Blog Post

Insight: Utah Housing Affordability: Avoiding a Potential Crisis

By:  DJ Benway

Since 2010, Utah has led the nation in population and job growth.  This growth has put tremendous pressure on our state’s housing market.  Every Utahn interacts in some way with the housing market, whether we are renters, homeowners, first-time homebuyers, or none of the above; all Utahns are affected by the housing market. Panelist Dan Lofgren, President and CEO of Cowboy Partners, expressed this sentiment during the Informed Decisions Seminar on housing affordability at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute on Tuesday, May 1.  Alongside Lofgren were panelists Clark Ivory, Chief Executive Officer of Ivory Homes, and James Wood, Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at the University of Utah.

As the accompanying report “What Rapidly Rising Prices Mean for Housing Affordability” shows, Utah has a housing shortage.  Three examples from the data include: from 2011 to 2017, 50,833 fewer housing units permits have been issued than new households formed, apartment vacancy rates are at historic lows (as low as 2.4 percent in Weber County in 2017), and single family homes are listed for the fewest cumulative days on market (an average of only 15 days in Salt Lake County in 2017).

Utah Housing Units vs. Household Growth