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

EVERETT WALMART, EVERETT, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - 2023/04/19: An empty cart is seen near an emp...

Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

The real reasons stores such as Walmart and Starbucks are closing in big cities

Several forces are pushing Walmart and Starbucks out of some city centers: a glut of stores, people working from home, online shopping, exorbitant rents, crime and public safety concerns, and difficulty hiring workers.

10 months ago

graduates are pictured, the us is offering some student loan debt forgiveness...

Associated Press

The US has approved $42 billion in loan forgiveness for public service workers. Here’s what to know

The program is separate from U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether that plan can go ahead.

10 months ago

people at restaurant eating on mother's day pictured...

Alexandra Peers, CNN

Why Mother’s Day is the most hated day in the restaurant industry

The National Retail Federation forecasts that Mother's Day spending will reach $35.7 billion this year, with a record $5.6 billion spent on a meal or outing.

10 months ago

debt...

Curt Gresseth

Ticktock: US steps closer to debt default

Robert Spendlove, senior vice president and economic and public policy officer at Zions Bank, joins the show to discuss what would happen if the federal government defaults on its debt.

10 months ago

close up of a peleton bike pictured, a recall has been issued for some...

Associated Press

Peloton recalling more than 2M exercise bikes because the seat post assembly can break during use

The recall includes approximately 2.2 million of the Peloton Bikes Model PL01. The bikes were sold from January 2018 through May 2023 for about $1,400.

10 months ago

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic National Committee winter meeting on February...

Arlette Saenz, CNN

Biden takes debt ceiling pitch on road amid standoff with Republicans

The president said he believes the country can avoid default because an "overwhelming number of members of ... Congress know it would be a disaster."

10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

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.

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.

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