In the News

The best place to stay up to date with current events and newsworthy information for the rental housing industry.

Housing market pressurizes rent prices: Utah rents rose faster over 2 years than the last decade

September 24, 2022 - By Katie McKellar - Deseret News

Jennifer Fei, 48, has felt the pinch every year. But over the past couple of years, especially, the rental market’s stranglehold on her household budget has been tightening.

She moved into a quaint, two-bedroom duplex in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City roughly seven years ago. At the time, her monthly rent was $1,300, which she said seemed like a pretty good deal.

“Over the years, there have always been increases — $100 here, $50 there,” Fei told the Deseret News. When she signed her lease for 2020 to 2021, it went up $150.

Then, for 2022, it shot up $410, she said.

“Just within two years, I saw like a $550 increase in rent,” she said. “So it’s pretty significant.”

Now, Fei says her rent sits at just below $2,000 a month.

Meanwhile, her wages remain stagnant. As a sales representative, Fei said she earns about $60,000 a year. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she made less as the pandemic took a toll on her commission, which she earns from selling products to retailers and restaurants.

 . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

Renters' rights: What to do if facing unexpected charges

May 23, 2022 - By Emily Tencer -Fox 13 News

SALT LAKE CITY — The average one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Utah cost almost $1,200 per month in 2021, according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. That’s an increase of almost 50 percent in just six years.

As market prices climb, if you find a place or price that seems too good to be true, tenant lawyers are advising you to know your rights before you sign your lease.

“What would I do differently? For sure the day I moved in I would take my own video of the whole unit and take pictures of anything and just save that,” said Zach Wilson.

Wilson lived with his family in the Overlook Community in Herriman for 15 months. Their townhome was home to many "firsts" — it was where Wilson and his wife became parents and shared their first memories as a young family.

“I want to knock on this door where I used to live and let them know, ‘document everything,’” he said.

Wilson said Maxx Property Management told them rent would be going up, so they decided to move out in April.

They waited for the return of their $1,400 security deposit but never got it. Instead, they received an email saying the company not only wouldn’t return the deposit, but that the family was charged another $3,000 in damages.

“Anyone who knows us who came into our unit, we’re a clean family,” said Wilson. “To pay $3,000… It’s a lot.”

In the email, the company told the Wilsons they only had six days to pay the bill, and if it was not paid in full, an additional 40 percent collection fee would be added on.

The Wilsons were charged more than $2,000 for carpet replacement, $426 for cleaning, and more tahn $1,700 for repairs and painting over mismatched paint.

“It just seems like it’s a free-for-all for landlords,” said Wilson.

In a statement sent to FOX 13 News, Maxx PM wrote in part: “The process is inherently unpleasant but future residents deserve the same quality living conditions as the previous resident. The lease holds parties responsible for the damages they cause.”. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 
Salt Lake City metro ranks No. 3 in nation for largest rent prices increases, report says

May 16, 2022 - By Katie McKellar -Deseret News

While housing prices in Utah and across the West continue to climb at staggering rates and price more and more would-be homebuyers out of the market, rents are far from stagnant.

Rent prices aren’t escalating at the same rate as home prices, but they haven been on a steep upward trajectory, especially in high-growth states in the West.

Compared to other major metropolitan areas across the country, western states stand out for the biggest rent price jumps over the past two years, after the COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. housing market into upheaval.

Led only by metros in Nevada and Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah ranks as No. 3 in the nation among large metros that saw the biggest price increases from 2019 to 2022, according to a new report from the real estate site Stessa. . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 
Salt Lake City metro area sees one of the country's steepest rent price increases

May 13, 2022 - By Eliana Sheriff - Fox 13 News

Whether you're renting or buying, it’s a tough time to find a place to live right now in Salt Lake City — or to continue to afford where you’re at. That’s because the SLC metropolitan area saw one of the sharpest increases in rent since the pandemic.

Out of all large U.S. metros, Salt Lake City experienced the 3rd largest rent increase in the past three years.

“It’s a hard time for landlords, too," said Paul Smith, the executive director of the Utah Apartment Association." It’s stressful to raise rents, it’s stressful to not be able to get employees."

Smith says Salt Lake City is booming for good reason.

He says our economy is doing well, people are moving here for jobs, but we aren’t building enough rental units to keep up with demand.

But part of the problem is a lot of the new construction is luxury, high-end development, which is out of most people's price range.

Inflation is also playing a critical role in the sharp increase. . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 
We’re our own worst enemy when it comes to solving the housing crisis, Utah expert says

May 5, 2022 - By Katie McKellar- Deseret News

As the U.S. and Utah housing markets continue to see wild prices, a Utah housing expert said he knows the pain of homebuyer hopefuls — and not just by the numbers.

