There's a housing recession going on in many areas of the country, particularly on the West and East coasts which enjoyed the greatest gains in the 1980s and thus have the farthest to fall. But Utah is holding its own so far in the downturn, according to the Utah Association of Realtors.

In the 3,800-member UAR's annual report, President Claudia Ashby says sale prices held firm across the state with some rural areas showing "encouraging" gains in the fourth quarter of 1990."Across the state, our larger urban areas saw the traditional slight drop in sales between the third and fourth quarters, but property values held steady in every area," said Ashby, adding that the market is definitely coming back in areas that were hardest hit in the '80s, such as Tooele, Carbon County and the Uintah Basin.

Here's how various areas around the state fared in the last quarter of 1990, according to their local boards of Realtors:

- The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported a 2 percent increase in sales of single family homes over the third quarter and a 13 percent increase over the fourth quarter 1989. Average sales price was $78,000.

- In Utah County, sales slowed slightly with the Utah County board reporting 332 single-family sales in the fourth quarter, down from 377 in the third. Average price was in the range of $70,000 to $79,000 with FHA and conventional financing used in most sales.

- The Central Utah board in Richfield reported 39 sales in the fourth quarter, identical to third-quarter sales. Average sales prices for single-family homes ranged from $40,000 to $49,000 with FHA and cash the most popular financing.

- The Park City Board of Realtors reported 68 sales of single-family dwellings in the fourth quarter, down from 91 in the previous three months. Average price was in the $110,000 to $119,000 range, down slightly from the $120,000 to $139,000 range reported in the third quarter. Conventional financing was most popular.

- The Ogden board reported a drop in sales between the third and fourth quarters last year with 451 sales in the fourth compared to 597 in the third. Fourth quarter 1990 sales were off six percent from the same period a year earlier. Average price remained steady in both the third and fourth quarters of 1990 at $70,000 to $79,000.

- The Logan board reported a small drop in sales between the third and fourth quarters last year but logged a 25 percent increase in the fourth over the last three months of 1989. Average price was stable in the $60,000 to $69,000 range.

- In northern Utah, the Brigham/Tremonton board reported 52 sales in the fourth quarter, down from 79 in the third. Fourth-quarter sales were also below the 64 sales reported in the last quarter a year earlier. Average price remained constant in the $50,000 to $59,000 range. Most were financed FHA.

- The Uintah Basin board saw sales drop 28 percent in the fourth quarter from the third but logged a hefty 56 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 1989. Average price year-to-year also increased, from $39,000 in the fourth quarter of 1989 to $59,000 in the same period in 1990. FHA, VA and conventional loans financed most purchases.

- The Carbon/Emery board reported a 20 percent increase in sales between the third and fourth quarters of last year and fourth quarter 1990 sales were 59 percent higher than the same period in 1989. Average sales price ranged from $50,000 to $59,000, up from $49,000 in the third quarter 1990. Most buyers used cash and FHA financing.

- The Tooele County board reported a 17 percent rise in single-family sales in the fourth quarter over the third. Sales also were up 12 percent compared to the fourth quarter a year ago. Average sales price was in the $50,000 to $59,000 range with FHA and conventional financing used.

- The Iron County board reported 44 sales of single-family homes in the fourth quarter 1990 with an average sales price of $69,000. No historical data was available for comparison.

- The Washington County board reported sales were up 17 percent in the fourth quarter over the third. Average sales price was $79,000.