Study: Skyrocketing Housing Costs Putting the Squeeze on Utah Renters
Thursday, September 29, 2022
The average cost of keeping a roof over your head in Utah's metro areas is a lot more than it used to be - if you're renting.
A recent University of Utah study found that rental prices in the state's major cities increased faster in the past two years than they did over the entire prior decade.
Dejan Eskic - a senior research fellow at the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute - said rising home prices have pushed many Utahns into the rental market, increasing the demand and driving up leasing costs.
"Prior to COVID, about 49% of households statewide could not qualify for the median-priced home," said Eskic. "They were priced out, basically, where at the end of the second quarter this year, they were up to 78%."
Eskic says between 2010 and 2020, rental rates in the Salt Lake City area increased by about 2.5% a year. But in the last two years, those rates jumped by about 10.5% per year.
That means a two-bedroom apartment that cost $983 a month in 2010 now costs more than $1,600 - a 64% increase.
Two years into the pandemic, the report found that more than two-thirds of Utah households could not afford a median-priced home.
Tara Rollins, Director of the Utah Housing Coalition, said the prevalence of national corporate landlords in Utah has changed the nature of the rental market.
"Housing is no longer just a shelter or an investment for a Mom and Pop," said Rollins. "It is a portfolio. And so every year, that portfolio has to perform better and better and better."
Rollins said policymakers need to develop programs to assist Utahns, particularly workers in lower wage tourism and service jobs.
It would also help to create incentives that bring more locally-based investors into the rental market - in hopes those landlords would have a bigger stake in community building.
"I'm all about stabilizing people in their housing," said Rollins. "Because right now, at this point, if you have a roof over your head, you really want to keep that roof over your head."
get more stories like this via email
Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it …
Airport service workers rallied in Washington, D.C., Thursday to demand Congress pass legislation ensuring they receive a livable wage with stronger …
Before the pandemic, one in five people in Los Angeles County lacked consistent access to food - and in 2021, one in four low-income families …
Electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another, but the lack of charging stations often limits drivers to …
As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need …
A labor union representing agricultural workers in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia says it isn't waiting around for federal immigration reform to …
West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based …
As the year comes to a close, the Sierra Club of Connecticut is looking back on some of its accomplishments and challenges. The group focuses on …