Salt Lake City Boasts the Most Competitive Rental Market in the West
Renting in Salt Lake City, for many, is challenging due to limited affordable and high-quality options. RentCafe’s recent study ranked Salt Lake City as the most competitive rental market in the Western region, surpassing cities like Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. The study analyzed 137 rental markets, considering indicators such as apartment vacancy rates, occupancy rates, rental application volumes, lease renewals, and new apartment completions.
Salt Lake City’s Rental Competitivity Index, which depicts market competitiveness in the current season, ranked 34th nationally with a score of 64, down from 75 in 2022 but still higher than the national average of 60. Although the situation is relatively better for renters compared to the previous year, the rental market remains challenging.
Brian Higgins, a copywriter at Deseret Digital Media, has noticed significant changes in the rental market, particularly near downtown Salt Lake City. In the past, individuals could find affordable independent living options for around $500 to $700 per month. Unfortunately, such opportunities are now scarce.
According to RentCafe’s data, prospective renters in Salt Lake City face competition from an average of 10 other applicants for a lease, slightly above the national average of nine. Despite a slight increase of 0.61% in new apartment construction, Salt Lake City still struggles to meet the rising demand for rental units. This increase is significantly lower than the 0.94% growth observed a year ago.
The report highlights that nearly 54% of apartment dwellers in Salt Lake City chose to renew their leases, slightly below the national benchmark of 59.7%. This indicates that almost half of the renters actively sought a new place to call home in the area, intensifying market competition.
In summary, the rental market in Salt Lake City poses significant challenges for prospective renters, with limited affordable options and intense competition among applicants.
Higgins recently moved from his own one-bedroom apartment to now sharing a one-bedroom apartment with his girlfriend. They plan to find a larger place eventually, but for now, they may have to stay in the current unit.
“It’s quite competitive to find something,” Higgins explained, noting that it’s even more challenging for pet owners. “Some places require pet rent or a pet deposit. However, many properties have a strict no-pets policy, limiting the options for pet owners. This seems unfair, especially in a dog-friendly city like Salt Lake.”
According to a recent study from the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, rental prices have increased significantly between 2020 and 2022 compared to the previous decade.
“Between 2010 and 2020, Salt Lake County saw a 2.6% increase in rent prices, while between 2020 and 2022, the increase was 11.0%,” the study revealed.
Although the rental market in Salt Lake City has slightly eased compared to last year, there are still numerous challenges, beyond just cost, that make finding a place to live in the area difficult for renters.