With housing markets across the United States thrown into an odd limbo due to rising interest rates, dampening demand, but sticky unaffordability, it’s important to try and figure out what exactly is going on on-the-ground. While in past articles we focused on city housing markets, such as the Denver housing market in 2023, here we’re focusing on the Utah housing market, both on the state level and the housing markets of its 20 largest cities.
Read on to find out how the Utah housing market is shaping up in 2023.
The Utah Housing Market in 2023
Using data sourced from Redfin
According to the latest data, as of March 2023, the median sale price for a home in Utah overall is $525,900. That’s down by 5.8% from the previous year, when the median sale price was $558,200 in March 2022. Considering how hot housing markets were through the first half of 2022, the year-over-year decline from 2022 to 2023 isn’t too bad compared to many other states. However, for the three previous year-over-year periods — March 2019 to 2020, March 2020 to 2021, and March 2021 to 2022 — the change in Utah’s median sale price displayed double-digit growth: 10.7%, 27.7%, and 23.7%, respectively.
On the other hand, in the pre-pandemic years, growth in Utah home prices was more modest. From March 2017 to March 2018, the median sale price grew by 8.7%, from $280,300 to $304,600; and from March 2018 to March 2019, Utah’s median sale price grew by 4.8%, from $304,600 to $319,200. Thus, the pandemic-induced high demand in homebuying during 2021 and the first half of 2022 really pressed the gas pedal on home price increases.
The moderation in Utah’s housing market activity can be seen in some of the other housing metrics we compiled and analyzed. For instance, available for-sale inventory has changed dramatically year to year from 2017 to 2023. From March 2020 to March 2021, despite (or, because of) the impact of the pandemic, Utah’s statewide available inventory fell by more than half (-51.7%): From 6,749 available homes, down to 3,258 homes for sale. In the next year-over-year period, March 2021 to March 2022, inventory again declined, but only slightly, by 5.5%.
However, from March 2022 to March 2023, housing inventory in Utah shot back up, by 86.8%: From 3,079 available homes for sale, up to 5,752 homes. Despite this dramatic year-over-year growth in housing inventory, the number of available homes for sale in March 2023 is actually down significantly from a notable high of 8,215 homes for sale in September 2022 — the latter figure being the largest stock of housing inventory since September 2015, when Utah had 8,289 available homes for sale.
Below you’ll find a table that details the key housing metrics we used for the statewide Utah housing market overall:
Utah Housing Market 2023: Top 20 Largest Cities
Based on population, we compiled housing data on the 20 largest cities in the state of Utah. The biggest city is the state capital, Salt Lake City. To a substantial degree, the housing markets of these 20 cities closely follow the trends for the statewide Utah housing market overall. Although, there are of course exceptions.
Of Utah’s 20 largest cities, Draper posted the highest median sale price in March 2023, at $679,200. That figure is down a considerable amount since last year: From a median sale price of $820,000 in March 2022, Draper home prices plunged by 17.2% in just one year to $679,200. Indeed, Draper experienced the biggest drop in median sale price year-over-year behind only the city of Lehi, which experienced a decrease of 19%, from $566,500 in March 2022, down to $458,995 in March 2023. In fact, 18 out of Utah’s 20 largest cities experienced year-over-year declines in their median sale prices from March 2022 to 2023.
The two exceptions were Herriman and Saratoga Springs, where home prices rose by 2% and 4.6% respectively. Otherwise, the one-year period from March 2022 to March 2023 saw across-the-board drops in home prices in Utah’s main housing markets.
Check out the table below for details on these 20 cities and their median sale prices:
The cities of Lehi, Draper, and Sandy all ranked among the top five cities that have experienced the greatest one-year decline in median sale price. These three cities, not coincidentally, also ranked among the top five cities where the sale-to-list price ratio — the mean ratio of each home’s sale price divided by their list price covering all homes — has also declined dramatically. When homes sell for above their list price, they have a sale-to-list ratio of over 100%, and the higher the sale-to-list ratio, then it’s implied that demand is strong, and prices are being pushed up. However, having a sale-to-list ratio of less than 100% means that the final sale price was lower than the original listed price and could reflect a slowing in homebuying activity and lower demand.
For example, in Lehi, the sale-to-list price ratio in March 2022 was 103.2%, so homes were selling for more than they were originally listed. By March 2023, Lehi’s sale-to-list ratio had decreased by 6.6%, down to 96.4%, meaning that the average home in Lehi is selling for less than its original listing price. Below is a table detailing the largest 20 cities in Utah and their sale-to-list ratio metrics:
Utah’s Houses Are Spending More Time on the Market
Another useful metric for gauging the level of activity in a certain housing market is the median number of days a home for sale spends on the market before being bought up. A small number of days on market would reflect high levels of activity, high demand, and homebuying. A large number of days on market, on the other hand, would suggest a slowdown in homebuying as homes for sale are now sitting on the market longer because there is less demand.
Statewide, Utah’s median days on market is 46 days, as of March 2023. That’s about a month and a half. A year ago, however, the Utah housing market had a median days on market of just 9 days. That means there was a 411.1% year-over-year increase for this metric, or it increased more than five-fold in one year. And that is on the state level; many of Utah’s largest cities displayed even higher year-over-year increased:
With all 20 of Utah’s biggest cities witnessing their homes for sale sitting on the market for significantly longer than last year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that available inventory is also up year-over-year in these cities. As already mentioned, statewide, Utah’s available inventory increased by 86.8% from March 2022 to March 2023. Below the Utah housing markets with the greatest year-over-year increase in housing inventory:
- St. George: 378.3%
- Logan: 82.1%
- Eagle Mountain: 58.5%
- Provo: 52.6%
- Layton: 37.7%
A related metric to inventory is month of supply: The number of months it would take supply to be bought up if no new homes came on the market. Considering available inventory in Logan is up by more than 80% year-over-year, it makes sense that its months of supply has increased by 187.5%: From just 0.8 months in March 2022 to 2.3 months in March 2023. But St. George, which witnessed an almost four-fold increase in its housing inventory, experienced a year-over-year increase in months of supply of 280%: From 2 months in March 2022 to 7.6 months in March 2023. The state of Utah overall experienced a comparable increase, with its months of supply rising by 150%, from 0.8 months to 2 months.
The Bottom Line on the Utah Housing Market for 2023
Taking together all the various housing metrics deployed in our analysis, both on the state level and city level, it seems like the Utah housing market is clearly slowing down in terms of activity and, with the economic horizon looking stormy, there’s a good chance that the slowdown will persist.
Thus far, the Utah housing market has been going through a period of correction after the heady days of 2021 to 2022, when homebuying reached a frenzied level. Rising mortgage rates and rising costs of living (non-housing) have impacted housing market activity across the US lately, and in Utah especially. From March 2013 through August 2020, the median sale price for a home in Utah never exceeded $400,000. Then, in September 2020, it crossed the line, reaching a median sale price of $421,700. During the homebuying fever of the 2021-2022, Utah’s median sale price soared to a peak of $575,900 in May 2022. It’s now down to $525,900, which, however, is much higher than the pre-pandemic average. Therefore, an outright collapse in the Utah housing market seems unlikely in 2023. But a continued slowing of activity and weak-to-moderate demand, if not worse, seems probable.