Salt Lake rents continue their upward climb

Despite construction cranes and hundreds of new residential units added to the market in the past year, rents in Salt Lake City continue to climb.  According to a recent market report by Apartment List, an online rental marketplace, rents in Salt Lake City increased by almost 5 percent between April 2016 and April 2017.

Apartment List’s report indicates that nationally rents are stabilizing and even lowering in many of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.  Nationally rents among the largest metro areas increased by 2.4 percent in the past year, compared to 2.8 percent growth in 2016 and 3.7 percent growth in 2015.  Rents may still be increasing

Rents may still be increasing nationally but according to the report’s authors, rents in 19 of the largest 100 metro areas dropped between April 2016 and April 2017.  Rents also dropped between March and April of this year in 30 of the 100 largest metro areas.

Apartment List’s rental data shows that rents in both Salt Lake City and county are growing faster than the national average.  But city rents are growing at twice the national rate and faster than the county average.  According to Apartment List’s rental data page, in the past year rents in Salt Lake grew by 4.9 percent and 2.9 percent between March and April of this year.  In comparison, rents in Salt Lake County increased 3.8 percent in the past year and 1.5 percent in the past month.

As of May 1, 2017, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake City is $830 a month.  For a two-bedroom apartment in the city, the median rent is $1,100 a month.

In Salt Lake County, city rents are among the highest but renters in Sandy and South Jordan are still paying more a month (city rents are the highest county-wide per square foot).  The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Sandy is $1,200 a month and $1,300 a month in South Jordan.

Other Salt Lake County municipalities fare better the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $900 in West Valley, $780 in South Salt Lake, $850 in Millcreek, $900 in Midvale, $900 in Murray and $920 in Cottonwood Heights.

Of the four largest counties that make up the Wasatch Front: Ogden, Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties, rents are significantly highest in Salt Lake County.  According to Apartment Lists data page, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake County is $1000 compared to $850 in Utah County, $730 in Weber County and $880 in Davis County.

Rising rents are in part a result of demand being greater than the supply.  According to the authors of the April 2017 multifamily market reports by CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm,  Salt Lake City and County rents will continue to grow in 2017.  According to the report’s authors, regional rents won’t start to stabilize until late 2018 and 2019 as the supply of multifamily housing beings to catch up to the demand.  With one of the lower vacancy rates, that could mean that Salt Lake’s multifamily market doesn’t begin to stabilize until after 2020.

Indeed, several cities that were the first to experience the rental crisis are beginning to see slow or reduced rental growth.  Rents in San Fransisco are the highest in the country but rents are 1.0 percent less than this time last year.  In recent years the city has actively tried to permit more housing units.  In 2015, the city permitted 12,766 housing units in an attempt to help supply catch up to the demand.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at