2013 Park City Utah Real Estate Market Recap & 2014 Predictions

Park City Utah

Though the official fourth quarter (Q4) report from Summit Sotheby’s will not be ready until after December 31, it is possible to provide a snapshot of the Park City real estate market for 2013. I am proud and grateful to report that 2013 was, personally, a very successful year, with more than 30 home closings and well over $19-million in real estate transactions. Hard work, tenacity and a growing number of referrals have helped bring me to this point, creating a strong baseline from which to grow in 2014. Many thanks to the clients and industry colleagues who helped me achieve such strong results.

Breaking news and positive projections help form the following insights into 2014, which all point to next year continuing to be to be strong.

  • Park City’s nightly lodging industry is on fire; bookings for the 2013-14 season are stronger than 2008, a first since the financial collapse, according to the Park City Chamber of Commerce.

    In the interest of clarity, here’s a brief explanation as to how nightly lodging pertains to real estate – condos, houses, and apartments used by visitors as nightly rentals are privately-owned, offering owners the opportunity to utilize their second home for rental revenue, maximizing the return on an otherwise empty property. In some cases, we’ve seen second home bookings so strong that the revenue can exceed the mortgage payment. Income projections from a reputable nightly lodging company can sometimes be used for acquisition of the financing, depending on the lender. In short, nightly lodging is yet another area in which year-round tourism in Park City is directly related to the real estate market, particularly in regard to investors from other parts of the country who might come to town to ski for only a week or two. Because of an increase in visitorship, inventory on some homes and condos (those in certain areas, within certain price ranges) is down to almost nothing. Recently, I’ve been growing a specific area of my expertise, which is referred to as “milking inventory” out of a seemingly scarce inventory pool. In this instance, seemingly unavailable inventory is discovered in unexpected places, such as a condo being listed in the Salt Lake City MLS instead of in the Park City MLS, or I’m made aware of a home or condo before it’s listed.

  • After five years of abysmal real estate news, the market is finally on a solid upswing. However, while this news is great for sellers, it means a scarcity of available homes for buyers, particularly those in the middle class. Trulia recently announced that 2014 will be even more difficult for the middle class – and based on client experiences in 2013, I agree with this assessment.
  • Lower interest rates have helped with the market turnaround and, honestly, I believe the recovery is even stronger than many people believe it to be. Despite derailments like the government shutdown in October, which took more than $20-billion out of our economy, Park City real estate prices and inventory were minimally affected. Just this week, the Fed announced that they would finally start scaling down “Quantitative Easing,” the process by which the Fed buys its own government bonds, or stimulus, and this pullback is something we’ve been expecting may happen for some time. As a result, we should start seeing mortgage rates above the 5% to even 6%+ for a 30-year conventional fixed loan in 2014, much as they were back in 2007. Nationwide, this may cause a slowdown in the market allowing for more inventory in certain regions, but not here in Park City. That’s because there’s so little middle and upper-middle class housing inventory, and high-end homes are not frequently financed. Nothing short of another financial disaster will likely affect residential sales in Park City drastically beyond the point where it is presently. Though there may be a slight increase in inventory, it is doubtful, as many of these homes and condos continue to be in such high demand.
  • I’m pleased to announce to potential sellers that my website is still performing very well and a vast majority of visitors continue to visit and visit often, primarily to use my Park City MLS Inventory Search Tool. Many of my colleagues tell me how easy it is to use, and I’m excited about this.

Likewise, the pages outlining the neighborhoods in Park City are also being well-visited. I have pages on the following neighborhoods with links to listings in these neighborhoods:

And finally, some lovely, rural neighborhoods outside of Park City:

If you have any questions about the direction in which the market is heading, or about any of the neighborhoods listed above, please do not hesitate to contact me, Christine Grenney, Realtor in Park City. Thank you for reading my 2013 recap and 2014 forecast, and know that I am here to help you choose Park City.

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