May 6, 2024 - News

Single-family building permits are up in Salt Lake

Line chart showing that the year-over-year change in single-family housing units in the Salt Lake City metro area was -41.6% in January 2004, -25.2% in January 2009, 59.4% in February 2024 and 81.1% in March 2024.
Data: Census Bureau via FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

More single-family homes could be coming to Salt Lake's real estate market, with a recent upswing in building permits.

Why it matters: Utah's housing shortage has become so acute that even Gov. Spencer Cox has stepped back from his local-control credo and threatened to force cities to adopt less restrictive zoning to boost inventory.

By the numbers: Salt Lake metro building permits in March were up 81% from a year ago, per FRED data.

The big picture: Permits in Salt Lake are gradually bobbling back up after cratering post-pandemic.

Zoom out: Single-family home construction is down year-over-year across the U.S., but it's grown 30% from March 2020 to March 2024.

  • Yes, but: New home construction isn't evenly spread. Salt Lake saw a bigger increase than most of the country. But in New Orleans, for example, activity is down by nearly half.

The intrigue: Some new-build communities are offering lower mortgage rates, an enticing deal as rates touched 7.5% in April.

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