“As a 30-something-year-old who is fully employed, my family and I have spent 18 of the last 24 months living in my in-laws’ basement. Not because we wanted to, but because we couldn’t find a house to buy,” said Dejan Eskic, a senior research fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, during a TEDx BYU Talk taped in March and posted online Wednesday.

This is the reality of a “severe housing crisis” facing the U.S., he said, and basement dwelling is a growing trend for not just young adults, but all adults across the country.

“There simply aren’t enough homes to buy for everybody, and housing prices are at record highs,” Eskic said.

It’s a classic supply versus demand issue. There just simply aren’t enough homes — especially in Utah, where a yearslong housing shortage pushed inventory extremely low, even before the pandemic sent the national market into upheaval.  . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

High demand creates tightest rental market in the history of Salt Lake County

April 01, 2022 - By Press Release - Utah Business

Sandy — The Utah Apartment Association says demand for apartment units is at an all-time high, with overall vacancy rates below 2 percent.

“People cannot find places to rent,” says Paul Smith, executive director of the Utah Apartment Association. “In some cases, renters are giving notice to leave and then asking their rental operators if they can extend their stay because they can’t find a new place to live.”

According to a report released in earlier this month by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, the Salt Lake County rental market has approximately 148,500 rental units, and only 3,000 units are vacant.

The high demand for rental units has pushed rental rates skyward. The average rent in Utah for a two-bedroom unit climbed to $1,710 in February according to Rent.com. In Salt Lake City, the average rent for a two-bedroom unit increased to $2,157 in February.
Many renters have put their home buying dreams on pause due to increasing home prices, bidding wars, and rising mortgage interest rates. However, just finding a rental unit can be challenging, Smith says. “There are multiple applicants for every available unit,” he added. “Clearly, demand is exceeding supply.”

 . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

There's never been such a severe shortage of homes in the U.S. Here's why

March 29, 2022 - By Chris Arnold - NPR

Emerson Claus has been building houses for 45 years. But he has never faced delays like he is now trying to get basic building materials. "I had a client ask me to add a door," he says at a job site outside Boston. "We just waited six months to get it."

"That's a door in a frame," Claus says, exasperated. "That's kind of crazy." He says appliances can be even worse. "A dishwasher, if you can find the model you want right now, you might wait a year for it."

By one estimate, the U.S. is more than 3 million homes short of the demand from would-be homebuyers. Pandemic-related supply chain problems aren't helping. They're adding tens of thousands of dollars in cost to the typical house. But the roots of the problem go back much further — to the housing bubble collapse in 2008.

"What I call a bloodbath happened," says Claus. It was the worst housing market crash since the Great Depression. Many homebuilders went out of business. Claus was building houses in Florida when the bottom fell out.

"A lot of my tradespeople found other work, went and got retrained for new jobs in law enforcement, all sorts of jobs," says Claus. "So the workforce was somewhat decimated."

A few years later, as Americans started buying more homes again, building stayed below normal. And that slump in building continued for more than a decade. Meanwhile, the largest generation, the millennials, started to settle down and buy houses.

And that's the main reason we've ended up millions of homes short -- builders for many years just weren't building enough to keep up with demand. That lack of supply has pushed home prices to record levels — up nearly 20% last year alone. . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Unaffordable Utah: Salt Lake County’s apartment market the tightest in history

March 09, 2022 - By LADD EGAN - KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY – Renters in Salt Lake County are facing increased rental rates and low vacancy even as the county experiences an unprecedented apartment boom, according to a new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

“Salt Lake County’s housing shortage and high home prices have led to the ‘tightest’ apartment market in the county’s history,” the report said. “In 2021, the vacancy rate dropped below 2%, and rental rates increased by double-digits.”

The county’s vacancy rate dropped to its lowest level in the 20-year history that records have been kept. Also, the rent increase of 10.1% from 2020 to 2021 is the second-highest increase on record.

“Builders and developers have responded to the imbalance of rental units and renters with a record number of developments under construction and proposed, with growth projected to stay strong in the coming years,” said a prepared statement from James Wood, the report’s author and Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at the institute.

The county’s apartment building boom picked up steam from 2011 to 2021 with 34,500 apartment units receiving building permits, triple the level from the preceding decade, the report said. And in 2021, apartment building permits hit a record high of nearly 6,700 units.

“For many households, the only housing option is renting,” Wood wrote in the research brief. “High housing prices have excluded them from homeownership.”. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Addressing three myths that block new apartment construction

March 08, 2022 - By ANDREW CLINE - The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

Though rental housing is in tremendous demand statewide, its share of new building permits issued is shrinking. In 2020, single-family homes represented 59% of new building permits issued in the state, up from 50% the year before. It’s become harder to build multi-family housing in New Hampshire as opponents have become very effective at organizing to block new projects.

With too few apartments being built, the state’s rental vacancy rate has fallen to 0.6%, and average rents, already at record highs last summer, have continued to rise. Rental data tracking site Rent Cafe pegs Manchester’s average rent at $1,646 and Nashua’s at $1,829. The Union Leader reported this past weekend that “stiff rent increases are hitting New Hampshire residents.”

