Home sales plummeted by double-digit percentages during the third quarter compared to the same period last year, according to UtahRealEstate.com. Meanwhile, homebuyers were paying record prices.

In Salt Lake County, the median single-family home price increased to $550,000, a new quarterly high and a 28 percent rise over the $430,000 median price in the third quarter of 2020. Homebuyers in this year’s third quarter paid $120,000 more than a year ago.

“A recent report by the University of Utah shows that more than half of Utah’s households are now unable to afford the median single-family home,” said Matt Ulrich, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. “The report confirms that Utah is in the midst of a housing shortage that will take years to put in balance.”

The median single-family home prices in Utah, Davis, Tooele and Weber counties also set new quarterly record highs. For the first time, Utah County’s median single-family home price surpassed the half-million-dollar mark. Davis County was close behind with a median price of $497,000. Tooele County ended the quarter with a median of $440,000, while Weber County, the most affordable county in the Wasatch Front, saw its median single-family home price rise to $400,000.

As home prices soared, sales dived. In Salt Lake County, single-family home sales fell to 3,469 units, down 20 percent from a year earlier. Davis, Utah and Weber counties also witnessed double-digit declines in sales, UtahRealEstate.com reported.

Despite declining sales, this year is on track to be the second-best year in overall home sales. From January through September, there were 13,294 housing units sold in Salt Lake County (all housing types included), down 5 percent from 13,975 units sold during the same nine-month period in 2020. Last year more than 19,200 homes were sold in Salt Lake County, a record.

New listings in Salt Lake County in the third quarter fell to 5,667 units, down 7 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

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