September 4, 2013
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah’s homeownership rate hit its lowest level in 18 years in 2013, reflecting the damage suffered by state’s housing market during the 2008 recession. Between 2008 and 2012, homeownership fell from 76.2% to 71.1%, and nearly 60,000 Utah households turned from owning to renting. Over 90,000 jobs were also lost during that span. The homeownership rate is expected to remain relatively flat for the remainder of the year, although new home sales fell markedly from June to July. Sales fell 13.4% month-over-month to an annual pace of 394,000, well below the 700,000 that experts consider to be a benchmark of a healthy market.
Read more at The Salt Lake Tribune.
August 5, 2013
Market: Colorado, Utah
The pace of economic expansion slowed in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming in July, as the Business Conditions Index for all three states slid from 58.6 to 55.1. The index is released monthly by the Goss Institute and has a growth-neutral baseline of 50. A breakdown of the index’s criteria is as follows:
- Employment: hiring fell slightly to 49.4 in July, down from 52.3 in June and 57.1 in May
- Consumer Confidence: economic optimism dipped to 52.1 in July from 54.3 in June
- Pricing: the costs of raw materials, slipped to 52.5 in July from 55.9 in June
Read the full article at The Colorado Springs Business Journal.
July 30, 2013
Market: Salt Lake City, UT
According to Utah Business, Salt Lake County has seen 15 consecutive months of single-family home price increases, culminating in June’s 17.2% year-over-year median home price increase of $249,700. Moreover, according to Zions Bank, home construction loan applications are up 40% year-over-year. These increases in home prices and construction have likewise driven up home sales. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reports that home sales in Q2 2013 in Salt Lake County totaled 3,430, a 12.2% year-over-year increase.
Read the full article at the Utah Business.
Market: Provo, UT
June 22, 2013
The On Numbers Economic Index ranked Provo, UT, as the strongest local economy in the country. Dallas-Fort Worth came in second and Austin grabbed the third spot, with Oklahoma City and Houston rounding out the top five.
Below are a few factors that have driven Provo’s thriving economy:
- Strong job growth –The fifth-best private sector jobs growth rate nationally, increasing 4.9% since 2008.
- Low unemployment – With unemployment at 4.6%, Provo is one of only seven major markets with an unemployment rate below 5%.
- Income growth – Weekly earnings for private-sector workers notched the biggest increase in the country at 41.7%.
- Retail expansion – Retail employment grew 6.6% year-over year, the third-biggest increase behind Little Rock and Oklahoma City.
Read more at Austin Business Journal.
Utah Business Journal
Utah has once again been named the best state for economic outlook by the American Legislative Exchange Council in its annual State Economic Competitiveness Index. Utah has held the top rank since 2008, and its success can be attributed to several characteristics: a stable and predictable business environment, a low cost for business, low corporate tax laws, expanding exports, and international business.
Bottom Line: This reaffirmation of Utah’s economic stability is a good sign for HZ, which benefits from having assets in Salt Lake City and Ogden (and several submarkets in between).