This problem will only get worse, unless for some reason the economy goes
I'm looking at the plan for cities of Zion starting in 1833 when the
original vision was set down.The city when fully built was to be a
mile square, public buildings at the center and farmlands etc extending from the
perimeter. The furthest street north, south, east or west would, in this plan,
be four blocks, or half a mile, from the center. No one need travel more than
about a half mile to a school or temple. Every home would be built on a half
acre lot.Some examples of this may still be seen, I believe, in many
parts of Utah, but Salt Lake City somewhere along the line, adopted the ugly
vision of a soulless industrial conurbation or urban sprawl that was the typical
of an American city.In LA, San Francisco, New York, and many other
notable towns we have the same problems, with people not able to afford a home
partly b'c of the pressure on available space being so great. After drug
abuse, high rents have led to "tent cities" in such areas, with no
sanitation, and relatively high exposure to the elements. This is
a great and important subject, worthy the attention of public-spirited people
These are the growing pains of trying to turn Utah into a Megalopolis, Many
Utahans hate Californians, but Utah is slowly turning into Cali. Try buying a
2000 sq foot house in LA 1.2 million for something that would cost 500K in Utah.
@Harrison BergeronThe last recession was caused by deregulation of the
banks, something started under Clinton and continued under Bush. Don't make
this a partisan issue. Both parties have done their part to screw up the
Millennial are in such trouble. I look at my cohort and are a bit shocked at how
many well educated, hard working people will never claw their way to the
American Dream.Housing, healthcare, childcare, university - they are
all much more expensive than they were 20 years ago. Don't be surprised
when the millennial generation have only 1-2 grandchildren and have to move to
the midwest to afford a house.The American Dream is out of reach for
a large portion of people, and yet we need tax cuts for the 1%. What a joke.
More high density townhouses and condos downtown and at every trax stop would be
a great start. There is a glut of high end houses and nothing right now for the
It doesn't take a study or rocket scientist to know housing prices are
climbing faster than wages. Like many places who will be driven out are young
people trying to pay off their educations and still be able to afford a home.
Also, natives as those coming in from the outside are helping to drive up the
cost of housing. We should be doing everything we can to keep from becoming
another LA, Seattle, and other cities with high homeless rates and lack of
affordable housing. Even low-income housing isn't really low-income
housing. If you make $75,000 a year, you can afford a $263,325-$352,000 home. In
Salt Lake County that almost puts you in the ghetto and more unsafe parts of
town. Many homes in Salt Lake County are more in the $675,000-750,000 range.
That means you need to make around $150,000 a year. How many Utah families make
that every year?
@erikpeterhansenDefine affordable. What is affordable to someone
making minimum wage versus someone who makes 75k a year is entirely different.
Also, no one is forcing anyone to buy or rent at these higher
prices. I want to move but the market is crazy and instead of having the
mentality I have to have it right now I am going to wait it out and save money.
If the buyers and renters would have patience the market would cool down.
This is not about houses, this is about housing. My friends and I can't all
get housing (rentals) and it took 3 months of couch surfing just to get into a
place that cost half my income. This happened three years ago. I'm sure I
will get the response, "Well you have to earn more money or get a
roommate." from the self-satisfied along the Wasatch. Well, why can't I
get an apartment and afford it on a small salary? Because it is truly not
affordable of course and I expected better from this valley. Oh, I'm not
supposed to complain or I should move elsewhere. What attitudes of compassion
and aid are needed here too. Utah is a Christian State? More likely is full of
modern Capitalism worshipers.
@search diligentlySorry that is not what I said. If I had the means
to do so, enough to influence prices, I would bid the market down to help
reduce hardship caused by predatory practice, those who would squeeze the last
penny out of anyone for personal aggrandizement and the love of money which, it
has been truly observed, is the root of all evil.I have always liked
to give a buyer -of anything I wished to sell - a good bargain. I still
benefit. Occasionally people do, from a spirit of 'goodwill to all
men', use their means to bless people not to inflict misery on them. On the odd occasions I have put a house up for sale I have looked at
other homes in the area and then made a significant reduction to what I could
get. When I buy a home I am also willing to pay the asking price if I think
it is fair, preferring not to haggle.This is not the same as an
employer paying the least possible. How on earth did you come up with that?
it's the opposite. In the same spirit of goodwill I would pay a worker
the most I could and still profit. If he were hardworking, loyal and able, I
would give him decent regular raises. If he was idle I would fire him.
