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Half of Utahns can't afford to buy a home

A home for sale sign is displayed outside of a house in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Thursday, Sept. 23. A new study says half of Utahns can't afford to buy a home.

A home for sale sign is displayed outside of a house in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Thursday, Sept. 23. A new study says half of Utahns can't afford to buy a home. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Over half of Utah's households can't afford a home. This is due largely to skyrocketing real estate prices over the last year and quarter.

The number of people buying a home in the third quarter of 2021 fell by 20% from the same period last year, according to UtahRealEstate.com.

Matt Ulrich, the president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, stated the average cost of a single-family home rose $120,000 in 2021. This is a 28% increase in the median price from the third quarter of 2020.

Ulrich also referenced a recent study from the University of Utah, saying it "shows that more than half of Utah's households are now unable to afford the median single-family home."

He continued to explain that Utah's current housing shortage may take years to rebalance.

According to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, the average cost of a home in Salt Lake County hit $550,000 in the third quarter of 2021, which is a new quarterly high. Surrounding counties are not far behind.

The median price of a single-family home in Utah County rose above the $500,000 mark for the first time ever. Davis County prices weren't far behind at $497,000, according to the board.

Home prices in Weber and Tooele counties also hit record highs in 2021.

Meanwhile, listings of homes for sale fell 7% in Salt Lake County this year compared to the third quarter in 2020.

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Heather Kelly

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