New Homes Under $200K Scarce, Study Finds

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    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – It’s tough to find a new home for under $200,000 in Utah’s largest counties.

    Only 21 percent of new houses for sale last year were below that price, a drop from 70 percent four years ago, according to a report.

    “We’re just not building much in that price range at all anymore,” said Eric Allen, director of Metrostudy’s Utah/Idaho Region, which tracks statistics in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Wasatch, Summit and Tooele counties.

    He said about 43 percent of new construction along the Wasatch Front and in Summit and Wasatch counties were homes priced above $300,000.

    Allen said the cost of construction materials and land plays a significant role.

    Housing prices may level off a bit this year as the state and national economies show signs of slowing down, he predicted.

    “We’re not seeing builders in Utah drop their prices dramatically but some are offering incentives,” Allen said.

    Daybreak, a development in South Jordan, had 698 housing starts last year, followed by 665 in The Ranches in Eagle Mountain and 475 at Traverse Mountain in Lehi.

    In Arizona, Nevada and California, some builders have offered free car leases and free swimming pools to attract buyers, Allen said.

    “But Utah is nowhere near that point. We still have one of the strongest markets across the nation,” Allen said.

    Salt Lake Board of Realtors President Gary Cannon said interest in houses priced from $400,000 to $800,000 is slowing down, especially in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley.

    “It is the first time in a long while where we are starting to see price reductions and added incentives from new-home builders,” Cannon said.

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