This article takes a parochial view. Metro Salt Lake/ Utah County is really
quite competitive if you are looking to locate here.In Seattle, they
slice up the land into 0.12 acre lots, leaving you with a postage stamp sized
yard on a slope. Standard lots around here are two to three times that size.Property taxes here are dirt cheap. I think they rank about 36th in the
nation. State income tax is NOT competitive. Utah ranks
41 in violent crime rates.Educational achievement is good,
considering the pay. Utah is 10th in high school grad rates.You put
it all together and it looks pretty good.I'm always puzzled
when a business reporter doesn't factor in the demand curve. They seem to
imply the need for some social engineer to "fix the problem." Do they
not understand economics? Or are they progressive, looking for some government
Im surprised nobody has commented on the most obvious...Stock
markets, debt service, housing markets, etc... all speculative markets go up
and inevitably go down. Just as in 2008, experts and most everyone else said
this trend is sustainable and fundamentally sound. The government
simply pushed the can down the road in 2008. Handing out billions to banks,
dropping interest rates into the gutter, accruing astronomical heights in debt
service. Nothing has been fixed, nothing resolved, exacerbated the problem.Wash, rinse, repeat. When the big boys decide to tighten credit, all
markets are going to turn and turn quickly. Our economy as a whole is 100%
predicated upon debt and our ability to assume debt. When credit is tightened
or limited, buying and selling ceases and all prices and values of financed
items come crashing down. Homes, cars, boats, stocks, etc will decrease in
price precipitously. Don't know when the correction, recession
or crash will happen. But rest assured it will happen. It may be more mild or
it could be life altering with generational impact.
We are so far away from meeting demand, we are the fastest growing city in the
country. We can't build homes or apartments fast enough. I don't see
a bubble popping for awhile based on the fact that we have low unemployment and
high demand with low supply along with extreme population growth.
Why all the hand-wringing because of the law of supply and demand? If you
cannot afford to buy a house, then you need to go elsewhere so you can afford
one. Houses in Brashear, Missouri are a lot cheaper than they are in San
Francisco, CA. Despite the attempts of SLC's unrealistic mayor,
there is no repeal of this law of Supply and Demand. House prices will continue
to go up in Salt Lake County because of limited supply of housing compared to
the folks who want to live here. Eventually the politicians will comprehend the
futility of throwing your tax dollars at so-called 'affordable
housing'. However, that isn't likely before they waste millions upon
million of your tax dollars. . .
We moved to Utah County over a decade ago when house prices were reasonable.
Now my kids are graduating high school and they can’t afford to live on
their own. Looks like we made a mistake coming here.
Considering the explosion of apartment building in central SLC, a great deal of
speculative investment money is being spent. The law of supply and demand will
be disrupted by these speculators' demand for a high return on their
investment. NYC has demonstrated that regulated housing has many negative
affects on apartment development so a reasonable answer is yet to be found.
Houses are overpriced. Too much construction going on. What goes up, must come
There are Jobs that are located in smaller communities were housing is less
expensive some of these jobs are in healthcare service provides, and
retail.Also, many professionals are allowed to telecommute.
This is a tough situation for so many, and I sympathize with them. but the
solution is not as Gildas suggests "To me a free market means that I can
sell a home as cheaply as I want to and still make a modest profit." I find
it hard to believe that Gildas or anyone would sell their home as cheaply as
possible. That is nonsense. No one does that nor are they morally responsible
to do so. Anyone who believes in this ideology should also be asking their
employer to pay the lowest possible wage they can modestly live on.We can be glad Utah did not play the silly game of underwriting the megaprofit
company Amazon to move here. Had they done so, it would have greatly increased
the problem. We can be grateful we are not going to be the host of such
nonsense as other cities who are still in that game. Amazon and other such
companies do not need public support in order to increase their multi-billion
dollar annual profits for shareholders.
@gildasWhy should take sellers take less money? Buyers are under no
obligation to purchase a home for a price they feel is outrageous. If buyers would have patience this market would cool down but they don’t
and feel they have to have a House right now. Even worse is when buyers get into
a bidding war.
Talking about how wages have not kept pace in Utah, here's a possibly
politically incorrect theory I'd like to present and see if it gains
agreement or argument.During my career in communications, I
occasionally heard that companies in two metro areas could offer less than
generous salaries, because two groups of people would be willing to accept
lower incomes to work there because they would feel more comfortable there than
in any other major metro. The areas were San Francisco and Salt Lake
City. And the reasons employers in these areas could supposedly offer lower
salaries is because gay people would work for less money to live in San
Francisco, and LDS members would work for less money to live in Salt Lake City.
