(Good Things Utah) – Utah is more than a great place to live; it’s also a great place to buy a new home. Potential homebuyers rushing to plant new roots in the Beehive state are truly spoiled for choices with new neighborhoods and communities continuing to pop up all across the Wasatch Front. Many well-established home builders are fast at work constructing eye-catching single-family homes and uniquely designed townhomes to meet the ever-growing demand. And it’s a good thing they are. As correctly predicted, 2022 is forecasted to be another year of explosive growth.
Why then is Utah so quickly emerging as such an attractive state to move to – and for many, to invest in property? Here are a few reasons:
1. The housing market in Utah is known as a geographic hotspot
Salt Lake City took the No. 1 spot on this year’s top market list. Located on the Northern side of the state, Salt Lake is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with its close proximity to some of the best skiing, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking in the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic, remote work has prompted an influx of transplants from California and Colorado looking for affordable homes, low cost of living, and good schools. Lehi, Utah, also known as Silicon Slopes for its booming tech industry, is just 25 miles away from Salt Lake and home to SanDisk, Adobe, and eBay facilities.
Realtor.com named the Salt Lake City housing market at the top of the list for 2022. Utah has a healthy local economy with low unemployment rates of a whopping 2.1% in the November 2021 data vs. 5.1% in the top 100 markets overall. Utah has also experienced job growth.
Tech jobs play a role since often shoppers looking for real estate in these areas are coming from tech centers where real estate is even more competitive, pricey, and sometimes feels out of reach. On average, markets like SLC have a slightly higher share of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs.
2. Residents are looking to work remotely
Even though Utah has a strong local economy and a growing tech scene, data suggests that some workers in these areas may be looking for the best of both worlds. The share of workers applying to jobs with “Remote work” keywords, according to LinkedIn, is above average in the Salt Lake City area at 26.3%.
3. Young households drive demand for some while others draw retirees
On average, Utah’s top market has a slightly higher population share of younger people, aged 25-34. These individuals are crucial for the housing market because household formation and homeownership rise strongly among this group–a force that translates into housing demand wherever they are.
4. Growing markets attract outsiders, especially from big cities
Utah is seen with recent household growth that outpaces the 100-market average. Homebuyers are looking to Utah to relocate.
5. Affordability is relative and getting harder to come by
The Utah market is on the rise but when you look at the overall market, it can be a relative bargain for shoppers from certain areas. Salt Lake City for November median sold price was $515,000 for single-family and $38,500 for Multi-family homes.
With a $215 Median price per sq ft. This is quite a bargain relative to Seattle with a median price of nearly $676,000 and price per square foot of $388. But even Seattle is a comparative bargain to pricey Silicon Valley real estate with asking prices near $1 million and price per square foot at $700 and up. However, with sales prices expected to rise 7.4% for these markets on top of the 14.1%, they increased in 2021, even these affordable areas may not feel like a bargain.
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