youtah might not be affordable for millennials — or anyone in the middle class — for years to come. Housing prices have risen rapidly over the past year and incomes are not following the trend, causing a crisis in housing affordability in Utah and the rest of the country.

It seems those who can buy homes are only doing so to turn them into short-term rentals. According to Governor Cox, status reports that around 20,000 homes are considered short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo.

People who turn their newly purchased homes into rentals can do so because there is currently no law in Utah that requires a landlord’s license to rent a home, the software company says To profit from. However, special restrictions are in place in some areas.

“Here [in Kanab], you need to have a business license to rent a house,” says Sara Mortensen, Realtor at Coldwell Banker. “If you don’t live within an hour of your property, you have to hire a contractor and you have to pass a fire inspection. I think Airbnb is a good way to know the house is being maintained while you’re away.

Between 2019 and 2021, Utah saw a 36.8% increase in short-term rentals, according to the Short-term rental inventory published by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Short-term rentals are most concentrated in Summit, Washington, Salt Lake, Rich, and Grand counties.

In 2021, 32.2% of all short-term rental listings were in Summit County, while 23.3% of all listings there are for short-term rentals. This number has increased by 2.3% since 2020. Salt Lake County is home to 18.2% of total short-term rental housing in 2021, even though short-term rentals make up only 0.8% of total housing. housing in the county.

The report officially counts 17,236 short-term rentals in the state since 2021, compared to 12,868 in 2019. This number had a direct impact on the number of private room listings, which increased from 1,914 to 1,507 from 2019 to 2021.

“In my opinion, it’s really vacation homes that are short-term rentals,” Mortensen says. “Salt Lake residents buy vacation homes here in Kanab, which is near many scenic spots like the Grand Canyon.”

The housing affordability crisis has caused a huge spike in single-family home prices over the past two years, and everyone is seeing it, from real estate agents to mortgage relief funds, according to statistics from Kem C. Gardner. .

According published data by the Utah Association of REALTORS, Summit County had the highest median sale prices in 2022 averaging $1,337,500 year-to-date. These soaring prices are followed by Wasatch County and Morgan County, with median year-to-date selling prices of $969,939 and $707,000.

Deon Spilker, who worked as vice president of mortgage banking at the Utah Housing Corporation for 22 years, confirms many of these trends. She has worked in the mortgage industry since 1978 and sees the market go up. “We’re seeing a decline in first-time home buyers because home prices are so high,” she says. “Incomes have not risen as quickly as house prices and interest rates.”