The capital of Utah, Salt Lake City, has always been home to an interesting real estate market. The New York Times recently featured Salt Lake City real estate in its “What You Can Get for $385,000,” article in the September 22, 2009, issue. Written by Mike Powell, the article claims that prospective homebuyers can find a two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in downtown Salt Lake City for under $400,000. However, the city and the rest of the state have been suffering due to the economic downturn spawned a couple of years ago.
Lesley Mitchell reported in the Salt Lake Tribune on September 26, 2009, that “vacant foreclosures annoy citizens” because they serve as havens for homeless and crime. According to Mitchell’s research, “Virtually nonexistent during the boom years of Utah’s housing market, vacant homes started popping up in greater numbers after the boom abruptly ended in summer 2007.” In August, Utah received 3,277 foreclosure-related filings, which translates into one in 282 homes, double last year’s levels. These statistics placed Utah as number seven in the nation for foreclosures.
While Salt Lake City homes for sale might not be as plentiful as during the housing boom of yesteryear, real estate in Salt Lake City is beginning to revalue itself and claw out of the current crisis. KSL-TV of Salt Lake City reported on October 8, 2009, that despite home-buying incentives that could provide thousands of dollars of relief to prospective homebuyers, the sagging economy has forced people that would’ve used the incentive money to buy a home to rethink their strategy. In fact, the analysis of Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros questioned if it was smart to purchase a house, regardless of the incentive programs attempting to aid the real estate market. It seems that Money Magazine agreed. Its Real Estate 2009 forecast, good through March 2010, forecast that Salt Lake City home values would decline 11.3 percent and that the median home price would descend to $230,000.