Report Suggests Way Out Of Utah Real Estate Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY – A new housing report from the Utah Foundation reveals that the state’s problem is that the population is growing much faster than the housing available.

“We have a lot of people who come from outside the state. We have a lot of people who were born in the state and want to live here, and that weighs on development over time,” said foundation director Shawn Teigen. the author of the report.

Figures from the Kem Gardner Public Policy Center’s Utah Construction Report show that from 2010 to 2020 Utah added 44,500 more households than added available housing. This has resulted in price pressures that have increased the average Utah mortgage by $ 469 per month.

Teigen says the scenario excludes first-time buyers from the market.

“If you’re locked out of home ownership at 25 or 30 or 35, you’ll never get in,” said Teigen. “It’s hard to break in until you have a foot in the door with an affordable apartment somewhere.”

The solution that the Utah Foundation offers in the report is a focus on housing construction referred to as the “Missing Middle”.

“Missing Middle” is an apartment building that is neither a single-family house nor a huge apartment complex. The category includes smaller condos, townhouses, cottage courts (a grouping of smaller buildings that share a courtyard), and duplex, triplex, and fourplex apartments.

The idea, says Teigen, is to incorporate affordable options into neighborhoods that don’t now have them. For Teigen, it’s the kind of neighborhoods that came naturally before development became the domain of corporations planning entire communities.

“If you look in historic Ogden, or historic Provo, or historic Salt Lake, you see a lot of mixes. You see single-family houses and there’s a maisonette next door and maybe there’s a fourplex and a cottage court down the street.” said Teigen.

The Utah Foundation plans to issue three more reports on the same topic, which will highlight ways to make more affordable housing available.

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