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REALTOR, BUILDERS BASK IN HOUSING BOOM

A "Great Housing Boom" is sweeping Davis County. And it seems everyone is benefiting.

"For sale" signs on most homes are coming down in less than 90 days, interest rates are low, builders are busy and Realtors are reaping commissions."Davis County is a real hot area right now," said Marino Toulatos, president of the Greater Ogden Area Association of Realtors. "We've had a 53 percent increase in sales during the last six months."

Several newer homes in Kaysville, East Layton and Fruit Heights have sold in less than 30 days, he said.

And most homeowners are getting at least 98 percent of their asking price.

"We're finding that a lot of people who used to live in Utah are coming back. Davis County offers a great quality of life," Toulatos said.

Sales of existing homes in the Bountiful area jumped by 7 percent last year over 1990. And the value of homes in the area will likely increase by 6 to 8 percent this year, according to projections compiled by Randal K. Eagar, 1992 president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

New construction projects are also sprouting in several areas. And others are on the drawing boards.

Ivory Homes, one of Utah's largest residential developers, has pre-sold 130 homes in the county since January. The company sold about 100 during 1991.

"We've never seen this kind of growth in the county," said Kirt Harmon, construction manager for Ivory's northern division. "I think people are finally getting some equity in their first homes."

One Ivory development south and west of Hess Farms in Kaysville has sold out, "and there isn't even a pipe in the ground," he said. The company did not market the 80-home phase; word-of-mouth sold the area, Harmon said.

Ivory currently has 56 homes under construction in the county and expects to build about 500 this year in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties.

Developers in North Salt Lake City will likely break ground later this summer on a 500- to 700-home subdivision east of Bountiful Boulevard. The lots will surround an 18-hole golf course built by the city, if revenue bonds sell in April.

"It's a `move-up' market. Owners can sell their homes fairly easy, take equity and get low interest rates for a more expensive home," Toulatos said.