Market Research Monday: West Valley City
I bought a house in West Valley last summer, July 2015, and I have to say that I really like the area. My commute to Sugar House is shorter than anywhere else I’ve lived in the valley, there’s less smog out that way, and with how much development is going on – there are stores for just about anything I need within a few miles. Plus, you can get WAY more house for your money and a good sized yard (which was important for our dogs).
Geography & Demographics
West Valley City encompasses 35.5 miles, with the Jordan River marking the eastern border, the northern border following Hwy 201 (for the most part), with Magna to the west, and Taylorsville & Kearns to the south. I think most of you would be surprised to hear that as of the 2010 Census West Valley was the second largest city in Utah, and it continues to grow.
Map via West Valley City
The ethnic make up of West Valley is quite diverse with several races being represented, while the two most predominant races are White (~75%) and Hispanic (~25%). The median income is estimated to be just under $63,000. There are an estimated 43,656 housing units, of with approximately 70.2% are owner occupied.
Table via Wikipedia
Chesterfield, Redwood, East Granger (84119)
The Eastern side of West Valley City consists of the Redwood, Chesterfield and East Granger neighborhoods. The neighborhood population in 2013 was 54,832. This area of West Valley City has a median household income of $42,512, which is lower when compared to the rest of the city and region. The neighborhood’s racial makeup was 51.17% White, 35.08% Hispanic or Latino, 4.73% Asian, 3.24% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 2.51% African-American.
Much of Eastern West Valley’s residential architecture is based on common brick ranch styles from the 1960s and 1970s. To the north of Parkway Boulevard exists a significant number of light industrial development. South of Parkway is mostly residential and commercial, including Valley Fair Mall and the Maverik Center. West Valley City planners are currently developing a planned mass-transit anchored Downtown area near the Valley Fair Mall with the emergence of the Fairbourne Station as a gathering place and revitalization of the mall.
West Granger, Hunter, Lakepark (84120)
The Central portion of West Valley City consists of the West Granger and Hunter, south of 3100 South, with the Lakepark and Westlake Business Park commercial and office developments taking up the majority of the space north of 3100 South. The neighborhood population in 2013 was 49,107. This area of West Valley City has a median household income of $55,087, which is typical for the state of Utah and Northern Salt Lake County. The neighborhood’s racial makeup was 53.82% White, 32.11% Hispanic or Latino, 5.04% Asian, 4.54% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 1.57% African-American.
Much of Central West Valley’s residential architecture is based on common brick ranch styles from the 1960s and 1970s. The Highbury planned development is currently being established in the northwestern portion of this area. This is a large planned mixed residential and commercial area with a large pond and many casual restaurants in a walk-able district near 5600 West.
West Hunter, Woodhaven, Oquirrh (84128)
The western portion of West Valley City consists of the West Hunter, Woodhaven, and Oquirrh neighborhoods. The neighborhood population in 2013 was 28,475. This area of West Valley City has a median household income of $64,356, which is slightly higher than the median for both the state of Utah and Salt Lake County. The neighborhood’s racial makeup was 60.65% White, 29.62% Hispanic or Latino, 3.15% Asian, 2.37% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 1.39% African-American.
Much of western West Valley’s residential architecture is based on 1990s and 2000s planned developments. The majority of the neighborhood is residential, with the exception of many strip-mall style commercial developments along its eastern border of 5600 West. The city’s master plan calls for a Hunter Town Center development near the intersection of 5600 West and 3500 South, but no structures have yet been developed specifically for this. This side of West Valley City is also home to USANA Amphitheater, though it technically shares the 84118 zip code with Kearns and Taylorsville, rather than West Valley City.
History & Development
The Granger area was first inhabited by Welsh Latter-Day Saints who came to the are with Dan Jones in 1849, and they developed irrigation systems and cultivated lucrative farms, with the main crop being fruit trees. (When I moved into my home in West Valley in July 2015 there were FIVE fruit trees in my yard – four apple and one cherry.)
The city began to experience rapid growth in the 1970s, when the area that is now West Valley City consisted of the four separate communities of Hunter, Granger, Chesterfield, and Redwood, which merged in 1980 to form the present-day city.
On May 19, 2011, the city unveiled an official plan to create a downtown area for the city over the course of 10 years, building on plans and development that already existed. It will be known as Fairbourne Station (named after Joseph Fairbourne, an early settler who operated a weigh station in the area in the late 19th century) and will consist of approximately 40 acres (16 ha), costing $500 million to build. The center will include a civic center (consisting of city hall, a courthouse, police headquarters, and a library), an eight-story Embassy Suites hotel, a plaza, and residential development, as well as the end of the TRAX Green Line, and a stop on the 3500 South MAX bus rapid transit line. Valley Fair Mall and the Maverik Center are located nearby, as is I-215. As of 2016 of the development is incomplete, with the TRAX line having opened in 2011 and the hotel in 2012, but the City Hall and government center are under construction.
If you haven’t been in the area for a few years – drive through; you may be surprised to see how much the landscape has changed!
Claims to Fame & Entertainment
Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was arrested in Granger on August 16, 1975, on a routine traffic stop.
During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, West Valley City was the official venue for men’s and women’s ice hockey.
West Valley City is home to the Maverik Center and the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. It is also home to the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Stonebridge Golf Course, Westridge Golf Course, Rocky Mountain Raceways, USANA Amphitheatre, Hale Centre Theatre, and the Valley Fair Mall.
The city lies in the Granite School District. It has 21 elementary schools, four junior high schools, and two high schools – Granger, which opened in 1958, and Hunter, which opened in 1990. The city is also the location of East Hollywood High School, a charter school specializing in film education.
The crime rate in this area is comparable to Taylorsville, and is lower than then Glendale and Salt Lake City. You can get details on reported crimes on CrimeReports.com or check out Trulia’s crime map, which is pictured here:
West Valley City has a nonpartisan, strong city manager form of government, which means that the city manager is analogous to a corporation’s CEO, while the mayor fills a role similar to chairman of the board, with the City Council acting as the “board”. The mayor is a voting member of the City Council. The West Valley City Council meets each Tuesday night at 6:30 PM, except fifth Tuesdays. City Hall is located at 3600 South Constitution Boulevard.
The city provides a calendar on their website with any scheduled city events, as well as events the the Utah Cultural Celebration Center and the West Valley
Real Estate Market
Currently there are 177 active properties on the market in this area, mostly single family homes, and many of these are new construction. There are 151 properties currently under contract, and 89 have sold in the last 30 days. Single family homes right now range from $145,000- $510,000, with a median sales price of $221,000.
Below are two graphs generated with data from the Wasatch Front MLS to show home sales in West Valley. The green line is the number of homes listed, the black is number of homes sold, and the blue is the average sales price.
Single Family home sales 2011-2016 by quarter, provided by utahrealestate.com. You can see that West Valley has been experiencing a very steady incline in home prices.
Single Family home sales 1996-2016, showing only the 3rd quarter, provided by utahrealestate.com.
West Valley was hit pretty hard by the crash falling from the median sales price of $203,000 in 2007 to $140,000 in 2011, but it has definitely recovered and the housing market in this area is strong.
A Few of My Favorite West Valley Homes on the Market
4677 Condie Way | Listed at $449,900
6 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 4800 Sq Ft | 0.23 Acres
6513 S Luminous Way #222 | Listed at $388,888
3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 2865 Sq Ft | 0.18 Acres
6722 W Hunter Vista Cir | Listed at $289,900
4 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | 2511 Sq Ft | 0.23 Acres
3782 S 3080 W | Listed at $224,900
3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 1682 Sq Ft | 0.28 Acres