It’s not great to be a renter in Utah, but it’s not the worst place you could rent

Feb 1, 2022, 11:32 AM | Updated: Sep 11, 2023, 11:38 am


Utahns have about a month left to spend federal rent relief money given to the state during the pandemic (Canva)


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah isn’t the worst place to be when to it comes to rising rent, but if you’re a renter, it’s not exactly great. 

New data from Redfin shows rental prices in Utah rose around 17% compared to rates of 30-40% in other states: The biggest increase was in Austin, where rents surged 40% from a year earlier.

KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked with Paul Smith of the Utah Apartment Association on where rent is now in Utah.

Smith said the state as a whole is down about 50,000 housing units.

Salt Lake City ranks second in nation for increase in housing prices

“But we are building it. Anyone that drives around anywhere sees that. And that’s one of the things that has kept our prices from going up as fast as other parts of the country,” he said.

Rents are stable

“Why are we still playing catch up? . . . How do we make things easier for builders?” Dave asked. “I mean, there’s got to be a solution . . . We’re seeing all this building, and we’re still seeing these prices go through the roof.”

Priced Out: Are there possible solutions to skyrocketing housing prices?

Smith said rental prices in Utah are stable.

“Part of price increases is just the level of inflation and the health of the economy,” he said. “Inflation is going up somewhere between 7% to 8% a year. So a 7% rent increase would just be flat.”

Rent prices up 66% in Utah County over the pandemic

“What can [renters] expect in the the year ahead in terms of price increases?” Debbie asked.

In the next couple of years, Smith forecasts rent increases of 8% to 10%.

“But again, remember, if inflation pressures are pushing that, that could go even higher,” he said.

Rental assistance is out there

“What can a renter do?” Dave asked. “If they’re staring at a big raise in their rent rate, what can they do? Can they sign a longer lease? Are there some solutions? Or do they just have to buckle down and just pay it?”

Rental assistance is still available, Smith said, adding $119 million was paid out last year to help Utah renters.

“Anybody that makes less than 80% of the annual median income in their county for their household size can still apply,” he said.

Other ways renters can bring down the cost of their rents are sign a longer-term lease or negotiate with the landlord, Smith said.

“Costs are going to go up, and so you should be working on increasing our education, our skills, our income, finding roommates, whatever it is we need to do to make housing affordable for us,” he said.

If you bought a house in one of these Utah cities, you might have paid too much

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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It’s not great to be a renter in Utah, but it’s not the worst place you could rent