The Utah Foundation recently produced a brief on housing affordability as concerns in Utah have become increasingly acute. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation Senior Analyst Christopher Collard, President Peter Reichard and Vice President / Research Director Shawn Teigen discuss what they’ve been learning as they dig in on the housing cost issue.
Concerns about housing affordability in Utah have become acute, to say the least. In Utah Foundation surveys dating back to 2008, housing affordability had never been a top-10 issue. That changed in 2020. In an initial Utah Priorities survey before the economic shutdown, we found that housing affordability had surged to become the second most important issue. In a new survey several months later, it remained in the top 10, even after the pandemic crisis … Continued
The Utah Foundation has released a series of Significant Statistics on the relative importance of housing affordability among Utah voters, noting the steep increases in housing prices and rental prices. Why are we seeing these increases? The Utah Foundation has looked at whether it might be due to an influx of Californians. That does not seem to be the whole answer. When looking at Utah’s larger metropolitan areas, the recent rate of people moving in … Continued
One theory commonly floated about the current crunch is that the higher levels of remote work have allowed workers to leave higher-density cities for locations with good job opportunities and a higher quality of life – both strong points for Utah, though Utah Foundation is unaware of any data supporting the theory itself. A second factor for the housing crunch more broadly is record low interest rates. In May, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate … Continued
Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project found that housing affordability is a top issue to Utah voters.
Utah Foundation had asked about housing prices in its 2008, 2010 and 2012 Utah Priorities Project surveys but housing had never been one of the top 10 issues. However, housing affordability was the second most important issue to Utah voters in early 2020. With the emergence of the coronavirus, concerns about housing affordability dropped to 7th – with just under one-third of Utahns ranking it in the top 5. (See Figure 1.) Interestingly, housing affordability … Continued
UTAH HOUSING BUILDING PERMITS decreased from 3,070 in March to 2,089 in April, a 32% decrease.1 Interestingly, this came just after a March in which the greater Salt Lake City area (MSA) saw the highest number of housing permits in decades, and perhaps ever – over 1,500. The next month, they plummeted: April saw a decrease to just over 800.2 Meanwhile, regional housing start3 estimates across the West indicate a dramatic dropoff, from 325,000 in … Continued
Utah Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the challenges posed by Utah’s rapid population growth, issues explored in the research report Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah. The panelists included: Andrew Gruber, Wasatch Front Regional Council Robert Grow, Envision Utah Beth Holbrook, Utah Transit Authority Bryson Garbett, Garbett Homes Cameron Diehl, Utah League of Cities and Towns In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear … Continued
Utah Foundation occasionally surveys Utahns in an effort to understand how they feel about both their community and their personal quality of life. This video describes why Utah’s community quality of life is declining, and shows how quality of life is affected by demographic factors. This is all described in further detail in our report Utah Foundation Quality of Life Survey: Measuring Utahns’ Perceptions of their Communities, Personal Lives.
Housing affordability has become one of the biggest topics in recent public discourse. That makes sense: Housing prices in Utah have increased sharply during the past five years. The median sales price of a home rose from $207,000 in 2013 to $298,950 in 2018. Median rents in Utah have increased from $851 in 2012 to $986 in 2017. From a longer-term perspective, housing cost increases in both Utah and most other Western states have consistently … Continued