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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County rent prices are indeed rising — but not as rapidly as home prices, according to the Utah Apartment Association.
Salt Lake County's median monthly rent cost increased to $1,389 in June, up 12% year over year, according to Realtor.com. In contrast, the median home price (of all housing types) across Salt Lake County climbed to $455,000 in the second quarter, up 23% from the second quarter of 2020, according to UtahRealEstate.com.
That shows Salt Lake County rent has increased at almost half the rate of home prices over the past year.
"While rent increases can be difficult to absorb, the typical monthly mortgage in Utah soared to $2,547 in June," said Holly Sanford, chairwoman of the Utah Apartment Association's board, in a prepared statement Thursday.
The Utah Apartment Association is a nonprofit trade organization that represents more than 2,500 landlords and over 105,000 units ranging from basement apartment owners to large management companies.
Sanford added "many rental owners made a compassionate and deliberate decision" during the COVID-19 pandemic not to raise rent in 2020. Across Utah, rent increased 1.4% in Utah in 2020, while in Salt Lake County that figure was only 1%, according to a report by CBRE, a commercial real estate firm.
"Renters don't like increases, but compared to homeownership, renting is more affordable," Sanford said.
The 12% increase in Salt Lake County is a sharp uptick in a trend Utah's rental prices have been pacing at almost every year over the past decade, even before the pandemic. Utah's rental prices have shot up to the tune of 5% to 7% a year along the Wasatch Front — that brought the average Salt lake County apartment cost from $793 in 2008 to about $1,200 in 2019.
Salt Lake County's $1,389 median rent, however, was lower in June than many other western U.S. cities, the Utah Apartment Association noted. In Las Vegas, June's median rent was $1,397, Phoenix was $1,590, Portland was $1,645, Denver was $1,820, Sacramento was $1,821 and Seattle was $1,910.
Across the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, the median rent in June was $1,575, up 8% year over year, according to Realtor.com.
Salt Lake rent will likely continue to increase between 2021 and 2025 — but at a lower rate than it did in 2021, about 4% to 7% per year, real estate research firm Costar predicts.
A different report released earlier this month by the Utah-based property management software company Entrata — which used data from a smaller sample of about 14,000 apartment units in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Washington counties — reported sharper rent increases in that collection of apartments. That report said the average rental price in those five major Utah counties shot up 45% in the year and a half since before the pandemic began.