Market Research Monday: Sugar House


Market Research Monday is back! Today’s focus: Sugar House – one of the most desirable areas in Salt Lake County, with the price tag to prove it. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake, it is full of charming bungalows from the early 1900′s, tree lined streets, and local mom and pop stores, and is by many, deemed to be one of the most walkable neighborhoods around with a very eclectic feel.

Geography & Demographics

Sugar House is a neighborhood located within Salt Lake City, and there is some debate about the actual boundaries of Sugar House. Though, according to Salt Lake City’s master plan, it runs from 500 East to Parleys Way and 2000 East and from 1700 South to the city limits about 3000 South. Many local businesses as well as private residences, although not strictly located within the bounds of Sugar House, use the name because of the area’s name recognition. The business and commercial center of the neighborhood is located at 1100 East 2100 South which is also the northern end terminus of Highland Drive, where it turns into 1100 East.

Salt Lake master plan map obtained from Salt Lake City’s website.

Sugar House isn’t a large area, but it sure does draw a crowd. The population density in Sugar House is 113% higher than Salt Lake City as a whole, with residents being 10% older and predominantly Caucasian (89.52%).

Via Areavibes.com

History & Development

Sugar House was established in 1853, by Mormon settlers only six years after Brigham Young arrived. The neighborhood got its name from a sugar mill that was under construction at the time, but the mill never produced any sugar due to problems importing equipment from France.

Sugar House Prison, the first Utah state prison, was located in Sugar House during the 19th century and early 20th century. The prison was closed in 1951 and moved to Draper. All of the buildings were torn down and the land was converted into Sugar House Park and Highland High School.

During most of the 20th century, Sugar House was a popular shopping district, especially for furniture. Businesses, including clothing and shoe stores, music stores, cafes and art galleries clustered around 2100 South and Highland Drive .

Photo of 2100 South and Highland Dr (1100 E) in the 1940′s.

In the 1980's the area declined, and crime, drugs, graffiti and gangs plagued the neighborhood.

Sugar House has undergone major redevelopment in the past 25 years, and that process continues today. New developments in Sugar House are never without controversy, but the Sugar House Community Council has tried to preserve the area’s quaint, old-fashioned “Main Street” feel, distinguishing Sugar House from Salt Lake City’s suburbs.

Efforts began to establish a vintage style rail trolley to connect the Sugar House Business District to the TRAX station on 2100 South in South Salt Lake. In December 2006 the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, and South Salt Lake commissioned a Transportation Alternatives Study to examine transit possibilities on the Sugar House Branch of the old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW). The study determined that a trolley running along a pre-existing rail line was the preferred alternative. In May 2009, Mayor Ralph Becker stated that the project could be complete by 2012, will cost $40 million to $50 million, and that he hopes it is the beginning of a new streetcar system across the city.

The S Line (formerly known as Sugar House Streetcar) began service on 8 December 2013 as planned, and an extension of the line north along 1100 East to Westminster College has been approved.

Sugar House continues to see new development projects, and the landscape of the business district is continually changing.

Schools

Sugar House has a good selection of quality public and private schools. There are five public elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools: East High and Highland High. East High was featured in Disney’s High School Musical films. One of the most prominent private schools in Sugar House is Rowland Hall St. Marks.

You can search school boundaries for a specific address here.

Westminister College, a private liberal arts university, is in Sugar House. The neighborhood is just a couple of miles from the University of Utah, so many Sugar House residents are connected with the university.

Photo of Westminster College

Crime

Sugar House experiences a low crime rate than much of Salt Lake City, and is considered slightly higher than the national average according to some sources.

Via Trulia

Real Estate Market

Currently there are 155 active properties on the market in this area, 132 of which are single family homes. There are 127 homes currently under contract, and 58 have sold in the last 30 days. Single family homes right now range from the low $200 thousands – $8.7 million, with an median sales price of $348,000 in 2016.

Below are two graphs generated with data from the Wasatch Front MLS to show home sales in Sugar House. The green line is the number of homes listed, the black is number of homes sold, and the blue is the median sales price.

Home sales 2012-2016 by quarter via Utahrealestate.com

Below is the past 20 years of Sugar House home sales – home sales have been pretty steady over the past two decades, except for a dip after the market crash in 2008. Due to the sales price for most homes here being higher than average you’ll notice that there is a larger gap between homes listed and homes sold, as the market tends to be slower in the higher price ranges.

Home sales 1996-2016 in the 1st Quarter via Utahrealestate.com

A Few of My Favorite Homes on the Market

Because Sugar House was developed in the early 1900′s, you tend to see smaller bungalow or Tudor style homes that have more closed off floor plans, usually on fairly small lots. Many of them have been updated and remodeled significantly, sometimes opening up the space a bit.

And because I know you just are dying to see the $8.7 million home:

1220 E Yale Ave | Listed at $8,700,000

3 Bedrooms | 4.5 Baths | 8019 Sq Ft | 0.83 Acre

2265 E Country Club Dr | Listed at $2,995,000

5 Bedrooms | 6.5 Baths | 10,587 Sq Ft | 0.5 Acre

THIS is the house I would buy if I had the money – beautiful!

1722 S Sugarhouse Ln | Listed at $975,000

7 Bedrooms | 3.5 Bath | 4,314 Sq Ft | 0.16 Acres

1363 E Kensington Ave | Listed at $549,000

3 Bedroom | 2 Bath | 2,000 Sq Ft | 0.14 Acre

2696 S Alden St | Listed at $369,900

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 1,778 Sq Ft | 0.15 Acre

The information here is gathered from a variety of sources accurate to my knowledge as of the date written, and as always, I encourage you to do your own detailed research on any area you plan to purchase a home in and not to rely on this blog alone.