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  • SALT LAKE CITY (KSL) -- Home sales in Utah are up 4 percent from 2008 overall, but one part of the market is still in a free fall.

    You know those million-dollar homes being purchased left and right a few years ago? How far down are those prices now?

    Stonebrook Real Estate Associate Broker Don Hampton said, "I would say [by] a third at the minimum and certainly half. I've seen some go as much as a half off."

  • (Deseret News) Logan is the fourth-best place to "Live the simple life" in the nation, according to a new ranking by AARP The Magazine.

    The magazine's annual "Best Places To Live" list focused on towns and cities that are best for living the simple (and often less expensive) life.

    Tucson, Ariz., topped the list of cities high on culture and low on stress, followed by Greenville, S.C., Montpelier, Vt., Logan, and Ames, Iowa.

  • Provo » The city of Highland is paying a lobbyist $5,000 a month to push for funding for a visitor center and administrative building near the mouth of American Fork Canyon.

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  • FARMINGTON (Deseret News) — Davis County commissioners Tuesday announced the creation of a new department to help property owners through the property-value appeals process.

    The Tax Administration Department, modeled on a similar department in Salt Lake County, is designed as a more efficient way to handle the thousands of appeals submitted to the county's Board of Equalization every year.

    By September 2008, Davis County received nearly 6,000 appeals to property values after completing valuations of all 93,000 parcels.

  • ALTA (Deseret News) — A proposed subdivision in the tiny town of Alta has environmentalists up in arms.

    And as of last week, the naysayers seemed to be on the winning side of the years-long tug of war.

    Meeting in a fancy seafood restaurant in Sandy, the Alta Planning Commission recommended against approval of the project, citing lack of access to water and emergency services.

    The proposed subdivision, if built, would consist of up to 16 homes next to the Grizzly Gulch neighborhood.

  • WEST VALLEY CITY (Deseret News) — Elected officials are slated to approve a property purchase that would expand Terrace Ridge Park, located at the corner of 6400 West and 4600 South.

    The West Valley City Council will vote Tuesday on the proposal to spend $10,000 for about 4,000 square feet of land that was inadvertently left out of the purchase of the park. The money will come from impact fees charged to new development, according to a city staff report.

  • (Deseret News) Salt Lake Community College will break ground in October for a nearly 125,000 square foot Center for New Media at the South City campus on State Street.

  • MORGAN -- A Mountain Green neighborhood is threatening civil action against a developer for flooding caused by drainage off his development.

    "I'm very concerned about the storm water flow of Whisper Ridge," said Dick Morrin, a resident of the Monte Verde neighborhood in Mountain Green. "Personally, I was flooded twice inside my home. In the 10 years I've lived there, I've never seen anything like this."

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) Before you open your mailbox in coming days, brace yourself for bad news: Your property values probably have gone down.

    Now take a deep breath and get ready for worse news: You probably won't see your taxes go down. Instead, they could go up.

    That's the bittersweet reality of Utah's taxation laws, where governments are guaranteed at least the same amount of revenue year after year, whether the real estate market goes gangbusters or collapses.

  • (Deseret News) With the number of existing homes sold in Utah recently falling to the lowest level in 15 years, it's no surprise that some people who are trying to sell properties are becoming desperate — so desperate that about one of every six houses listed for sale is priced for less than was originally paid for it.

    According to data compiled by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, 17 percent of residential property listed for sale or under contract is a short sale — approximately double the amount of one year ago.

  • (Deseret News) Two new stimulus grants totaling about $1.7 million will help Salt Lake County keep financially distressed families in their homes and build infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods.

  • (Deseret News) The yellow and red banners hanging on streetlights and buildings make the claim, but the proof is in the construction crews and cranes, the coming soons and the grand openings.

    Downtown is rising.

    "It feels different; it feels alive," said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance. "Something special is happening in Salt Lake that isn't happening in other metropolitan areas."