For both single-family homes and rentals, the record price increases are caused by critical supply shortages. But rentals tend to face stronger local opposition when developers propose projects that would reduce the shortage.

Most of the opposition is caused by persistent myths about multi-family housing’s impact on local communities. With communities finally taking a greater interest in approving new housing projects, it will be important to counteract those myths.

Fortunately, we have the data to do that. . . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Need for Affordable Housing Runs up Against Utah Zoning Laws

Feb. 26, 2022 - By ZAKARY SONNTAG - Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A growing chorus of experts say middle housing, a class of multifamily housing options that falls between single-family homes and large apartment complexes, is a vital instrument in the fight against unaffordable housing.

But middle housing has a big problem: Zoning in most residential areas doesn’t allow it, the Deseret News reported.

That’s the big takeaway from a new report from the Utah Foundation, which challenges the wisdom of the prevailing 20th-century zoning practices that separate commercial and residential areas while catering to automobile-oriented development, making the case that zoning laws, predominantly under the jurisdiction of local governments, is hampering affordability.

The report, Obstacles and Opportunities, released this month, is the fourth and final installment of the Utah Foundation’s “Missing Middle Housing” study, which offers a comprehensive overview of the character, viability and impacts of a category of housing stock the foundation says is needed to help bring the state’s stratospheric housing costs back down to earth.

As an example of regulatory obstacles, the study shows that in Salt Lake County more than 88% of residential land is zoned for single-family homes that fail to fulfill demand, which is representative of other areas along the Wasatch Front.

This means developers pursuing middle housing in existing communities must obtain conditional-use permits or rezone approvals, a process whose low success rates and added administrative expenses have increasingly deterred building projects that would diversify the state’s housing portfolio.

“After sitting through hundreds of public hearings, I’ll say it’s nearly impossible to get middle housing projects in single-family zones,” said Nate Pugsley, founder of Brighton Homes, which specializes in middle housing projects.

Pugsley explained that when developers seek city approval for general plan zoning amendments to allow middle housing in single-family areas, “that is like warfare. For most cities redoing spots of their general plan is opening a can of worms. People come unglued over it, and so cities won’t brave it.”

Of course, stalwart single-family standards are coming from commissioners and elected council members, whose reticence toward increased multifamily housing reflects the preferences of their constituencies, a point on stark display in surveys cited in the Obstacles and Opportunities report.

The surveys, conducted by Envision Utah, find that even as Utahns are increasingly worried about home prices, they maintain strong opposition to new housing projects in their vicinity.

One-third of respondents agree with the statement: “I am more comfortable with development in other nearby cities or towns, but not in my own community.” One-third were neutral and about the final third disagreed. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Compromise reached on expunging evictions, but time is short in Utah legislative session

February 23, 2022 - By Daniel Woodruff - KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) — In this tight housing market, having an eviction on your record can make finding a place to live that much more difficult.

A bill at the Utah Legislature could provide a pathway for some renters to get those evictions wiped clean.

“We want these renters to be able to have the possibility of getting that removed in the future because they are good renters,” said Rep. Marsha Judkins (R-Provo), sponsor of House Bill 359. “We’re trying to help people find stable housing.”

It’s taken some time for all the stakeholders to get on board with the bill. But with landlords and housing advocates now in support of it, Judkins hopes the measure will soon begin making its way through the process in the final days of the legislative session.

"I’m hopeful," Judkins said, "but we’ll know at midnight next Friday." 

For Shailey Ovard’s family, going through an eviction in 2016 made it difficult to find a home.

“It prevented us from getting into several different places,” Ovard said.

That’s why she’d like to see House Bill 359 have a chance. Under the bill, evictions that are at least three years old and have been dismissed – meaning, everything has been paid – would be automatically expunged.

Tenants could also petition to have old evictions removed if they were for nonpayment of rent or staying beyond the lease end date, but a landlord could veto that.

The bill applies to evictions filed after July 1, 2022. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Rent in Lehi skyrockets past SLC, Provo

February 8, 2022 - By: Eliana Sheriff – Fox 13 News

LEHI, Utah — A new study shows that the average price of rent in Lehi has surpassed that of Salt Lake City and Provo.

Prices to rent in Lehi have shot up dramatically. The national average rental rate has increased by 22 percent in the past year, but in Lehi, that number is over 33 percent.

“It’s no surprise Lehi’s prices are going up. It’s really so convenient, right in the middle of Salt Lake and Provo metro areas, and it’s a very desirable area,” said Paul Smith with the Utah Apartment Association.

In the last year, Lehi’s average rent has increased from $1,200 to over $1,600.

The study says despite the rising prices, apartment occupancy is at an all-time high.

Smith says we need to see more apartment developments, ADUs (accessory dwelling units), and homes built.

