Is Salt Lake City the ‘Next Denver’?

Salt Lake City is quickly becoming one of the hottest housing markets in the country, and researchers note that home prices there are following a similar growth pattern as in Denver, where rapid increases began in early 2015. Realtor.com® projects that Salt Lake City will have one of the strongest housing markets in the nation this year. Home prices and sales are expected to surge 4.5 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

Why is Salt Lake City becoming the new “it” city? Just like Denver, a growing economy, relative housing affordability, and a rising millennial population are boosting its fast growth. The economy in Salt Lake City is growing at 9 percent year over year—more than double the national average. The city is also adding jobs at nearly triple the pace of the nation, and household incomes are growing at 5.4 percent year over year.

Salt Lake City’s housing still remains relatively affordable compared to other booming midsize and large cities, realtor.com® notes. The median sales price in Salt Lake City at the end of 2017 was $273,000. That’s $20,000 lower than Austin, Texas; $70,000 lower than Portland, Ore.; and $90,000 lower in Denver. A median income household in Salt Lake City can purchase a median-priced home with 32 percent of annual income.

“In just a handful of years, an influx of jobs and millennials drove Denver’s housing market from strong and stable to rising like the Rockies,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. “If Salt Lake City is able to continue generating jobs and attracting well-educated young people, the market has the potential to continue to climb to ‘Mile-High City’–type heights.”

Salt Lake City listings on realtor.com® have been attracting high interest from house hunters in Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Realtor.com® economists predict that the city’s long-term housing outlook will remain strong, as long as it can continue to draw jobs for young professionals.

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