Utah Recognized as a top place for Millennial Buyers

  Housing markets in Utah are some of the best in the country for millennial buyers. That’s according to a new national study that placed Salt Lake City on a top 10 list of the best real estate markets in the U.S.
The National Association of Realtors report, “The Top 10 Markets for Millennial Buyers During the Pandemic,” examined housing markets in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. Researchers studied each area looking for housing affordability improvements, strong local job market conditions, a high percentage of local millennials (those born between 1980 and 1998) and availability of homes for sale.
Although Salt Lake City was the only metro area in Utah large enough to be studied, many of the same positive findings can be found in neighboring metros like Ogden-Clearfield.
Here’s why housing markets in Northern Utah are faring much better than other parts of the country and why local millennials can feel good about buying a home — even during a pandemic.
Mortgage rates boosting affordability.  Even though multiple years of home price increases have hurt affordability, the notable drop in mortgage rates has opened up new housing opportunities for buyers.
“Record-low mortgage rates have improved housing affordability, bringing more buyers into the market, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common in these metro areas,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a press release about the study.
The report noted that Salt Lake affordability has increased 13% since last year. That’s better than the 9% improvement across the top 100 metro areas.
Although not included in the NAR study, Ogden-Clearfield is often listed as the best place for affordability in Utah. In a separate report from the National Association of Home Builders, Ogden-Clearfield ranked as the most affordable metro in Utah in first quarter 2020 with nearly 72% of homes being in reach to those making the median income. In every other metro in Utah, affordability was only in the 50% range.
With the decline in mortgage rates and the area’s relative affordability, millennial and first-time buyers are likely to find many housing opportunities here in the top of Utah.
Local jobs keeping the market moving
Salt Lake was also named a top 10 market because of the local employment situation. The area has 18% of people working in industries most affected by the pandemic, which is lower than the 21% nationally.
Salt Lake also had fewer job losses because of COVID-19, with payrolls down 8% compared to the 13% decline nationally.
“With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials in these markets, more new home construction will be required to fully satisfy the housing demand as the economy reopens,” Yun said.
Millennials fueling housing demand
The strong presence of millennials in Utah means demand for housing remains strong since millennials are the largest cohort of homebuyers.
In Salt Lake, 32% of residents are millennials compared to the 26% average across the U.S. Because this group is in their prime homebuying years, local real estate markets should remain strong.
“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”
Inventory providing more choices
With the pandemic-induced shutdowns, many sellers took their homes off the market or decided not to sell. This phenomenon was particularly severe outside Utah.
In Salt Lake, the number of active listings fell 9% compared to the 18% decline nationally.
A separate report from the Utah Association of Realtors found that inventory conditions were even better in Weber County. In the past year, the number of homes for sale fell 8% compared to the 12% decline in Utah. That means buyers who head to Northern Utah are likely to find more housing choices and more home for the money.
To learn more about the housing market in your specific area, contact a local Realtor. Find a Northern Wasatch Realtor at NWAOR.com.
Written By Shauna Ray: 2020 President of the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors.
Published By: Ogden Standard.net