Blog Post

Insight: How Is the Current Health Crisis Impacting Utah’s Real Estate Market?

By: Dejan Eskic

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

The success of a strong real estate market is solely dependent on tenants’ ability to pay rent. As we began 2020, no one could have predicted that by April roughly half of retail tenants would miss rent payments, the majority of offices would shift to our homes, and that we would have executive orders putting a moratorium on evictions. Every real estate sector has suffered.

Utah’s housing market started the year off strong, having its best Q1 on record in terms of permitted new units. However, April data showed just how severe inventory slumped. Construction of new homes fell nearly 45% compared with last April, while the number of existing homes sold fell nearly 25%. This decline in inventory is likely to aggravate Utah’s housing shortage. The pent-up demand has continued to keep price growth positive, with April experiencing a 6.3% increase over last year. Apartment rents increased about 1% this April compared with last. There are approximately 5,500 new apartments under construction currently. The increasing supply of rental