BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Priced Out: The effects of spiking Utah home prices on buyers and sellers

Apr 13, 2021, 9:16 AM
Utah home prices continue to rise - house under construction...
FILE: Housing prices continue to rise on the Wasatch Front, with demand driving up prices even for rental property. (Photo: KSL TV)
(Photo: KSL TV)

Editorial note: This is part two of a series on affordable housing, called “Priced Out.” You can see the other parts of our coverage here

SALT LAKE CITY — Rising home prices aren’t the only thing making it hard for people to find good housing in northern Utah.  Competition is becoming extremely fierce for homebuyers because the number of homes are the market is so low, which is fantastic for sellers, but causing a new crop of issues for buyers. It’s pricing area residents out of buying, and even making finding affordable rental properties a challenge. 

“One bedroom and one bath and 540 square feet is $1,360,” said Salt Lake City resident Jennifer Hollander as she showed KSL apartment listings near downtown Salt Lake City. 

Buying and renting tough amid rising Utah home prices

At one point, before COVID-19, Hollander was in the market to buy a condo and there were some that were in her price range. A master aesthetician, Hollander works in skin care and permanent make-up; she spent 15 hundred hours to get that certification.  However, all that disappeared when the pandemic hit.

“Then, all of the sudden, it was like the world stopped,” she said. 

Now, she lives in a one-bedroom apartment smaller than most hotel rooms.  Not only can she not afford to buy a home, she can’t afford to rent most apartments downtown. 

She showed another listing where the property owner wouldn’t advertise how much the rent would be per month. 

“This one, 462 square feet and you have to ‘call for details.’” 

Hollander pointed out several others that also neglected to show the monthly rent on the listing.

Market misery

She’s currently paying less than $700 per month for her apartment, but only because she qualifies for low-income housing assistance.  She’s not sure if things will ever get back to somewhat normal.

“There are no jobs.  I mean, there are listings and you can see them on Indeed, but there are not a lot.  When you do apply, you’re applying with everybody else that’s still looking in the beauty industry,” Hollander said.

It’s not just the price of the home that’s becoming an issue for so many potential homebuyers.  Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals President Lauren Patterson says even when people can afford the house, other customers outbid them by thousands more. He says some of those buyers are willing to pass a dollar figure they’d be comfortable with to lock down a house.

“Others put a little bit more due diligence into it, but I think we’ll all continue to see some shuffling going on,” Patterson said.

Seller’s market could continue for years

If you’re selling a home, things are great.  Patterson says this shuffling could continue for months, if not years, and it includes people trying to downsize from what they have now.

“Home prices are anticipated or forecast to continue to increase, so, at that point, you’re hard-pressed to say ‘don’t buy,’” he said.

However, it’s the first time home buyers that could have the biggest challenge getting house.

He said, “As you know, getting into the market the first time is the biggest challenge that we have.  Once you’re in, you’ve got appreciation and net worth that starts working for you.  So, making a move after that is a little bit easier.”

Patterson says it’s still possible for younger couples and millennials to afford a home, adding that people typically spend roughly 20 percent of their monthly income on housing.  Homes can stay affordable even if rising housing costs outpace growth in salaries, just not indefinitely.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

Homes line the horizon in Daybreak in South Jordan on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The world's populat...
Allessandra Harris

South Jordan could see new housing development

Amid Utah's housing crisis, developers are taking advantage of over 200,000 acres in South Jordan for a new housing community.
1 day ago
A hiring sign is displayed in the window of a Panera Bread store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, ...
Paul R. La Monica, CNN

Jobs report to give further clues about where economy is headed

Economists predict that 185,000 jobs were added last month, a slowdown from the gain of 223,000 jobs in December and 263,000 in November.
2 days ago
File**People walk past the entrance to a Bed Bath & Beyond retail store along Sixth Avenue in N...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase.
4 days ago
With 24 other states on board, the Utah Attorney General announced on Friday a lawsuit against a De...
Simone Seikaly

Utah leading a lawsuit against new ESG rule affecting 401(k) plans

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the states in the lawsuit are concerned about the federal government's promotion of ESG investing.
4 days ago
savings system right on the money...
Mark Jones

Economists are worried of a recession in 2023, financial expert weighs in

Many economists are fearing a recession in 2023 despite the U.S. economy ending last year better than expected.
5 days ago
A new service called Cottonwood Connect could address parking problems at the ski resorts in Big an...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

Cottonwood Connect offers a new way to get up Cottonwood Canyons

The goal is to fill gaps left when UTA limited ski bus service. The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday through mid-April.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Priced Out: The effects of spiking Utah home prices on buyers and sellers