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Versatile Salt Lake Remains an ‘Untapped Gem’

Even with several months remaining in 2011, sales volume in the Salt Lake community has already exceeded last year’s totals.

As of Sept. 30, 24 singlefamily homes have closed in the neighborhood, surpassing the total of 11 sold in all of 2010, and on the way to outperforming annual sales of 22 in 2009, 17 in 2008 and 21 sales in 2007.

“My colleagues and I agree that this neighborhood is an untapped gem,” says Tamlyn Toyama, Realtor Associate at Prudential Locations.

The year-to-date median sale price of a single-family home in Salt Lake is $560,000 down from the previous year when half the homes sold for more and the other half sold for less than $664,500. Homes are listed on the market for a median length of 38 days before escrow is opened.

Toyama says property values in Salt Lake are poised for an upswing, primarily because of its prime location and bang-for-your-buck value.

“Salt Lake’s location is central. It’s close to freeway on-ramps heading both east and west, and is close to the airport,” she says. “Yet, when you compare Salt Lake to town, it is much more affordable. You can get a nice two-bedroom, two-bath, two-parking condo in a newer building for the low $400,000s in Salt Lake, which is equivalent to a one-bedroom, one-bath, one-parking unit in town.”

Investors are gravitating toward Salt Lake because it is a desirable area for renters.

“Aside from the central location, the neighborhood is convenient to military bases, adding to the high demand for both condos and single-family rentals in the area,” she says.

Toyama, who recently closed on a Salt Lake condo of her own, says the area has some unique selling points.

“The neighborhood is great for first-time home buyers who are looking to start building up their net worth,” Toyama says. “It may not be the home they live in for the rest of their lives, but purchasing a oneor two-bedroom condo allows them to financially strengthen themselves in preparation for their future. Later, they can use the condo to leverage another purchase by either selling or renting it out.”

Toyama has found Salt Lake’s appeal to be broad, with families, couples and singles equally impressed with the area’s amenities.

“The neighborhood’s versatility offers the convenience of location with desirable school districts and affordability,” says Toyama, a Moanalua High graduate. “Many people buy into Salt Lake for the desirable school district.”

Currently, there are more than 60 condos on the market, many of which are fee simple, and 15 single-family homes.

The median price of a condo is $279,444. With sales brisk, condos are turning over fast, with the median days on market at 32 days.

Since moving back, and having grown up just around the bend from Moanalua Gardens, Toyama believes Salt Lake has been a great choice with just one possible downside:

“It’s close proximity to the airport may result in numerous ride requests from friends and family,” Toyama jokes.

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