SALT LAKE CITY -- Sales of existing homes in Utah surged the last part of 2009, ending a three-year decline in falling home sales.
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors says home sales in December jumped 19 percent compared to the same month in 2008. Overall, sales in 2009 were up 4 percent -- more than 9,000 homes were sold in Salt Lake County.
The numbers for single-family homes are even better. More than 2,400 single-family homes were sold in the fourth quarter of 2009, a 36 percent increase compared to 1,785 sales in the same quarter of 2008.
Bill Heiner, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, explained "existing home sales are surging because of more affordable home prices and the federal government's home buyer tax credit. In addition, there are fewer newer homes being built. Because of that buyers are turning to existing inventory."
The Board of Realtors says the numbers suggest the bottom of the housing market was in 2008. It forecasts home sales this year could rise 10 percent.