UNAFFORDABLE UTAH

Rent costs are up nationally, but what about Utah?

May 17, 2024, 4:12 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — While some aspects of inflation are cooling down, the cost of renting is going up.

According to the latest Consumer Price Index, rent was 5.4% more expensive in April than last year.

Dejan Eskic, who studies the housing market at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, said that’s a little surprising.

“We’ve had so much apartment inventory across every major metropolitan area in the country,” Eskic said.

That includes Utah. Eskic said just this year, about 8,000 new apartments are hitting the market.

Because of that “record new supply,” he said rental prices along the Wasatch Front have actually decreased slightly.

“We’ve seen rents drop just a little bit under 2%,” Eskic said, adding that he believes rents will stay flat or drop slightly over the next 12 to 18 months.

But that won’t continue forever.

“As we move further out, there’s less and less new construction happening,” Eskic said, “and so we do expect in about two years rents to start increasing again like we’ve experienced previously.”

Jed Coon, who lives with his wife and daughter in Tooele, is tired of paying rent.

“It’d be very nice to just have it go down,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”

Over the years, as a renter, Coon said he’s noticed one trend – rent keeps going up.

“We started off $1,000, $1,200 – cheap rundown places – and now it’s up to $1,700, $1,800,” he said.

Coon said he and his family plan to move back in with parents to try to get a leg up in this difficult market. Rent is a big part of their budget, and it’s tough to pay for everything.

“We’re barely getting by,” Coon said. “It’s rent and then the utilities, and that’s it, so not so much for everything else.”

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Rent costs are up nationally, but what about Utah?