Buying a Home in Salt Lake City, UT


The Great Housing Bust of 2008

Harry Dent predicted our current situation when he showed that a slowdown in the birthrate 25-35 years ago would lead to fewer people entering the housing market to buy homes. It is those new buyers who fuel the growth of the rest of the residential real estate market.

If you look at the following graphic and imagine the following scenarios, you can see how the cycle speeds up or slows down. (We'll scale down the numbers to make them conceivable)

real estate cycle - first time buyers - move up buyers - empty nesters - 2nd (vacation) home buyers

Imagine a "normal" or traditional sum of about 10,000 first time buyers entering the market yearly. (Remember, we scaled this down). I don't remember the exact age, but somewhere between 25-35 years old are the demographic.

Those buyers buy pre-existing starter homes (Historically. We'll introduce new construction down the line).

The Sellers of those homes buy another, slightly better (larger, more expensive, better neighborhood/schools) home from someone else and this happens a number of times until somebody who is selling downsizes into a condo or a smaller home (The Empty Nesters).

OK, now let's introduce some variables:

  • What happens to supply and demand if the number of First Time Buyers increases to 30,000?
  • What happens to prices?
  • What happens to supply and demand if getting a loan gets tougher and the supply of buyers shrinks?
  • What happens to prices?
  • What if Builders overbuild based on 30,000 1st time buyers entering the market, and then only 8,000 show up the following year?

Why all of a sudden were there so many?

  • Lenders gave loans to borrowers who traditionally were not ready to buy. Buyers who were younger, with poorer credit, little or no down payment, less time on job, etc. (The pool of first time buyers increased, contributing to an artificial buying "boom".)
  • 1st time buyers bought homes like (or better than) those that took mom and dad 30+ years of working to buy. (Another factor of the money coming easy, or appearing to come easy)

Then what?

  • Builders overbuilt these "fine" homes that historically would be more fit for move-up buyers, but hade been getting gobbled up by first time buyers.
  • The number of 1st time buyers shrinks because they can no longer get a home without down payment, good credit etc. This on top of the fact that there were already going to be fewer first time buyers in the pool anyway. (Remember, 10 year olds aren't buying homes.)

the great boom ahead

This is where we are today.

Mr. Dent isn't always right. But basing buying trends on age demographics made sense to me at the time, and still makes sense to me today.

If the topic sounds interesting, even though it is out of date, the book provides for some interesting things to think about. Perhaps it will give you some ideas as to how you might win out in today's market?


If you are moving to the Salt Lake City area, buying a home still makes sense in most cases.

If you buy a home in today's market, make sure you get an Agent on YOUR side of the transaction!

If you have excellent credit and will be buying a $250,000-$750,000 home in the next 30-60 days and would like an agent who will work exclusively for you, call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.

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Exclusive Buyer Brokerages do not list homes and never represent Sellers.  Their agents represent Buyers ONLY on the Buyer's side of the transaction. They work to get BUYERS the Best Price and Terms when they Buy...


©2008 Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT

Exclusive Buyers Agents (EBA) - All Rights Reserved


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Comment balloon 7 commentsBenjamin Clark • October 02 2008 05:28PM



It all kinda goes around and around up and down. I have been in construction since I was in HS back in the 60's. It seems a lot of predictions came out of the years passed. And people find a way to fit them in so that it makes since. Now the way I have seen the ups and downs has to do with money or the love of money. Anybody that has been around for longer than the 80's and 90's has seen the market up then down- That was in the heart of the baby boomers, lots of cash flowing after the S&L fall. I just poured 20 yards of concrete at my house less than a year ago concrete in my area was around $120.00 a yard. I paid $74.00 and could have shop a little more for less. Less demand prices drop fast. I'll look for a book that tells us that the oil prices will sky rocket in 2006/2007 due to global demands-- they are dropping also not because of less people born 25 to 35 years ago but because we are not driving as much(more cars and people today). I hope this will be fun to look at from other views. Keep the blogs coming. Remember to take a look at my site list your items from real estate to services etc

Posted by Jon Varley ( almost 12 years ago

This does make sense next time I'mn at borders I will check this book out if its available.

Posted by Justin Ukaoma, Kansas City Real Estate Investments (Vizion KC) almost 12 years ago

Hi Ben

I will have to purchase that book. See you soon.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

Jon - There are always more ways than one to look at things and often all ways have some merit. I would drive more if gas weren't so expensive. (And I drive a lot anyway!) Your point is well taken. I would really like to see more innovation and less governmental restrictions on innovation. It could go a long way to cleaning things up and making things better. But then again, there is always another perspective...

Thanks for the comments!

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Justin - The library is also great for reading books you think you might be interested in before owning them. The library, and

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I read that book when it first came out.  It is always interesting how some predictions play out.  A few years ago I heard John Tuccilo tell us that in 2010...the time we should have as many rental properties as we could as the new generation will not want to own a home, and this may be the only income we will have.  He isn't far off....Buying a home may be a luxury in the future not something we all get to enjoy.  I love to read.....

Posted by A. J. Fischer, CDPE, CRS, ABR, GRI, ASP, CREA, SFR (Keller Williams Ft Myers & The Islands) almost 12 years ago

AJ - As I said, not everything comes true because different factors and changes in the marketplace can and do occur, but some of the theories and guesses do seem to hold some weight. To me, it just made sense that 10 year olds don't buy houses and most people don't buy a Harley Davidson (if they are going to at all) until they are 35-45. There are bell curves in these things, so you always have some who do whatever they want whenever they want (there may even be 10 year olds who own homes and Harleys somewhere...) but the buying patterns of the huge group in the middle can be somewhat predictable.

Reading is fun. If anything, it lets you think about things from other's perspectives...

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) almost 12 years ago