My colleague at the Tribune Tony Semerad had an interesting piece last week on the rapidly growing housing market in Utah. Basically, a lot of people are banking on new single family home construction, while a lot of others think the future is in apartments. On apartment vacancies, he writes,
Apartment developers already are bringing a record number of new dwellings to market in and around Salt Lake City in a kind of boom in multifamily units, particularly downtown.
They’ve been spurred by falling vacancy rates for apartments, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, closed 2013 at around 6.7 percent statewide, down from 8.3 percent just five years ago. Local analysts say the number has dipped as low as 5 percent in recent months.
So what does all this mean?
I think it shows that we’re at a pivotal moment right now in Utah, where we have the opportunity to channel a lot of demand into better city building. We can either opt for sustainable, transit-oriented places. Or we can keep building sprawl.