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2011-04-22 09:22:00
Million Dollar Utah Homes
Million-dollar homes selling well in Utah
April 21st, 2011 @ 7:47pm
By Keith McCord

SANDY -- The real estate industry has seen some rough times the last couple of years. Buying and selling has certainly been a challenge.

Just this week, we learned that Utah is 4th in the nation when it comes to the number of foreclosures. But there is a sector of the housing market that's still strong -- and the price tags are big.

'There is a segment of the market that hasn't been affected by the economy, and they are just taking advantage of the pricing right now,' said Deanna Dipo, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

She's talking about big homes, custom-built with all the bells and whistles, sitting on a couple of acres: Million-dollar homes.

The highest priced home sold along the Wasatch Front in 2010 went for just over $6 million. In 2009, $3.5 million was the highest price.

Believe it or not, homes in this price range are selling well in Utah, and have been for the last couple of years.

According to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, 91 million-dollar-plus homes sold along the Wasatch Front last year, up 12 percent from 2009. So far this year, 15 have sold.

'The price per square foot has dropped,' Dipo explained. 'Our pricing has stabilized here in Utah, so the high-end properties are definitely of value.'

That's encouraging for someone like Sandy resident Jesse Riddle.

'We built this home about 14 years ago as our dream home,' he said. 'We have a beautiful home, custom design.'

But his four children are grown now, and the Riddles are ready to downsize. With their home, there's plenty to downsize from -- the pool, sport court and lighted football field notwithstanding.

The activity in high-end homes is not just a Wasatch Front phenomenon. Seven-figure priced homes are up 4 percent nationally as well, an indication that properties like Riddle's are somewhat insulated from the economic downtown.

'I just think there are a lot of people in a position financially that are really taking advantage of our market, just buying properties that they couldn't have otherwise in the past,' Dipo said.

Email: kmccord@ksl.com

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