What You Need To Know About Utah's Housing Boom

When the United States' real estate bubble burst in 2007, it hurt real estate markets throughout the country. Many are still recovering, but some have bounced back faster than others.  One of the markets to recover fastest -- and strongest -- is the Utah housing market. If a budding property manager is looking to break into the business or acquire new properties, they could do worse than to look into this blossoming market -- there's no short of potential renters with steady employment lining up to live in this state.

Know your renters

Utah's population is the third fastest-growing in the US, as of the 2010 census. The cities and towns along the Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City and fast-growing Heber City, have experienced unprecedented growth in the last ten years. The same is true for the city of St. George in the southwestern corner of Utah, which is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the US. These areas have been hit by sudden, rapid urban and suburban land development.


Demographically, the state of Utah tends to slant heavily White and non-Hispanic/Latino -- although there has been a recent and remarkable uptick in immigration in the last several years, and the Wasatch Front region in particular has seen a sudden increase in Hispanic/Latino populations. Most Utahns are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), and Utah is one of the most overwhelmingly socially conservative states in the country.


It's no wonder that there are so many new residents coming to Utah -- the state's economy is booming, compared to much of the rest of the US. The lucrative petroleum extraction and processing, coal, and tourism industries provide Utah's urban and suburban residents with employment -- Utah has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Know the market

And with those low unemployment rates in mind, it may not surprise you that Utah's housing market recovered rapidly from the nationwide Great Recession slump. Single-home buildings are selling rapidly, and in most areas of the state, home prices are increasing steadily. These upward trends shows no sign of stopping any time soon. As of August 2014, the average price for a single-family home in the state of Utah was $213,200 -- but keep in mind that this statistic includes Utah's substantial rural areas, in addition to its booming urban and suburban regions.

So what does this mean for landlords and property managers?

Just because these homes are being snapped up doesn't mean that there isn't a place for new landlords. Many of these homes are being purchased not by homeowners, but by prospective landlords, property management companies, and the like -- meaning that there are still plenty of potential renters out there who need housing. Developers know that this demand exists and are rapidly creating new properties to buy, to the point where some experts are citing urban sprawl as a problem. So it's not too late to get in on this, and there's plenty of room for new landlords.

Anybody with the capital could easily consider getting into the property management business in Utah's urban and suburban centers. With housing prices increasing so steadily, it could be a good idea to get into the business now rather than later -- if trends continue, houses are only going to become more expensive as time goes on, which would also lead to a remarkable turnover on investment.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014


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