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Encouraging signs in the local housing market

Encouraging signs in the local housing market



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There are new signs the housing market may have hit bottom in parts of Utah.

Preliminary numbers show new home sales in the Salt Lake Valley were up 3 to 4 percent in June, compared to the same time last year. If that holds when numbers are released later in the week, it'll be the first positive monthly, year-over-year returns since last September.

"To say that we saw sales in June 3 to 4 percent higher than June a year ago, that shows me that hopefully we have bottomed out," says Dave Anderton, spokesman for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Inventories have also been declining significantly from their peaks. There are roughly 7,700 existing homes and condos listed in Salt Lake County right now. That's down from the peak of 10,531 in the third quarter of 2007.

There are also fewer newly constructed homes on the market. In Salt Lake County, there were 724 in the second quarter, down from 1,037 in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to Salt Lake-based firm Newreach.

Utah and Davis counties showed similar trends. In Utah County, new available homes fell from 987 in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 728 in the second quarter of 2009. That's a decline of 26 percent. Davis County saw a 62 percent decline in the same period, from 624 new available homes to 240.

"I don't think we've turned the corner," said Coldwell Banker Realtor Dan Christensen. "I think, again, we're much more stable than the rest of the country."

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

Andrew Adams

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