Indeed, Goldman Sachs' second largest employee base is in Salt
Lake City. I admit my theory may not hold water, and a member of my
own family might be proof; my son is a Catholic heterosexual, and he
occasionally mentioned that Salt Lake might be a great place to live for a
reason totally unrelated to faith: Skiing!
There are many smaller towns where there are jobs that will support a family
where housing is affordable. It wouldn't work for a mass exodus of city
residents to small communities, but families who are struggling should consider
the option of looking for jobs where homes can be found for under $100,000. One
of the problems is that too many people think they have to be where there are
sporting events, theaters, vast entertainment options and unlimited shopping
opportunities. All those things make budgeting difficult. Especially in Utah,
smaller communities are near hiking, biking and more laid-back opportunities for
leisure time. Our granddaughter, a 2017 grad of BYU, took a human
services job in a small community college town. She has affordable rural
housing, which includes a pen for her dogs. She is far removed from frivolous
shopping. She has noted that several coworkers were hired because the county is
desperate for case managers. They don't like the work, but the jobs were
available. There are many houses available in the area for people with moderate
The problem is that landlords are gouging tenants and sellers are unduly
maximizing profits with no regard to buyers. To me a free market
means that I can sell a home as cheaply as I want to and still make a modest
profit; I am not forced to take part in a Darwinian jungle fight with predators.
We are not compelled to sell at the highest possible price. If I had my way
and the means to do so, I would undercut the spiraling price of housing at such
times, by personally selling at markedly less than the 'going price',
and joining with like-thinking individuals to beat predatory practice. Freedom does not need to mean the increasing power of the most wealthy.
I am not suggesting the government get involved in another program or create a
special bureaucracy. A few good laws might, however be passed; that's what
legislatures are for. They could stop insisting, for example, that homes
should be a certain size, or deterring the use of solar power, yet without
putting us into the tiny-est boxes possible, and could stop making rules that
make it difficult for people to have an affordable home, to get out of debt and
to stay out of debt.
All of this is one reason we recently left Utah. We considered adding to our
existing home but that was outrageous - more expensive than building new. So,m
we considered finding property to build on and that, too, was outrageous -
investors, apparently many from CA, have snarfed up the usable property and are
charging CA prices for a lot of it. High density housing is also ludicrous (we
were in Herriman) - 5-6K square foot houses on a fifth of an acre with no yard
and the ability to reach out of your side window and touch the houses on either
side. It looks like Philadelphia row housing. No, thank you! Hello, Northwest
Fortunately, our elected officials are working hard to make Salt Lake and Utah
County less desirable. Salt Lake wants to be like California.As for
Happy Valley, the elected leaders are either corrupt or clueless. I'm not
sure which. Either is unacceptable.Portlander will be OK up there in
Seattle. Talk about a crazy market. You've got to dangle $10-20K above the
asking price just to attract attention. Take the money and run. You'll come
out just fine.
"Research shows housing becoming less affordable along Wasatch Front"Hope a lot of money was not wasted on this 'research'.Because we all could have told them this terribly obvious fact.
Not to worry. Before we know it, we'll have another democrat president, the
economy will tank and housing will be once again "affordable." The problem then will be the same as it was last time when the housing market
took a nose dive: if you don't have a job, it's hard to buy even an
We are keeping an eye on situation there. We live north of Seattle, both with
pretty good jobs, but retirement looms and "gramma" (my wife) hears the
call to "be there" for our grandchild in the Utah Valley. We wanted to
maybe by a "modular" home with upgraded appliances and so for. A real
upscale unit made from a real basic model. We sure hope that option stays
available for us for a few more years.
The smart thing to do is just save up money and wait this market out. Buying now
could potentially put you in a bad spot if the economy turns south and are
overdue for a recession.
Mobile homes are something that should be considered by people.Cities shouldn't be allowed to disallow apartment construction or mobile
home parks. If cities won't cooperate the state should get involved.But or rest the least house that will comfortably accommodate you.
You don't really need to do much research. Just ask anyone who rents.1200.00 per month and up.The problem is multi-faceted.MANY younger people, even when they get a decent paying job, don't
know how long the job will last, so they don't dare buy a home.Many
younger folks have such a mountain of student debt, that they don't dare
take on even more.Then there's the cities who increasingly
don't want "starter" homes.I understand WVC has a
minimum 3000 sq. ft home size to get a building permit.They also
won't allow expansion of any of the mobile home parks, which, by the way,
are mostly pre-fab houses anyway since about 20 yrs. ago.Younger
folks (at least many of them)don't even want McMansions. They are
increasingly minimalists.The cities need to react to the situation,
but I don't see them doing much of anything that is helpful to solve the