The Daylight Savings Effect

This past Sunday morning we sprung ahead.  It happens in Utah on the second Sunday of March and then the time falls back again the first Sunday of November.

I realized once again this year, that some people like Daylight Savings Time (DST) and some people don’t.  One of my morning person friends told me “I hate waking up and going to work in the dark”.  Another friend said “It’s barbaric!!!”.  My answer to that question is, “It’s hard to see a roof in the dark”.  DST gives the buyers I’m working with an extra hour to see homes in the daylight on weekdays after work.

Some of my Realtor friends and I were discussing how it seems like our local real estate market takes off after daylight savings springs the time forward.  Being an analytical guy, I did a little research on the Wasatch Front Regional MLS to see if this is true and as you can see from the table below, it is true.  The number of single family homes that went under contract in the 30 days following DST over the last five years was anywhere from 9.8% to 30.9% greater than the 30 days prior to DST.

As a result of this research I came across another interesting fact.  During the 30 days prior to DST in 2015, 1,315 homes went under contract.  That’s 25% more homes than any of the last three years during the same time period and it’s also more homes than any 30-day period following DST.  That’s huge!  Especially considering that two of the last three spring selling seasons, 2012 and 2013, saw significant appreciation in home values.

I’ve noticed over the last couple months when analyzing individual properties for clients, that inventory is very low in many areas and price ranges.  If you look at the big picture, right now there are 2,447 home for sale in all of Salt Lake County in all price ranges.  That might seem like a lot until you consider that there are currently 1,640 homes under contract and 851 sold in the last 30 days.  When you compare the homes sold in the last 30 days to the total homes for sale, there is 2.9 months of inventory.  Compared to homes under contract there is 1.5 months of inventory if you assume contracts close in an average of 30 days.

If you look at single family homes in SL County between $200,000 to $400,000, there are 1,155 for sale, 946 under contract and 469 sold during the last 30 days.  Compared to the homes sold in the last 30 days, there is 2.5 months of inventory.  Compared to homes under contract there is 3.5 weeks of inventory.

It’s very rare that we ever measure housing inventory in weeks because there’s less than a month of housing inventory available.  I don’t recall ever having inventory so tight as it is right now.  So why is this happening now?

It has been the warmest winter on record here in Utah.  I’m sure this has brought many buyers out earlier this year.  Interest rates are very low with 30-year mortgage rates at about 3.9% today.  There also may be some pent up buyer demand because the Salt Lake County housing market hasn’t seen any significant appreciation since June 2013.

If you already own a home, I’m pretty confident that the value of your home will be going up this year and it probably already has.  If you’re looking to buy a home, I’d start looking sooner than later.   Prices are going up and interest rates haven’t been much lower than they are now.

If you are wondering what your home is worth, have any questions about buying or selling real estate in and around Salt Lake County, or if you would like to track the value of your home, contact me.

If you found this article interesting and would like to keep up to date with the Salt Lake County real estate market, I typically post two to three times a week on my SLC Homes Facebook page and you can find that at:

Thank you!

Kevin Coyle
Realtor  Broker  CRS  MBA
SLC Homes
M: (801) 243-0699


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