“This is not a short-term problem, but it always works itself out in the long run. We just need more housing, we need cities to approve more, and we want our economy to continue to grow so we need to build more supply,” he said.

Experts say some of the factors for the rent increases in Utah County include the booming growth of the tech corridor Silicon Slopes, as well as the “Not In My Backyard” mentality that some have.

Despite the price surge and shortage of supply, many who live in Lehi oppose new development — claiming that it either doesn’t address affordability or will cause other issues, like more traffic and taxing the infrastructure system.

“For our valley and state to develop the way it needs to, we need to be willing to have that in our backyard,” said Smith.

Smith says even when a new development being proposed is considered luxury, he believes it will still help solve the issue.

“New construction almost never addresses affordable housing, but it frees up rentals in the middle and the lower range as people move up, so all new development is good for the bottom even though it may focus on the higher end,” said Smith. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Dave & Dujanovic KLS News Radio – Rental Nightmares and Assistance

Feb. 7, 2022 - There's a program that'll be infused with more money for people to get temporary help paying rent. According to the Des News in Sept. Utah County saw a dramatic 66% increase in average rent prices from pre-pandemic times.

Christina Oliver, Division Director for Housing and Community Development DWS

Paul Smith, Utah Apartment Association

LISTEN HERE

Ogden woman has 100 people apply for apartment in 2 days

 

February 4, 2022 - By: Eliana Sheriff  - Fox 13 News

OGDEN, Utah — Three of Utah’s metros made the top three in the nation for overvalued housing markets, but the state's rent increase is not far from the national average.

Still, many in our community have reached out to FOX 13 News saying it’s almost impossible to find an affordable place to live.

“Well, the good news is in 2020: rents hardly went up. The bad news in 2021: they went up for two years’ worth, and that’s about 10-15 percent on average,” said Paul Smith, the executive director of the Utah Apartment Association.

Many Utahns are feeling the pack of that rental increase punch.

“Certainly we’re seeing more people renting than ever before,” said Smith.

According to a recent report, the Utah housing market is overvalued — as much as over 50 percent in some Utah metros such as Ogden and Salt Lake City.

That has forced a lot of prospective buyers to rent, with about 34 percent of Utahns renting right now, according to Smith.

FOX 13 News spoke to an Ogden woman who listed her apartment for rent and in just two days got nearly 100 applicants.

“We rent the basement out because we can’t afford it,” said Tricia Englert.

Englert bought her Ogden home right before the pandemic.

She recently listed her two-bedroom basement on Facebook marketplace.

“It was a lot. It was extremely chaotic. I had to set my phone down at one point and just leave it alone because my phone just kept going off. There were people that I had to say no to, who were about to be homeless who were packing up their stuff, who were about to move out,” said Englert. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

As rent spikes by 35% in some cities, here's how Utah compares to the rest of the U.S.

February 1, 2022 - By Kyle Dunphey - Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has some of the most overvalued housing markets in the country. What about rent?

In the past year, rent in some U.S. cities shot up a staggering 35%, according to a recent report from Redfin, fueled in part by rising housing prices that forced potential homebuyers into the rental market, jacking up demand and leading to higher rates.

While Utah often leads the U.S. in growth and rising housing prices — Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City recently made the top 10 list of the country's most overvalued markets — last year the Beehive State saw an increase in rent that was aligned with the national average.

Of the 10 metro areas in the U.S. that saw the highest year-over-year rise in rent, most are New York City-adjacent or in Florida, according to the Redfin report. They were:

Austin, Texas, which saw a 40% year-over increase in rent

Nassau County, New York, at 35%

New York City, at 35%

Newark, New Jersey at 35%

New Brunswick, New Jersey at 35%

Miami, at 34%

West Palm Beach, Florida, at 34%

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 34%

Jacksonville, Florida, at 31%

Portland, Oregon, at 29%

Across the country, rent increased by about 14% in 2021, according to Redfin. Most renters in the U.S. are paying $1,877 each month on average.

Housing prices in Utah are crazy — what about rent?

In Utah, most statewide figures point to a 10% to 15% increase in rent during 2021, with the Salt Lake City metro area seeing the largest bump. Consider this data from CoStar: The Salt Lake City metro area saw a 17.7% year-over-year increase in rent Provo saw a 16.2% increase St. George saw a 10.5% increase

Just because these increases are aligned with the national average doesn't mean the Beehive State isn't seeing an unprecedented surge in rent. According to Apartment List, that nationwide increase during 2021 was record-setting.

Experts say there are a few reasons for the spike — but a nationwide demand that exceeds the supply of rental units is a leading factor. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

As rent spikes by 35% in some cities, here’s how Utah compares to the rest of the U.S.
Utah has some of the most overvalued housing markets in the country. What about rent?

