Second-Quarter Home Sales a Mixed Bag

Jul 25, 2013

An uptick in home prices combined with higher interest rates is making life hard for first-time homebuyers. But Zions Bank’s residential lending numbers show construction activity is strong. 

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors home sales statistics for the first quarter of 2013 show home prices in the Salt Lake area climbing steadily.

Kim Casaday is president of the home financing division for Zion’s Bank. She says while the board has yet to release its latest data, Zion’s own residential lending statistics show the second quarter has brought some new challenges. Casaday says in the past nine weeks, interest rates have spiked, leading fewer people to refinance and more people to buy.

“So, construction activity is really taking off," she says.  "And it’s had this momentum for the past 18-24 months. But it seems to be picking up even more so right now simply because there are not enough homes out there for people to buy.

Casaday says while rising home prices are a positive thing, she says that puts a lot of pressure on first-time homebuyer’s who may have to rethink their plans.

“And we all know that those who are looking to buy their first home, they want to be as cost-conscious as possible in making sure that monthly payment is where it needs to be," she says.

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors housing data for the second quarter is expected to be released next week.