The average price of homes sold in the Salt Lake area dropped 3.0 percent during the first half of 1988, down from $80,554 for all of 1987 to $78,004.

Dan Lawler, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, said the relatively consistent selling price of homes over the past 18 months is a reflection of the "extremely flat" local economy.The largest jump in average sales price this year was in the area east of Wasatch Blvd. between Parley's Canyon and 7000 South. Homes in that area sold for an average price of $148,018, a 7.0 percent jump over the $138,203 figure for last year.

The area west of I-15 between the Davis County line and 21st South had a 9.5 percent decrease in the average price of homes sold, the largest drop in the Salt Lake area. Homes there sold for an average of $41,081 so far this year, down from $45,022 in 1987.

The two areas with the largest increases in prices this year are also the two areas with the lowest number of homes sold, said Lawler. "The fact that fewer homes were sold causes the average price to fluctuate greatly during the year."

Lawler said the 9.5 percent decrease in average price in the Rose Park and Chesterfield areas was surprising.

"Historically, those areas have had very steady home prices. One of the primary reasons for the price drop is the large number of HUD (Federal Housing and Urban Development) foreclosure home sales in that area," said Lawler.