January 31, 2022 By Kyle Dunphey – Deseret News

In the past year, rent in some U.S. cities shot up a staggering 35%, according to a recent report from Redfin, fueled in part by rising housing prices that forced potential homebuyers into the rental market, jacking up demand and leading to higher rates.

While Utah often leads the U.S. in growth and rising housing prices — Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City recently made the top 10 list of the country’s most overvalued markets — last year the Beehive State saw an increase in rent that was aligned with the national average.

Of the 10 metro areas in the U.S. that saw the highest year-over-year rise in rent, most are New York City-adjacent or in Florida, according to the Redfin report. They were:

Austin, Texas, which saw a 40% year-over increase in rent.

Nassau County, New York, at 35%.

New York City, New York, at 35%.

Newark, New Jersey, at 35%.

New Brunswick, New Jersey, at 35%.

Miami, Florida, at 34%.

West Palm Beach, Florida, at 34%.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 34%.

Jacksonville, Florida, at 31%.

Portland, Oregon, at 29%.

Across the country, rent increased by about 14% in 2021, according to Redfin. Most renters in the U.S. are paying $1,877 each month on average.

Housing prices in Utah are crazy — what about rent?

In Utah, most statewide figures point to a 10% to 15% increase in rent during 2021, with the Salt Lake City metro area seeing the largest bump. Consider this data from CoStar:

The Salt Lake City metro area saw a 17.7% year-over-year increase in rent.

Provo saw a 16.2% increase.

St. George saw a 10.5% increase.

Just because these increases are aligned with the national average doesn’t mean the Beehive State isn’t seeing an unprecedented surge in rent. According to Apartment List, that nationwide increase during 2021 was record-setting. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Lawmaker apologizes after public comment on landlord-tenant bill gets cut off

January 25, 2022 - By Daniel Woodruff - KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) — A bill that would give renters more standing to sue their landlords for not following the state’s Fit Premises Act failed to gain traction Tuesday afternoon as a Utah House committee decided not to vote on it.

During the House Business and Labor Committee hearing, public comment on House Bill 119, sponsored by Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost (D-Salt Lake City), was cut off early at the bill sponsor’s request, which she apologized for late Tuesday.

The bill would have removed a prohibition for renters to bring legal action against a landlord for not complying with the act, which requires landlords do certain things such as keeping units safe and sanitary, giving renters notice before entering the property, and providing tenants an executed copy of the lease agreement.

Abigail Mower Rampton, a University of Utah law student, argued for the bill which she said would give renters the ability to legally hold landlords accountable when they act in ways that are egregious or illegal.

“Why would our state delineate clear and specific duties for landlords,” said Mower Rampton, “and then in the same section of code remove any right of remedy or recourse for a tenant?”

Marcus Degen, legal director at People’s Legal Aid, added renters are deprived of any ability to take action against a landlord who violates any part of the Fit Premises Act.

“A legal duty without an enforcement mechanism is not in fact a legal duty,” Degen said. “It is a suggestion.”

But the bill faced stiff opposition as lawmakers questioned the need for the bill and pointed out that tenants already have the power to sue landlords for breaching a lease agreement.

“It would seem to just invite a ton of litigation, to be perfectly honest,” said Rep. Tim Hawkes (R-Centerville).

David Todd, government affairs chair for the Utah Apartment Association, said the bill would cause landlords to collect higher rents in anticipation of possible legal action from tenants, or simply avoid being a landlord altogether.

“There really hasn’t been any evidence of an issue that needs to be addressed,” Todd said. “It’s a benefit to attorneys. That’s what it is.”

After some other public comments – including support for the bill from the Utah Housing Coalition and opposition from the Utah Association of Realtors – Dailey-Provost asked the committee chairman to move on. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

More luxury units are coming to SLC, how does this affect our housing market?

Jan. 13, 2022 - By: Sophie Bress - ABC4 News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Wednesday, January 12, Utah’s soon-to-be tallest high rise broke ground in downtown Salt Lake City. The building – called the Astra Tower – will be home to 372 luxury residences spread amongst 42 floors. Upon hearing the news regarding Astra Tower’s impending arrival, Utahns had a wide variety of reactions.

Some were excited at the prospect of a growing city, others were concerned about the high-rise blocking their view of the Wasatch Front, and others were concerned about the apparent increase in luxury units despite the already existing affordable housing crisis in our state.

So how will the new luxury units affect housing in Salt Lake City?

According to Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition, more luxury apartments could present an issue for Utah’s already tight housing market – and the subsequent lack of affordable options.

“The more we see the naturally occurring housing inventory being snatched up, it just puts a bigger demand on housing that needs subsidy,” she says.