  • (Deseret News) The Smith's Food & Drug that has served residents of American Fork for 29 years is closing at 6 p.m. Saturday.

    Shopping in the Utah County bedroom community has changed, with a new Wal-Mart, Costco and other stores opening in retail complexes east of I-15. Typically, Smith's remodels its stores every 10 years, and the American Fork store was due for a remodel, but the company has decided to close the store's doors.

  • (Deseret News) The planned development of more affordable housing in downtown Salt Lake City got a strong push this week as a state funding agency announced the approval of nearly $10 million in bonding for a proposed complex.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) A start-up organization, co-founded by developer Mark Cohen and two Zions Bank executives, will oversee use of Utah's $20 million in federal neighborhood stabilization funds.

    The state purchasing division awarded the competitive bid -- reopened because of a flawed first round in early May -- to Utah Center for Affordable Housing (UCAH), a self-described "new organization with no agenda or history."

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) New information on property values and growing budget gaps at the state level has the Canyons School District rethinking its pledge of no new taxes.

    Officials now propose hiking property taxes 3.8 percent, about $46 annually on a $311,000 home.

    The increase will net about $4 million, enough to the preserve the district's original $198 million spending plan plus another $2 million in expenses.

    "We have to raise enough money to pay our bills," said Canyons spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.

  • Real-estate agents say 17 percent of the homes for sale in Salt Lake County are selling for less money than the balance owed on a mortgage. Salt Lake Board of Realtors Communications Director Dave Anderton says three-quarters of the short sales involve homes that cost less than $300,000.

    Original Article

  • WASHINGTON TERRACE -- Want to live in a million-dollar home for the price of renting an apartment?

    You might want to call Cathy Cardenas.

    Cardenas is the founder and president of Designer Home Tending, a Bountiful-based company that finds people to live in homes that are up for sale.

  • FARMINGTON -- Davis County property owners may be able to get resolutions to property valuation disputes before October.
  • American Fork » Utah's priciest-ever highway project will also be an experiment in value shopping. As three mega-contracting teams prepare their bids for the $1.

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  • A pair of inventors want to take the nation's highways and turn them into a source of green energy, with right-of-ways...
  • CEDAR CITY - First Wind, the company building Utah's largest wind farm in Milford, announced Tuesday it has closed two financing transactions for a total of $191 million.
  • NORTH SALT LAKE - Summer is the season for road construction, and for commuters driving through Davis County, things will probably get worse before they get better.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) A failed Southern California bank opened Monday under the name of a Zions Bancorp subsidiary after federal regulators seized it late last week.

    Zions' California Bank & Trust bought $1.5 billion of deposits and $1.4 billion in loans from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which asked CB&T and other banks to bid on the assets. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Vinyard Bank by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Friday.

    Terms of the deal weren't released by the banks or the government.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) Zions Bancorp's losses in the second quarter narrowed noticeably over the prior six months, but the bank holding company still struggled with loans that borrowers can't repay.

    The $40.7 million loss in the April-through-June period was driven largely by Zions' need to cover more than a 400 percent increase in bad loans since the second quarter of 2008. It also felt obliged to build up its reserve for additional bad loans expected in the future, the company said Monday.

  • Salt Lake County is getting more than $1 million in federal grants to help families avoid losing their homes or quickly find new ones. The money comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Original Article

  • ST. GEORGE - The slumping economy may have slowed growth in Southern Utah lately, but planners are still putting local "smart growth" initiatives developed during the boom years to the test, particularly with the two large-scale developments that make up the "South Block."

  • Ensuring the public knows the real story of the "real estate" industry in Utah is one of the main goals of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, 2009 Board President Ryan Kirkham says.

  • Microsoft is intensifying its fight with rival Apple, and the House That Bill Gates Built is taking the battle right to Apple's doorstep. Microsoft confirmed last week that it will be opening retail stores akin to Apple's stores in the U.

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