Park City, UT–The remarkable rise in homes sold and sale prices that we experienced in the latter half of 2020 continued unabated through the second quarter of 2021. Sale prices showed strong appreciation with increases in both average and median prices, as well as dollar volume, as reported by the Park City Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Fears that the market might be overheated and that the boom could foretell another housing market balloon just before a crash to rival 2008 were quelled by consistent financial indicators pointing to a sustained bull market in housing.
A year ago, second quarter began with a stay-at-home order in Summit County (on March 23rd) followed immediately by the same edict in Wasatch County (on March 31st). The full impact of the pandemic was felt almost immediately as open houses were cancelled, in-person showings became impossible, and sales activity ground to a halt. By the end of April, soft openings began to appear and by the end of May, modified business operations were allowed in both counties. After 17 continuous weeks where closed sales trailed the 2019 numbers, in the week ending June 28, 2020, we finally passed 2019 numbers, by just ONE sale. And the momentum has continued since. As buyers returned, sellers remained leery of letting strangers of unknown vaccination status into their homes, competition for the limited number of available homes increased. Pending contracts far outstripped new listings coming to market.
The PCMLS Active Inventory peaked in May 2020 at just over 2,000 listings available and has been on a downhill slide ever since. Some neighborhoods always fare better than others and this adage held true in second quarter. Not one of the defined market areas had any negative sales results to report. New listings and listing inventory, however, were a totally different story with both dropping to historic lows. Comparing the 12-months ending June 30, 2021 to the same period in 2020:
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
· New listings (residential and land) for the second quarter of this year were 1,010, barely exceeding the 997 in 2020.
· Pending sales were flat. PCMLS members signed 1,029 purchase contracts in Q2-2021, nearly equal to 1/3 more than the 774 in Q2-2020. While a few more homes were coming to market, they were snatched up almost immediately–creating the dramatic drop in inventory.
· Closed sales likewise were nearly double the year earlier. Q2-2021, 850 contracts settled versus 443 in Q2-2020.
· With Pendings running much higher than New Listings, available inventory started to shrink dramatically. 747 properties were active at the end of Q2, compared to 651 at the end of Q1. While the 100-listing increase was welcomed, the active inventory was still less than half our previous low water mark (1,715) in December 2017.
How did the local market fare? Here is our take on the total year-long results reported on a rolling year-over-year basis for the period ending June 30, 2021.
· Within Park City Limits, total unit sales more than doubled over 2020 to 367 units, while sales volume tripled from $390 million last year to almost $1.2 billion this year.
· The median price of a single-family home across the city rose 37% to $2.75 million.
· In the popular Old Town area units sold more than doubled (49 to 130) and sales volume tripled (to $307 million) as the median price topped $2.1 million.
· The Aerie neighborhood once again took the grand prize for greatest increase in median price, more than doubling over the year earlier to $3.4 million.
· Snyderville residents saw a spike in sales volume (up 165%) while the median price tracked equally well, up 37% to $1.75 million.
· Promontory led the neighborhoods in sales units (161, up 118%) and dollar volume ($470M, up 154%) while Glenwild saw the biggest price increase with the median in that neighborhood passing $3.6M, up 77% year over year.
· The hotspots were south and east of the metro area around the Jordanelle reservoir. Deer Mountain and Tuhaye/Hideout both more than doubled their units sold. Deer Mountain more than tripled its sales volume on a 37% increase, in median sale price of $1.8 million. Prices were particularly robust in the Tuhaye/Hideout area, where the median rose 40% to $2.4 million.
· Heber Valley saw a respectable 26% rise in sales units, but 65% higher sales volume propelled by a median price that jumped 40% to $758,000.
· Other neighborhoods that saw year-over-year units sold and sales volume both double this year were Thanes Canyon, Deer Valley (both upper and lower), Deer Crest, Canyons Village, Old Ranch Road, Glenwild, Promontory, and Heber East.
· The Condo market in Old Town Park City continued to be solid with sales up (66%) in units on a comparable gain in median price of 14% to $702,000.
· Empire Pass was the standout neighborhood performer with sales more than quadrupled driving the median price to $2.93 million, up 46%.
· Prospector unit sales recovered from two previous quarterly drops, rising 27% on sales volume that almost doubled as the median price jumped 15% to $225,000.