And Utah is already in the midst of a housing crisis. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Beehive State is short over 45,000 affordable rental units. And Rollins says this issue might be exacerbated by the addition of new luxury options. . . .  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

Are landlords ‘bad Christians’ when they raise rent?
Dave Ramsey stepped into a moral morass when he said rent should reflect the market, not tenants’ ability to pay

Jan. 10, 2022 -By Jennifer Graham - @grahamtoday   

Radio host Dave Ramsey stepped into a moral morass when he said that landlords should be able to raise rent based on a property’s market value, not a tenant’s ability to pay. Raising rent on his rental properties doesn’t make him “a bad Christian,” he said.

But taking this position cast Ramsey as the villain in what has been called the world’s shortest play — the children’s skit in which an evil landlord harasses a tenant by saying “you must pay the rent” until a hero intervenes.

Ramsey, who says rental properties can be a means of building wealth, was talking about whether it’s justifiable for landlords to raise rent even if the change creates a hardship for the tenants and forces them to move. If tenants can’t afford the rent after an increase, the problem is their income, not the landlord, he said.

“I did not displace the person out of that house, if they can no longer afford it. The marketplace did; the economy did,” he said. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

More first-time buyers, renters squeezed out of 'exhausting' Utah housing market

December 27, 2021 - By Daniel Woodruff - KUTV Monday

 SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) — It's been quite a year for Utah's housing market as 2021 saw massive price increases, heated competition, and more first-time homebuyers getting squeezed out.

The last 12 months have been a boon for those who own a house or sold one. But for others, the year was discouraging and frustrating – part of the growing pains our state is experiencing as our housing supply struggles to keep up with demand.

KUTV 2News has reported extensively on the housing market this year – the good, bad, and ugly. We’ve met people like the family of eight living in a two-bedroom duplex, desperately looking for a house but struggling to compete against cash offers. We’ve met others who agreed to buy a home, only to have the builder jack up the prices at the last minute and threaten to cancel their contracts if they didn’t pay.

Looking back at 2021, Dejan Eskic, senior research fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, sums up the housing market in one word. “Historic,” he said, “in both price acceleration and activity.”

‘Exhausting’ housing market - In 2021, home prices soared. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Buy or rent? The financial gap between those options is growing

December 30th 2021 - By Daniel Woodruff – KUTV

 SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) — To buy or rent?

That’s the age-old housing question. But new data shows just how much more expensive one of these options is becoming compared to the other along the Wasatch Front.

 According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, it costs 81 percent more each month to own an entry-level house in Salt Lake City – with a mortgage payment and maintenance costs – than to rent a typical apartment. That’s a monthly difference of about $1,200, according to the data.

 In the Provo-Orem area, the difference is even higher with it costing $1,316 more each month to own an entry-level house than to rent a typical apartment. (An entry-level house is valued at roughly 80 percent of the market's median price.)

The financial gap between owning and renting in those areas is the highest it’s even been, looking at data from the past two decades.

 

A graphic from John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows the difference in costs over the years between owning an entry-level house and renting a typical apartment in Salt Lake City. (Image: John Burns Real Estate Consulting)

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Paul Smith, executive director of the Utah Apartment Association. “Nobody likes it when rent’s going up, but rent’s going up much less than home prices are.”

Indeed, apartment costs in Salt Lake have risen 18 percent year over year, according to the John Burns data, while monthly costs of owning a house have gone up 28 percent.

In Provo-Orem, apartment rents rose nearly 16 percent year over year, but ownership costs went up more than 30 percent.

Man leaving Utah after rent spikes by $300

Nov. 29, 2021 - By Nick McGurk – ABC 4 News

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – Matt isn’t alone. He knows this. But it doesn’t make his rent any easier to pay.

“I was devastated,” said Matt.

That devastation, he says, came in the form of a letter — a notification that his 2-bedroom apartment in Taylorsville would cost him more than $300 per month extra if he wanted to renew his lease.

Now, Matt plans to head back home to Missouri. He moved to Utah a few years ago and loves it here. But the apartment he left behind in Missouri, he says, is currently available. And it’s renting for half of what he’ll need to pay here.

‘It’s an apartment crisis’: Rent prices continue to rise for Utahns. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

‘It’s an apartment crisis’: Rent prices continue to rise for Utahns

Nov 16th, 2021 - By Jordan Burrows - ABC 4 News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Local economists say Utah is in the midst of an apartment crisis.

As supply chain issues persist and inflation is getting worse, Utahns are struggling to find affordable apartments.

Everywhere you look, prices have gone up.

The best advice ABC4 was told Tuesday was to act fast because apartment prices fluctuate daily; make sure renter’s read their entire renter’s agreement or contract and know things will get better just not this year.

“People want to be mad at the landlord, but it’s really the economy that’s the problem in the big picture,” said Utah Apartment Association executive director Paul Smith.

The economy is making things worse for renters in Utah. As housing prices hit historic highs, apartment prices are not too far behind.

“It’s much more expensive to operate an apartment than it has been in the past,” said Smith.

If you look at the apartment prices this year and last, you’ll see in 2021 apartment prices have risen 12 percent on average, but in 2020 it was a one percent average price hike. Meanwhile, home prices are up 24 percent this year, according to the Utah Apartment Association.

