Home News Out-of-state transplants to Utah fuel growth and drive up housing costs

Out-of-state transplants to Utah fuel growth and drive up housing costs

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Chris Kneeland didn’t just transition to working from home during the pandemic. He changed his home location and moved from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Springville.

Now running a small marketing and consulting agency in Utah County, he returns to Calgary once a month and works there four to five days, he said. He chose Utah for his cost of living, beauty, and convenience of the time zone.

“We found housing prices to be surprisingly high for locals,” he said. “But for people coming from more expensive markets, I think they’re surprisingly affordable.”

Like the country, Utah also saw home prices skyrocket during the pandemic. now, According to research Remote workers on the move drove more than half of the rise in national house prices from 2019 to 2021.

It also warns that remote work, which has become more common, will continue to impact housing costs while weakening demand for commercial space.

Research shows that as of August, 30% of work is still being done from home. Financial letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, investigated housing studies. It examined changes in resident numbers, remote work prevalence, and housing prices in population clusters across the country.

The analysis suggests that “remote work will increase home prices by about 15% from November 2019 to November 2021, accounting for more than 60% of the total increase in home prices.”

Since then, Utah home prices have continued to rise.Salt Lake City home prices, for example, have increased 10.9% from September 2021 to September 2022according to Realtor.comdata.

“I want a workspace”

Babs de Ray, principal broker of Urban Utah Homes and Estates, says remote work has “changed the way we all work and play as individuals.”

De Lay, a 40-year veteran in the real estate industry, had never had a client ask about the internet speed available at his property prior to the pandemic.

Deley, who uses the pronouns they/them, said people looking for a home this summer will spend more due to plans to work remotely, on top of the general rise in housing costs. tended to.

Clients “clearly say, ‘I need a workspace at home,'” they said.

De Lay hasn’t seen any change in the number of clients wanting to move to Utah from other locations. Kem C. Gardner Institute for Policy Studies The University of Utah shows a surge in out-of-state transplants in 2021.

“Migration” of people outside of Utah, which accounted for 49% of population growth in 2020, has soared to 59% in 2021.

Deaths from COVID-19 have led to low ‘natural’ growth rates (population growth rates calculated by subtracting deaths from births). However, data show that about 35,000 more people moved into the state than left it, an increase of 10,000 from the previous year.

Many of the workers who moved to Beehive State are likely to be remote, according to a September report economic innovation group Utah County will have over 21% remote workers in 2021.

“Grows well”

Kneeland grew up in the United States and attended college at Brigham Young University, so he was familiar with Utah. He and his wife Holly started building their home here in July 2020 and moved in August 2021.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) On Wednesday, November 2, 2022, Chris Kneeland and his wife, Holly, who met while at BYU, explored the wildlife and natural environment of their new home in Springville’s Hobble Creek Canyon. Looking down. -Established a marketing and consulting firm in Calgary, Canada and now works primarily away from home.

Rising house prices don’t benefit renters or other people who want to buy a home, but Niland said, “I imagine many locals are benefiting from rising home values. I was there,” he said.

“In my circle of friends, I’ve seen more winners than losers,” he said, taking the opportunity to increase the value of his home and upgrade it through a loan.

And Kneeland is optimistic about the state’s growth. I think the growth is good. “

That said, he has admitted to having the luxury of working remotely. This means “not just controlling when you come and go,” he said. To do.

For example, if he had to commute in heavy traffic, he might view growth differently, he said.

Mitch Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Transportation, said the increase in remote work, besides helping to spread out morning drivers over longer time slots, has tangible benefits for reducing traffic. He said it didn’t seem to have any effect.

Traffic is getting worse every year. “It’s just a growth challenge,” he said.

But with about 300 deaths across the state in 2021, the pandemic appears to have changed the rate of fatalities and serious injuries, Shaw said. “We are seeing an upward trend, which is alarming,” he said.

Number of speeding tickets issued for driving over 100 miles per hour also increased sharplysaid the sergeant. Cameron Rhoden, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

“Don’t move here”

Dusty Smith cut years off a pandemic that flooded Utah with remote workers. After his wife got a job in Utah, Smith said, “I quit my job at a six-figure law firm in Dallas and moved here without a job.”

Smith, who said being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was also a factor in the move, did contract work at first. He later got a remote job working at a Houston-based law firm in Salt Lake City.

Although he and his wife no longer have to live in Salt Lake City, they have decided to stay in Utah because of the natural beauty of the state and the friendly culture he feels. “It’s like living in his ’70s Texas, where people were kind to each other,” he said.

He felt that Texas had changed since so many people moved there from out of state. “Suddenly it wasn’t the same,” he said.

And he fears Utah will change as well. Unlike Kneeland, he said, “I hope people don’t move here.”

“Real estate is cyclical,” said real estate broker de Ray, who said he wasn’t overly concerned about the recent surge in home prices.

A bigger concern is infrastructure, Deray said, making sure the state maintains water and internet access for its growing population, especially in rural areas.

Leto Sapner is Reporting to America Member of organizations covering business accountability and sustainability For the Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation, matching his RFA grant to us, will help him continue writing articles like this. Click through and consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today. here.

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