SALT LAKE CITY – Whether you’re renting or buying, it’s hard to find housing right now in Salt Lake City – or to continue to afford where you are. Indeed, the SLC metro area has seen one of the largest rent increases since the pandemic.
Of all major US cities, Salt Lake City has seen the 3rd highest rent increase in the past three years.
“It’s also a tough time for landlords,” said Paul Smith, executive director of the Utah Apartment Association. It’s stressful raising rents, it’s stressful not being able to find employees.”
Smith says Salt Lake City is booming for good reason.
He says our economy is doing well, people are moving here for jobs, but we are not building enough rental housing to meet the demand.
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But part of the problem is that much of the new construction is a luxury, high-end development that’s out of most people’s price range.
Inflation also plays a vital role in the sharp increase.
“The main reason rents are going up in Utah is that prices keep going up,” Smith said. “It’s very hard for landlords to find maintenance, appliances, paint, carpeting – they’re all going up in price. Rents are going up dramatically, but only half the price of homes.”
Still, it is more affordable in most cases to rent in Utah.
“It’s becoming more and more affordable to rent,” Smith said. “Home prices are up 50% in Salt Lake County in two years; rents have only increased by about 25-30%. »
Smith says only about 9% of the rent comes back into the landlord’s pocket. The other 91% goes to costs, like maintenance.
Her suggestion for struggling tenants is to find ways to increase their income, consider finding a roommate, and most importantly, be patient.
“Not only are people moving to the outskirts, but they’re also getting creative, renting basement apartments, rooms in single-family houses — there are options, you just have to be creative,” Smith said.
Supply is a problem across the country. The United States has an estimated shortage of nearly 4 million housing units.
The two major metros that beat Salt Lake City for the biggest increases?
Our neighbor to the south, Las Vegas, is the second. Coming in first place: Sacramento.
The full study can be viewed online here.