Smith said the state needs 55,000 more apartments to accommodate the rise in renters. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

National expert urges more 'middle housing' in Utah to help people afford homes

October 7th, 2021 - By Daniel Woodruff - KUTV

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (KUTV) — A national expert is urging Utah cities to prioritize a certain type of housing that he says is too often missing. Daniel Parolek, who coined the term “missing middle housing” in 2011 and wrote a book about it, visited West Jordan Thursday to speak at a Salt Lake County Regional Solutions event. Parolek said having more middle housing can help more people afford homes.

“There’s a tremendous gap between the types of housing and lifestyles that a variety of different households want and need,” said Parolek, “and what’s being delivered really in any region, including this one.”

Parolek defined middle housing as units such as “a duplex, a triplex, or a four-plex, or a cottage court” – ideally in a walkable area – that fit in among single-family homes. Middle housing units were common before 1940, Parolek told 2News, but they largely dropped off after that, often due to strict zoning regulations. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

How does new apartment construction impact nearby home values?

October 4th, 2021 - By Justin Adams – Sandy Journal

Whenever a new multi-family housing development gets proposed these days, it seems to always draw opposition for a number of reasons. One given reason is a belief that such projects will lead to decreased property values for already existing homes in the area. But is that actually what happens?

A recent study from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute (from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah) sought to find the answer to that question. The study looked at all Salt Lake County apartment buildings constructed between 2010 and 2018, then measured the change in value for homes located within half a mile of the new apartment buildings and homes more than half a mile away.

They found that single-family homes within half a mile of new apartment buildings appreciated slightly faster than single-family homes more than half a mile away (10% vs. 8.5%). . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

How much is rent in Salt Lake County? It's up 12% from last year

September 26th, 2021 - By Katie McKellar - Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County rent prices are indeed rising — but not as rapidly as home prices, according to the Utah Apartment Association.

Salt Lake County's median monthly rent cost increased to $1,389 in June, up 12% year over year, according to Realtor.com. In contrast, the median home price (of all housing types) across Salt Lake County climbed to $455,000 in the second quarter, up 23% from the second quarter of 2020, according to UtahRealEstate.com.

That shows Salt Lake County rent has increased at almost half the rate of home prices over the past year. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Organizations coordinating resources for Afghan refugees arriving in Utah

September 17, 2021 - By Lauren Steinbrecher – Fox 13 News

SALT LAKE CITY — The State of Utah now has a better timeline on when the first group of Afghan refugees could arrive in the Beehive State. The Department of Workforce Services Refugees Services Office said Friday that refugees could land in Salt Lake City as early as the second week of October.

The state, along with multiple agencies and local organizations have been busy behind the scenes trying to coordinate resources, from employment to financial aid, to healthcare access, to goods and housing.

"We all saw the videos in Afghanistan of people rushing to get to the airport and trying to exit and leave," said State of Utah Refugee Services Office Director Asha Parekh. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Rod Arquette Show, Biden's NEW Covid Vaccine Plan

September 9, 2021 – iHeart Radio

Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Utah Apartment Association joins Rod to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal eviction moratorium and what that could mean for renters in Utah. LISTEN HERE

Salt Lake City apartments keep rising while rents show no sign of falling

September 8th, 2021 - By Tony Semerad - Salt Lake Tribune

With nearly 100 projects underway, vacancies remain so low that they’re barely measurable. If you’re searching for an affordable apartment in Salt Lake City right now, you may want to sit down before reading further.

Dizzying new numbers show the market for available rentals in Utah’s capital is tighter than ever. Vacancies in and around the state’s main population center haven’t been this low in 20 years and are far enough below 2% that economists are now having difficulty measuring the rate at all. . .  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Group representing Utah landlords doesn't expect evictions to rise anytime soon

September 6th, 2021 - By Daniel Woodruff – KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) — A large group representing Utah landlords said it doesn't expect evictions will rise in the Beehive State for the foreseeable future, even though the federal eviction moratorium was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Utah Apartment Association credits the state’s rental assistance program with helping renters stay up to date on payments. 

“That makes it less likely that they'll be evicted, so it's win-win for everyone,” said Paul Smith, the association’s executive director, in an interview with 2News Monday. “The renter's rent gets paid, and the landlords are happy, too.” 

The state received $215 million for rental assistance from federal COVID-19 relief funds. At last check, about a quarter of that money had been distributed – far higher than other states – with more coming later. . .  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Supreme Court blocks Biden administration's eviction moratorium

"Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it claims," a group of landlords argued.

August 26th, 2021 - By Pete Williams – NBC News

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court late Thursday blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from enforcing the federal moratorium on evicting renters during the coronavirus pandemic, a defeat for the Biden administration's effort to continue the moratorium even though the court had signaled that the action lacked the proper legal basis.

