Park City area real estate had a banner year in 2020 |

Park City area real estate had a banner year in 2020

Pandemic fears likely helped rather than hurt

The Park City real estate market surged in 2020 despite the pandemic. The second half of the year was especially strong, the Park City Board of Realtors says.
Park Record file photo

The Park City area real estate market not only survived but thrived in 2020, one of the few industries that did not suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release summarizing real estate performance in the past year, the Park City Board of Realtors said it was expecting a severe depression in the market but that “expected housing slump … failed to materialize.” The market showed strong appreciation, with notable increases in average and median sale prices.

“Fears that the market might be facing a slow, sustained recovery period were short lived,” the release stated. “While the market dipped quickly in April, by mid-June the market had recovered fully and by year’s end 2020 had set records across the board for sales totals and median prices.”

The market in the Park City area, which the organization defines as Summit and Wasatch counties, built momentum into the second half of the year, as well — there were 865 closed sales in the first six months and 2,174 from July through December. There were also significantly fewer available properties as the year came to a close, with just 917 residential and land units available for sale. The previous low, set in 2017, was 1,715.

In Park City proper, total unit sales were up 64% over 2019, and the median price of a single-family home rose by 26% to $2.5 million.

The fourth quarter in particular was exceptionally strong, with sales in many neighborhoods making up nearly half of all sales for the year. In Park City proper, 44% of the year’s sales happened in the fourth quarter, and in Lower Deer Valley it was 50%. In the Snyderville Basin it was nearly 50%.

“We don’t see that slowing down any time soon,” the release stated.

As for why the market performed so well, the board attributed it largely to migration away from large city centers.

“The urban exodus away from compact city centers into more suburban, even rural, areas continued as many find working from home removes the restriction to have home close to work,” the release stated. “Renters, vacationers, and time-share owners started looking for second or even primary homes in the spacious Wasatch Back. They are happy to find not only ski and red rock recreational treasures but also room to social distance from others should lockdowns return.”

The board predicted 2021 will see more of the same, with multiple offers on a limited number of properties continuing to drive prices up. It also expects the work-from-home trend to drive demand up in areas further away from Park City; sales of vacant lots in the Tuhaye/Hideout area nearly tripled year-over-year, for instance, and prices rose 34%.

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