News Release

Utah construction marks 5 years of post-recession growth

Salt Lake City (July 19, 2016) – Utah’s construction industry has experienced five consecutive years of expansion, growing to $6.9 billion in 2015, according to recent analysis conducted by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.

By 2010, the Great Recession had pushed construction spending in Utah down to a 20-year low of $3.5 billion. While 2011 and 2012 saw tepid growth, the following three years saw an impressive increase of nearly 20 percent annually. In 2015, the $6.9 billion in statewide permit authorized construction was the fourth-highest year ever.

“The five-year recovery has been good for Utah’s construction industry,” said James Wood, Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “Most notably, the emergence of Lehi and South Jordan as two of the top three cities statewide in real estate development and construction activity, with $1.6 billion and $1.5 billion in spending, respectively.”

Other notable findings include St. George’s return as one of the top five cities for real estate development. While still well below the construction peak 10 years ago, it has surpassed much larger Wasatch Front cities such as West Jordan, West Valley City and Sandy. Salt Lake City is dominant in new apartment development, with 3,000 new units in the past five years, as new downtown rental housing has introduced high-rise living to the local rental market.

Results of the research brief are now available online  and have been assembled in partnership with the Ivory-Boyer Real Estate Center.