What’s Behind Utah’s Rapidly Rising Housing Prices?

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Like so many others I met on a daily basis, I am a Utah transplant. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear a story of a resident of an expensive state like California or New York decided to make the move to good old Utah. Whether they move here for the incredible outdoor activities readily available, or the unique and vibrant culture, Utah is undoubtedly a state that calls to many. Although this state isn’t my original home, I’ve grown to love what it has to offer, and obviously, so have many others.

Utah’s seen exponential population growth over the past decade. That likely has to do with the advancements in the technology industry, the progression of “Silicon Slopes”, and the relatively inexpensive, quality housing that Salt Lake County and beyond has seen in the past. 

With that being said, all of Utah—specifically the Wasatch Front—has seen a significant rise in property values and all-time highs in home market prices. This is a huge positive to a seller looking to put their home on the market because literally, the market can’t seem to get enough. 

Are Rising Prices a Good or Bad Sign?

You might be thinking if the market is seeing rising property values and a more competitive market, isn’t that a good thing? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as a yes or no. If you think about what that actually means for our future, for the foreseeable portion of it, it’ll be a seller’s market and not a buyer’s market. So yes, it’s great for property owners who are placing their homes on the market, however, buyers might be stuck in a bind. Since October of 2018, home values throughout Utah have gone up over 8%. That percentage will likely continue to grow.

Can You Afford It?

Here’s the thing. If you’re reading this and are a Utah homeowner, you may be in an excellent position. From simple research, the current value of a single-family home is more or less $350,000. Hopefully, that number is a bit of a confidence booster for those homeowners who are looking to put their home on the market within the year.

Those in search of a single-family home, however, might have it a little tougher. Yes, finding a home here in Utah has just become more difficult because of home shortages, but even if you did find your dream home, could you afford it? It’s right to be worried about whether or not you can make a mortgage payment from month to month. And although it’s safe to say that Salt Lake’s economy is in a booming stage, it’s better to play it safe than face a future foreclosure.

The cost of living in Utah is likely to rise. And yes, it’s a bummer that so many of us lovers of Utah don’t have much of a choice when it comes to the housing market on an average income. If you’re planning to buy a home soon, it’s time to pay close attention. Salt Lake is a valuable real estate, but prices are high. Now’s the time to think out of the box. It might even be the right move for you to get out of Salt Lake and into the “Silicon Slopes” areas like Lehi, Saratoga Springs, and Eagle Mountain. 

Be Prepared with Smart Allies

Not sure what you should be looking for? If you’re ready to buy, it’s time to have experts on your side. Find a lending company and realtor that know these areas like the back of their hand. They’re more likely to know what’s going to be a great market choice and what areas might fall flat on the market within the next 5 or so years. Utah as a whole is seeing dramatically changing demographics, a robust economy, and an increasing job market. If you want in, know where “in” is.


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