(ABC4) – We hear so much about the people who are moving to the Salt Lake area in droves, but what about the people who want to move away? A recent nationwide survey suggests that nearly half of employed Americans living in the northeast or west regions of the country would be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with lower pay in order to relocate to a less expensive area.
According to Hannah Cutler, Utah district manager for Coldwell Banker Realty, the real estate boom in Utah is pricing people out of certain areas. This is leading to growth in other locations that may have previously been considered to be less desirable.
“What we’re seeing is that the rise in prices and the competition in our market is just causing buyers to move further out to areas that they may not have considered before,” Cutler says. “Honestly, that’s kind of a good thing for us because it’s helping those outlying areas that don’t usually see the price increases.”
According to Cutler, the average sale price of a home in Salt Lake County rests around $560,000, whereas costs drop considerably within just a 30-minute drive, with prices averaging about $445,000 in Tooele County. She says this is causing people to move – both to suburbs of Salt Lake City and to more rural communities like Tooele and Eagle Mountain. Experts are seeing major growth farther north, too, in Davis and Weber counties, and south of Salt Lake, in communities as far as Payson. Park City buyers are venturing out, too, with home sales picking up in areas like Heber City and Kamas.
“It’s allowing people to be open to a little bit longer commute, because it’s giving them places where they can afford a little bit more home than they could if they were more in the center of the valley and maybe closer to where they work,” Cutler says.
And with work from home culture so prevalent, it’s okay for employees to live further from their company’s home base.
“They’re willing to move a little further, they’re willing to take a pay cut if necessary, to be able to be in an area where they can afford,” Cutler says. “Especially with the virtual working options, it’s allowing them to get into the market and become homeowners.”
Many of the buyers moving to more remote locales outside of the metropolitan area may be young buyers, Cutler speculated. According to the same survey, 51% of survey respondents aged 18-34 said they’d accept less pay to live somewhere more affordable. This age demographic had the highest percentage of positive responses to the question, with 47% of 35-44 year-olds saying they would move to a more affordable location and only 27% of 55-64 year-olds saying they’d consider relocating.
This not only shows that young people aspire to own homes, it also reveals that these growing communities outside the city may be drawing in a younger demographic by necessity.
Cutler also says she sees more young homeowners moving to outlying areas because they need to purchase larger homes with more space for their growing families.
And because the growth in Salt Lake is prompting growth in other Utah communities, should these areas anticipate a similar price surge?
Cutler says maybe.
“Demand will continue to grow. The demand that we’ve seen in our market and in a lot of other markets across the country, it looks like it’s going to continue into 2022.”
Utahns know more than anyone what it is that draws homebuyers to the beehive state. Sweeping mountain views, bountiful opportunities for outdoor recreation, and the cultural opportunities afforded by proximity to Salt Lake City are reasons why movers are choosing Utah. But Cutler hopes that some of these homebuyers – and existing residents – will see the possibilities of locations further from Salt Lake, too.
“While it seems like the pressure of the market is unfair and it’s hard on some of these different price point buyers, I think it’s just creating opportunities and people are just having to be a little more creative and just adapt to it,” she says.