TRADING CITY LIFE FOR OUR OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND

Face mask mandates, virtual classrooms, Zoom call meetings —these are all effects you might expect a pandemic to bring to a community like Park City. But one trend that no one saw coming was a surge in our housing market that is now bringing in a wave of new residents. I talked with five realtors from around Park City and the surrounding areas to hear their hypothesis on what’s causing this rush and to understand why people are choosing to call Park City their new home.

WORK ANYWHERE
Dennis Hanlon | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

What do you think is causing this new rush to Park City?
Back when COVID-19 hit Park City and everything shut down, everyone thought it was going to be the end of real estate for a while. We saw it with the recession of 2008 so I thought it wouldn’t be any different this time around. At the beginning of March we took a dip in sales but then May came and the market started going crazy and it hasn’t stopped since! In talking with realtors from other ski towns we all seem to have the same opinion: once offices shut down and everyone had to work from home, people realized that the office wasn’t nearly as important as we all once thought. And it then dawned on people that if they can work from wherever they want, they can also live wherever they want. And where they want is Park City.

SELLER’S MARKET
Bill Redeker | Stein Eriksen Realty Group

Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?
It is a seller’s market, buyers are the primary source of this boom. In fact, according to The Park City Board of Realtors there has only been a 4% increase in listings this year over last yet we have an incredible 38% increase in sales. Our supply is certainly not meeting our demand. People want to get out of high density areas and move somewhere with wide open space and Park City has just that.

LIFESTYLE
Siobhan Smith | Stein Eriksen Realty Group

Why are buyers choosing Park City over other ski towns?
There are a few reasons I think. First, Park City is more attractive than some of the other ski towns because we are at a better price point. We also have a brand new, expanded international airport that is only 40 minutes away. Salt Lake City has a booming economy that is bringing a lot of jobs to Utah. Park City has become a “Zoom” city and our public schools are the best in the state. People are choosing to work and live in an area that gives them a balanced and outdoor rich lifestyle. Personally, I’ve skied all the other resorts and found that Park City was the most well suited for my lifestyle.

2ND HOME
Heidi Gatch | Berkshire Hathaway

Are you seeing more second-home buyers or permanent resident buyers?
We’re seeing a shift where people are no longer as focused on buying in Park City as a monetary investment, but rather they’re making a lifestyle investment. In the past, we’ve had a large sector of second-home and investment buyers from out-of state. I am seeing more full-time residence buyers from out-of-state now than ever before…and I’ve been a Park City realtor since 1992. Buyers in this new market are incredibly educated, internet savvy and they choose Park City because they can. They tend to know the parameters and neighborhoods in which they’d like to live before they arrive. Th ere’s no need to sell them on living here. It’s exactly where they want to be.

URGENCY
Sheila Hall | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

What about this surge is so different from the typical market?
The urgency is the differentiating factor for me. Most of the time, our clients are slower paced compared to the rest of the country in the real estate market. Th ey like to take their time before buying or selling. Instead of people who are casually looking for a second home or pondering the idea of moving here, people are in the mindset of “I’m moving to Park City and I’m moving there right now.” Th at urgency is not something I have experienced in my 15 years as a realtor.