SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Live in Salt Lake City and looking for an apartment elsewhere? You aren’t alone, according to the latest report.

In the first part of 2021, 26% of Salt Lake City renters are looking for apartments outside of the metro area, up from 24% last year, according to Apartment List’s newest Renter Mitigation Report.

While these renters are leaving, the report shows another wave of renters are taking those vacancies – renter searches for dense, urban areas are rapidly rising, the report shows.

Thirty-six percent of renters in nearby suburbs are searching for apartments in Salt Lake City proper, up from last year, even though there are concerns that an urban exodus would diminish demand for city living.

Where are Salt Lake City renters going?

The Apartment List report shows the most popular destinations for renters looking to leave Utah’s capital city are:

  • Provo: 21.5%
  • Ogden: 16.5%
  • Seattle: 4.1%

Salt Lake City renters looking to move out are also searching for homes in Los Angeles (3.8%), Phoenix (2.8%), and St. George (2.7%).

Renters looking to move into Salt Lake City are coming from:

  • Ogden: 14.7%
  • Provo: 13.3%
  • Heber: 4.3%

Other renters looking to move into Salt Lake City are Los Angeles (2.8%), New York (2.2%), and Las Vegas (1.7%).

Urban exodus or shuffle?

The report shows that there were concerns some renters in big cities like Salt Lake City and New York City took advantage of working from home and moved out of metro areas to more rural areas, leaving apartments vacant.

As many are moving – including some amid the hot housing market in Utah – Apartment List’s report shows it is having an impact on rent prices in urban and suburban areas, bolstering some suburban areas into greater popularity while some urban areas became less desirable.

Rather than an urban exodus, the report shows an urban shuffle likely happened – as renters move out of urban areas, markets are fluctuating and rent prices are dipping. As rent costs dip, more people are drawn into living in metro areas.

In 2020, 62% of all searches on Apartment List were “out-of-town” searches – users living in one city but looking at homes in another, according to the report. While high, this is slightly lower than previous years.

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