The current moratorium, which was imposed in early August, had been due to expire in early October. It was challenged by a group of landlords who argued that the CDC had no authority to impose such a restriction on its own.

They said the country's landlords have been losing as much as $19 billion a month. . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Renters say expensive application fees and other unexpected costs make finding housing in Utah even more difficult

August 18th, 2021 - By Connor Sanders - Salt Lake Tribune

As renters look for places to live in Utah’s hot housing market, many are finding their search is complicated by new or increased fees.

Some report spending as much as $100 per person on application charges. Others say they were ignored by a prospective landlord after paying to apply. Added expenses include as much as $300 in administrative fees and $200 lease initiation fees, renters told The Salt Lake Tribune in an online survey.

And the list of fees can extend even further depending on the property management company. Some require renters to pay a fee for their parking space, for the keys to on-site laundromats and gyms, for maintenance of common grounds and security. . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Why millions in federal rent aid remains untouched — even in Utah — as moratorium clock ticks

August 17, 2021 - By Katie McKellar – Deseret News

“Dan Harmon, a 65-year-old retired firefighter on a fixed income, never thought he or his wife would ever need rental assistance.

“I’ve never done that. We’ve always been able to take care of ourselves,” he said. “I was a firefighter for 26 years. My dad was a colonel in the Air Force for 30 years, and we’ve never done anything like that. ... I told my wife, ‘We need to save that for other people that are in worse positions.’”

But the pressures grew over the last six years, then painfully sharpened in 2020.” . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

IN FOCUS Discussion: Eviction moratorium – ABC 4 News

August 4th, 2021 - By Erik Nielsen, Rosie Nguyen - ABC 4 News

"SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The COVID-19 pandemic brought an abundance of new challenges and barriers that impacted the quality of life and well-being for people around the world.

One of those issues were loss of financial income and inability to pay rent, which put millions of people in the U.S. in danger of being evicted from their homes. Another concern were people moving from place-to-place or filling homeless shelters during a time of high virus transmission." . . .

WATCH THE VIDEO

CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium To October In Most Counties

August 4th, 2021 - By John Triplett – Rental Housing Journal.com

"CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has signed an order to extend the CDC eviction moratorium saying the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health-control measures to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19." . . . Read Full Article Here

Federal freeze on evictions ends amid housing crunch in Utah; aid still available

August 3rd, 2021 - By Annie Knox – KSL.COM

"SALT LAKE CITY — There was no immediate surge of eviction cases filed in Utah courts Monday after a nationwide moratorium lifted over the weekend, but advocates expect a wave in coming weeks and are already fielding calls from worried renters." . . .  Read Full Article Here

As national eviction ban expires, a look at who rents and who owns in the U.S.

August 2nd, 2021 - By Drew Desilver – Pew Research Center

"The nationwide moratorium on evictions – put in place nearly 11 months ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an emergency measure – expired this past weekend, although President Joe Biden has proposed extending it. The end of the moratorium, which was intended to protect tenants who couldn’t make their rent payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has alarmed tenant advocates, housing experts and others who fear that potentially millions of renters could be put out of their homes." . . . Read Full Article Here

Eviction moratorium is about to expire — here’s how to get help in Utah when it does

July 31, 2021 - By Katie McKellar – Deseret News

"The nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire Saturday as President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress scrambled but ultimately failed to align on a long-shot strategy in an eleventh-hour push to extend it." . . . Read Full Article Here

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson KSL News Radio - The eviction moratorium ends

July 30, 2021 - The CDC's eviction moratorium will end tomorrow, meaning anyone who isn't paying rent may be forced to find another place to live. Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Utah Aparment Association, joins us to discuss how this will impact Utah renters and what the state's landlords have done right during a difficult time.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Dave & Dujanovic KLS News Radio - CDC eviction moratorium ends this week

July 29, 2021 - The CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to end on July 31st. Is there potential for another extension? Tara Rollins with Utah Housing Coalition calls in to discuss what renters should know and Paul Smith with the Utah Apartment Association calls in to discuss how landlords are affected by the moratorium. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Are you late on a house payment or rent due to COVID-19? Here’s how to still get help.

June 26, 2021 - By Tony Semerad – Salt Lake Tribune

"The government has deployed billions of dollars to prevent people like you from getting evicted in this pandemic, and a major chunk of that cash sits unspent — even as many residents could be using it to keep current with monthly payments and stay in their homes while they catch up." . . . Read Full Article Here

Some Utah landlords want your pet’s DNA. This is the reason why.

June 18, 2021 - By Connor Sanders – Salt Lake Tribune

"Renters say the requirement can create another obstacle to finding housing, while landlords point out it helps them allow pets. . . . The latest hurdle tripping up Utah renters may seem like a strange one: Before they can move in, many are being required by landlords to get — and pay for — DNA tests for their pets." . . . Read Full Article Here