How millennials are keeping Utah’s housing market booming

Feb 22, 2022, 6:05 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:55 pm

SANDY, Utah — A general rule of thumb in real estate is this: the younger you are, the less likely you are to actually own your home. But the Salt Lake market is bucking that rule.

Kevin Leppink is in the market for new place to live. He is 29 years young and bought his first home when he was 24. He said if home prices were this high when he first bought five years ago, he may never have been able to move out of his parent’s basement.

“The equity is gone up a pretty good amount,” Leppink said. “So, the equity is kind of what’s helping me get a new house.”

One of Jennifer Gilchrist clients is 29-year-old Kevin Leppink, who is looking to buy his second home.

But despite our skyrocketing home prices, younger Utahns are finding a way to buy. Data shared with the KSL Investigators from FilterBuy shows that Salt Lake City is at the very top of the list for millennial homeownership in large cities.

Fifty-one-point-four percent of Salt Lake City area homeowners are millennials. Ogden tops the list of mid-sized cities with the percentage of millennial homeownership at 64.4%. With 51.6%, Provo ranked 13th on the list of mid-sized cities. Each of those Utah cities are well above the national average of 43%.

Leppink finds the data surprising.

“I feel like it’s a little harder for them because prices are a little higher,” he said. “Maybe they’re just finding better deals or moving into less expensive houses. But it is a little more difficult in this market right now.”

Leppink’s agent, realtor Jennifer Gilchrist, is not surprised.

“Sixty percent of my clients over this last year are millennial buyers,” Gilchrist said.

Realtor Jennifer Gilchrist explains to KSL’s Matt Gephardt that 60% of her clients are millennials – people born between 1981 and 1996.

So, what is it about Utah cities and buying young?

“I think in Utah, people start having families a lot sooner than in most places,” Gilchrist said. “And by the time you get one or two little kids, you don’t really want to live in mom’s basement anymore and you’re ready to go out and find your own home.”

Older Americans are still more likely to own their homes, but no question, this data shows “the kids” are a growing force in the market, especially Utah’s market.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, that dies a lot....

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

West Jordan car owner says odometer fraud has left her stuck paying thousands on a lemon she can’t drive

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe that dies a lot. Now she is left paying for it.

3 days ago

Woman texting...

Matt Gephardt

How crooks use texts to get your money, identity, or both.

If you used a mobile phone for any length of time, it’s likely you have gotten text messages that seem like an honest mistake that innocuous-looking text might have come from a scammer.

4 days ago


Daniella Rivera and Keira Fairmont

Treat and Release: How Utah weighs the risk of repeat sex offenders

The KSL Investigators examine Utah’s corrections system, responsible for treating and releasing people who commit sex crimes.

4 days ago

Viewmont High School softball field...

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

High school softball team calls foul on field conditions, 2 years after Title IX complaint

The Viewmont High softball team played its 2023 season on a field with dead, patchy grass and none of the improvements promised by the school district. Why weren’t required upgrades completed? Matt Gephardt investigates.

5 days ago

Mechanic works on a car...

Matt Gephardt

Driver apathy keeps tens of thousands of unsafe cars on Utah roads

Every year, the vehicle history report business Carfax releases its study on how many cars are on the roads with unfixed safety recalls.

6 days ago


Mike Headrick and Cindy St. Clair

AI Revolution: The past, present, and future of artificial intelligence in Utah 

The world of AI is only as limited as human imagination. So how do you interpret artificial intelligence and its applications in your life? Mike Headrick investigates.   

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Asian little girl playing arcade game on the computer machines at the shopping mall outlets...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

How millennials are keeping Utah’s housing market booming