· In the Snyderville area, outside of perennial volume leader Canyons Village, Pinebrook lead in unit sales (92, up 136%) while Sun Peak/Bear Hollow eked out the sales volume lead at $60 million, almost five times last year’s tally.
· In Wasatch County, Jordanelle Park, Tuhaye, Hideout, and Red Ledges all saw gains of 100% or more in units sold with Red Ledges leading the price gain parade, up 36% to $900,000.
· The standout neighborhood outside of Park City Limits was Sun Peak/Bear Hollow, where sales more than doubled and the median price jumped 40% from $534,000 to $746,000.
· Land sales exploded in the 2nd quarter, as buyers who could not find an existing home to their liking elected instead to build their own, although with lumber prices soaring many deferred the groundbreaking until some time in the future.
· Sales units and dollar volume were both up triple digit percentages in almost all primary service areas including Park City limits, Snyderville Basin, Heber Valley and Jordanelle.
· Overall land sales in Summit and Wasatch counties were up 129%. The price increase expected when supply decreases and demand remains steady pushed the median sales price for land region-wide, up 28% to $363,800.
· Four of the six major regions saw sales units doubling the previous year. Jordanelle led the way with almost 500 lots sold on a median price rise to $395,000 (up 37%).
· Jordanelle, Park City metro, Snyderville, and Heber Valley all saw a substantial increase in sales volume and units sold for 2021.
· Only 61 lots sold within the Park City Limits and the city was the only region that fell in average and median sale prices with the median dropping 18% year over year.
OPINIONS & OBSERVATIONS
What do Park City agents see coming in the next three to six months? Here are a few observations about the important market results that point the way coming from those with their fingers on the pulse of the market.
ON SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
· Prospector is the most stable neighborhood in the Park City metro area with prices remaining flat or down slightly.
· Within the Park City Limits, the volume of sales doubled, and it now costs $2,750,000 (median sale price) to buy a house in town in Park City.
· In the near north neighborhoods that make up Snyderville Basin, Pinebrook and Jeremy Ranch continue to be two of the more popular areas with 62 and 86 sales respectively (exceeded by only Promontory in total number of sales).
· Percentagewise, however, Glenwild beat them both with sales nearly tripling (up from 15 to 44) and median sales price nearly doubling (from $2.0M to $3.7M).
· Overall, sales volume in Park City nearly tripled, from just under $400 million to almost $1.2 billion.
· It was a banner year for golf course communities, they sold 5 years of lot sales in one year.
· Deer Mountain, once thought of as a more affordable area of Snyderville, now has a number of homes listed for over $2 million, and that’s never happened before.
· Overall, prices have risen so high that we are encountering more buyer resistance. We have a lot of buyers looking at our listings, but not writing offers. They’re waiting to see what is going to happen.
· Sellers are getting more aggressive with the market exploding so much.
· Where are the buyers coming from? Most agents see California as the most frequent source. Reasons vary from schools and lifestyle (or work style), but the fires and drought environment are also having an effect.
· Loan rates are still historically low (below 3%) yet over 50% of our sales are all cash. More are borrowing because the rates are so low.
· One used to say you could still get a condo in Old Town at a reasonably low price. Now the median price for a condo in Old Town is $700,000 and in Prospector it’s over $200,000 for the first time. Overall within the Park City Limits, the median price for a condo is now $1.2million, up 50% year over year.
· Lift and Apex were in play for 2020, now we have Yotel in play in 2021 with smaller units and lower prices. This is skewing the average and median prices downward.
ON VACANT LAND
· Land sales more than doubled over the previous year in the primary market of Summit and Wasatch Counties. 1,219 lots sold, a jump of 129% and with a Median sale price climb of 28% to $364,000, total sales volume more than tripled.
· Even with those spectacular results, not all the activity in vacant land was reported through the PCMLS. For example, in the new Dancing Sun development in Tuhaye around the Talisker Club, 105 lots have been offered on a reservation (waiting list) basis. All but five have been reserved at an average price of $1.25 million. The infrastructure of roads leading to these lots won’t be built for two or more years yet, but still the lots are going like hot cakes.
· One PCMLS agent observed the amount of vacant land purchased in the past 18 months is equal to about 4 to 5 years of historic sales. It’s just been compressed into 18 months. Are these buyers moving money from the stock market or other long-term investments into real estate? Or do they really want to build? There’s some speculation, of course, but either way, that puts pressure on inventory in the market.
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, view, 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.