Salt Lake City Mortgage Market Update for December 16, 2008

The big news in Utah today is that the decline in housing prices has finally hit us, though not as bad as the nation on the whole.  According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency Utah as a whole saw a decline of 1.64% in home values from this same time last year.  The national average is 4%.

Salt Lake City dropped 1.8% while home values in Logan actually increaed 4.6%, making it #8 nationally.  St. George saw the worst decline in Utah at 8.5% less than last year.

Overall the drop seems to be in the larger homes, those prices above $300,000.  Homes below $300,000 seem to be holding their value since those are the ones most Utahns can qualify for under the revived “Full Doc” only lending policies.

On top of that, buyers aren’t buying it.  Even though prices are getting better and the increased time on market has sellers dropping their prices to stir interest in their home, many buyers seem frozen with fear do to all the bad news about the economy.  They’re afraid to make any big moves financially right now.

And if you have the means, right now is the time to do it.  Mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been since 2004, and home prices are getting back into the range of being “affordable” for the average Utahn.  If you qualify for a loan right now you can pretty much write your own ticket when it comes to buying a house.

And remember, the $7,500 tax credit for first time home buyers (anyone who hasn’t owned a home in 3 years or more) is good through April 9.

For Salt Lake City, UT today’s average mortgage rates are as follows:

30-year fixed: 5.00%

15-year fixed: 4.75%

Conforming Jumbo 30-year fixed: 5.125%

FHA 30-year fixed: 5.00%

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