Salt Lake's housing market remains solid despite slower growth and continuing change throughout the industry.
That's the view some 500 members of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors came away with Friday following the board's annual Residential Real Estate Breakfast.Jeff Thredgold, president of Thredgold Economic Associates and an economic consultant for Zions First National Bank, told the gathering to expect sales increases large enough to keep the industry healthy but below the record growth they've enjoyed for the past six years.
Thredgold's forecast is for residential real estate to appreciate 4-6 percent in value this year and next, down from an 8.1 percent median price increase in 1997.
He characterized the slowdown as good for the industry.
"It will give us a chance to catch up," he said. "There'll be no more double-digit inflation in the (local) market, but it will remain one of the best in the country."
Eric Marcus, president and chief executive officer of Advantec Strategies, described the industry as one in the midst of a massive technological transition akin to the Industrial Revolution.
"Information technology advances are demanding that we do business differently," said Marcus. "A two-tiered industry is emerging and only realtors offering customers real value will remain in business."
He predicts that home buyers will make their choices on home computer, using technology that allows virtual house tours, telecommuting and instant information that is available digitally.