Utahns are ‘fed up and priced out,’ new Utah survey finds

Apr 30, 2024, 5:31 PM | Updated: May 1, 2024, 11:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns are fed up and priced out. That’s the sentiment in a new study of the top issues impacting Utah voters.

The study, done by the longtime policy research group Utah Foundation, showed that “housing affordability” and “politicians ignoring voters” are the top two survey responses for the 656 Utahns surveyed.

The survey also found that a majority of Utahns – or 3 in 5 – say their quality of life is getting worse than it was five years ago. A similar majority also believe the state is “on the wrong track.”

“There is this feeling of disenfranchisement, you know, politically and with the economy,” said Robert Spendlove, a Utah lawmaker and local economist. “In a lot of ways, it goes back to that top issue of housing affordability. And those are the big issues of overall affordability. People just don’t feel like they have the opportunities that they’ve had in the past.”

The Utah Foundation has been tracking this data for 20 years and does a survey every presidential election year.

The results of voter concerns in 2024 for Utahns, according to the survey.

The results of voter concerns in 2024 for Utahns, according to the survey. (Utah Foundation)

It’s the first time the report found that the majority of people said Utah was not on the right track. Researchers were also surprised that the sentiment about Utahn’s quality of life worsened. They say this year’s discouragement was “higher than during the great recession or early in the pandemic.”

Other issues topping the list included earning enough pay, government overreach, partisan politics, having enough water (other than the Great Salt Lake), K-12 education, and air quality.

Researchers summarized those issues into four main topics impacting Utahns: cost of living, political dysfunction, the environment and education.

“About 72% of homeowners in Utah have a mortgage rate that’s 4% or below. So they’re never going to move,” Spendlove said. “And so the solution is to build more homes. But in the last couple of years, we’ve seen building permit activity drop by about 15,000 units. So, you know, it’s really tough to find solutions to this housing affordability issue.”

As for the “political dysfunction,” Spendlove cited the recent Republican state convention as an example. Gov. Spencer Cox was beaten handily by a candidate to the right, Phil Lyman, and three of Utah’s four Republican members of Congress are now facing primaries from convention challengers who historically have not faired well in primaries.

“We see some of these breakdowns and it really is one of the struggles with politicians is knowing who to listen to. You know, do you listen to that, that vocal minority or the silent majority?” Spendlove said.

The top three issues that all groups besides those 65 and over agree on are issues in Utah.

The top three issues that all groups besides those 65 and over agree on are issues in Utah. (Utah Foundation)

There were some differences in the issues impacting Utahns based on political affiliation.

The survey found that Republicans were most concerned about crime and roads, whereas Democrats were most worried about women’s rights, homelessness and the Great Salt Lake.

KSL 5 TV Live

Unaffordable Utah

(FILE) Two signs advertising bedrooms for rent....

Daniel Woodruff

Rent costs are up nationally, but what about Utah?

While some aspects of inflation are cooling down, the cost of renting has continued rising.

10 days ago

KSL’s Matt Gephardt price shopped several items at traditional grocery stores and specialty food ...

Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Will shopping specialty food markets save you money?

To save money on your groceries, a specialty food market might not come to mind. But KSL Consumer Investigator Matt Gephardt found branching out to specialty food markets might help you bust some grocery inflation.

13 days ago

High food prices are squeezing Utah families, and going to the grocery store can be a frustrating e...

Daniel Woodruff

Is grocery shopping ‘frustrating and stressful’? Here are ways to stretch your dollars

High food prices are squeezing Utah families, and going to the grocery store can be a frustrating experience.

14 days ago

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 31: A Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house for sale o...

Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer

Redfin agrees to pay $9.25 million to settle real estate broker commission lawsuits

Redfin has agreed to pay $9.25 million to settle federal lawsuits that claim U.S. homeowners were saddled with artificially inflated broker commissions when they sold their homes.

21 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Eliza Pace

Study finds nearly 40% of homeowners don’t believe they could afford their home if buying today

A new study shows 40% of U.S. homebuyers don't believe they could afford their home if they bought it today.

24 days ago

FILE — Automobile traffic jams Route 93 South, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Cha...

Daniel Woodruff

Simple ways to fight back against rising insurance costs

It’s one of the most painful parts of inflation right now – rising insurance costs.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utahns are ‘fed up and priced out,’ new Utah survey finds