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Salt Lake County rental market is “tightest” it’s ever been

Mar 9, 2022, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:08 pm
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FILE - AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File

SALT LAKE CITY — The rental market in Salt Lake County looks like this — more people are looking to rent, the cost to rent is increasing, and the number of available apartments is low.

That’s why Senior Fellow at the Gardner Institute, James Wood, says the market is the tightest it’s ever been.

The better news is that he expects the situation to get better.

“Given how much product we have under construction, and that’s going to reach the market, I think that what we’ll see is some relief over the next three years for the renter,” Wood said. 

But he also said that landlords will continue to have the upper hand.

Right now, only 2% of apartments in Salt Lake County are vacant. That’s the lowest vacancy rate in at least the last 20 years. 

The 2022 Utah Legislative session just wrapped up, with not much attention paid to the lack of affordable housing in the state.  One reason for that, said Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, is that the state set aside $100 million for affordable housing in the last two sessions.

Wilson said not all of that funding has been used yet.

And it may not be a problem that can be solved by government policy, said Dan Lofgren, the president of the development company Cowboy Partners. 

“Unfortunately, I don’t see, however, that there’s going to be a policy move that’s going to make the difference in housing affordability,” Lofgren said. 

“There are policy moves that are incremental, that will be helpful,” he said.

One specific move Lofgren cited, would be more subsidized housing in Utah.

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Salt Lake County rental market is “tightest” it’s ever been