National trend toward renting may explain climbing rates in Utah

Posted at 10:01 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-10 12:26:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY - A national trend could be pushing up the rental prices on apartments and homes in Utah. Using data collected by the Census Bureau, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies released a report Wednesday asserting that roughly 51 percent of U.S. renters are over the age of 40.

"I think a lot of people lost a lot with the bubble bust," Brian Clinger said with Coldwell Banker. "I think that put a lot of people on the thought that real estate wasn't the safest investment and forgot it's a long-term investment."

The housing collapse led many to consider renting as an alternative, but at what cost?

"The number one question people ask is: 'How much do you think I can rent my house for?'" Clinger said.

He adds that in some demographics he's seen an increase in rental prices of nearly 30 percent.

However, Clinger doesn't necessarily think the national statistics collected by Harvard University are a fair representation for what's happening in Utah.

Renters like Ryan Marin might disagree, though, as his rental rates continue to climb.

"I'm paying at least 40 dollars more per month," Marin said. "It's pretty expensive. I know my sister's rent is pretty high too. It's like 40 percent of her income."

That's a growing trend too. More and more people are having a difficult time affording rental rates. The Census Bureau estimates that at least one out of four Utahns spend 30 to 50 percent of their monthly income on rent. Those kinds of numbers are forcing many to rethink whether home buying, may in fact, be the right way to go.

“That’s my goal," said Meghan Quinn, a renter in Salt Lake City. "I think rent is going to go up.”