat compared to the year before but the median price rose a respectable 9% to nearly $1.2M.
- Promontory saw the greatest number of home sales in the Basin with a total of 73 with a median price of over $2.2M, up a healthy 5% over the same period in 2019.
|Single Family Summary One Year Period ending 3/31/20||Qty Sold||% Chg||Sales Volume||% Chg||Average Price||% Chg||Median Price||% Chg|
|Total Primary Market Area||1,145||11%||1,618,708,685||13%||1,413,719||1%||940,828||5%|
A closer look – Condominium Sales
If you’re looking for the hot action in home sales, look no further than the condo market. For the Summit and Wasatch Counties combined market area, the number of sold condominiums was up 19% to 971 units compared to the previous 12 months. Median pricing was up as well to $650,000, 12% above the year earlier.
- The Condo market in Old Town Park City continued apace with sales up 28% in units and 21% in volume over the year earlier on a modest gain in Median price of 7%.
- Park Meadows was the standout neighborhood performer with sales up 65% while the Median price dipped slightly to $800,000
- In the Snyderville area, Canyons Village saw the biggest gains with sales units doubling last year’s number (250 units) and sales volume more than tripling on a 50% rise in the Median price to over $900,000.
- Condo sales in Midway were up 15% with the Median price increasing slightly by 9% gain to $312,000.
- The historically active condo market in Old Town continued its trend with a 28% increase in number of sales on median prices up 7% to $600,000.
- Park Meadows saw a healthy 59% increase in the number of units sold but the demand was for lower priced stock, reflected in a median price drop of 8% from 2019 down to $800,000.
In the Snyderville Basin, there were more than 400 condos sold and the median price continued its upward trend growing 21% to $665,000.
- By neighborhood, Canyons Village had the highest number of closed sales at 250 and the median price in Canyons Village jumped 46% to $902,000.
- Outside of the core neighborhoods, as we saw in single-family sales, the nexus of activity was in the Tuhaye/Hideout area which saw sales rise 25% and median prices gain 10% to over $875,000.
|Condominium Summary One Year Period ending 3/31/20||Qty Sold||% Chg||Sales Volume||% Chg||Average Price||% Chg||Median Price||% Chg|
|Total Primary Market Area||971||19%||868,548,051||24%||894,488||4%||650,000||12%|
Overall, the first quarter numbers continue to reinforce the stability and pricing consistency within the greater Park City area. Pricing growth continues at or slightly above the national average.
As the first quarter of 2020 drew to a close, the overwhelming effect of the COVID-19 virus pandemic started to make its impact on the Park City area. The biggest unknown is, of course, what impact the small business closings, rising unemployment, and travel constraints will have on the tourism-based economies of Summit and Wasatch counties.
The numbers started to change as we entered the last weeks of the quarter. New listings began a marked decline from a peak of 79 in the week ending March 8 to just 28 by the week ending April 14. Pending sales followed a similar trajectory, peaking at 49 and dropping to 15 in the same period. Closings, which lag Active and Pending by weeks, held fairly steady throughout the quarter but will now be expected to drop as fewer contracts are in the pipeline awaiting closure.
The negative economic impact of the pandemic is expected to be widespread, but the effect on housing is predicted to be far less than during the housing crisis that began in 2008 for several reasons.
Lending guidelines have been tightened and the loose market that allowed homeowners to refinance home equities far above the real market value of homes are gone. Mortgage forbearance is common practice of lenders who want to avoid the massive foreclosures they implemented a decade ago. Mortgage rates remain low allowing more potential buyers to remain in the market. Great Depression era banking regulations imposed in 1933 were repealed in 1999 allowing banks to grow to a size called “too big to fail.” New regulations passed in 2010 reversed that laxity in banking oversight.
A great debate is continuing as to whether the housing recovery will be U-shaped or V-shaped – a gradual upturn once the virus has been controlled, or a sharp “bounce” as pent up demand returns to the marketplace with a vengeance triggering price wars as demand far exceeds supply.
We have no crystal ball, but local market watchers are optimistic that the uniqueness of Park City area housing stock may insulate this market somewhat from larger macro-level changes elsewhere in the country.
Real estate in the Wasatch back consists of highly segmented markets with nuances that vary significantly from one neighborhood to another and one house to another. Comparisons are hard to read on paper due to the unique features of individual properties, such as amenities, condition, style, location, age, and inventory. Buyers and Sellers are advised to contact a local Park City Board of REALTORS® Professional for the most accurate, detailed, and current information.
 USA Today, March 11, 2020 – Online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/11/recession-heres-how-coronavirus-crises-different-2008/5012228002/
 Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2018 – Online at https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/after-the-2008-crisis-mortgages-are-safer-but-tougher-to-come-by/
 Forbes, April 16, 2020 – Online at https://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/04/16/covid-19-mortgage-forbearance-what-to-know-before-you-delay-payment/#40137ca43481
 Historic interest rate chart – Online at https://www.valuepenguin.com/mortgages/historical-mortgage-rates
 History of Glass-Steagall Act, Investopedia, Dec. 5, 2019 – Online at https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/glass_steagall_act.asp
 Mike DelPrete, April 21, 2020 – Online at https://www.mikedp.com/articles/2020/4/21/us-markets-suggest-checkmark-shaped-real-estate-recovery
The Park City Board of REALTORS® (PCBR) is a trade association of more than 900 members comprised of REALTORS® and Affiliates from the greater Park City real estate industry. PCBR analyzes and reports on real estate trends for the greater resort community of Park City.