Search our website

From the blog

Mapping Utah's Housing Affordability

Author · Greg Bunce
Published · May 17, 2024
Last modified · Jun 24, 2024
Category · UGRC
Read time · 4 min

Utahns are feeling the squeeze, and there’s data to back it up. Housing affordability has become the top concern for residents, according to a recent 2024 Utah Foundation survey, opens in a new tab.

That’s not surprising, given the median sales price of a home in Utah is $535,000, opens in a new tab. For context, that’s 27% higher, opens in a new tab than the national median.

To afford the median mortgage In Salt Lake City, you would need a household income of at least $140,000, opens in a new tab, significantly higher than the city’s median of $92,000. These numbers validate that income does not match the cost of housing.

Let’s zoom out a bit and explore housing affordability in other parts of the state.

Housing Affordability in Utah

Housing affordability refers to the relationship between the cost of housing and a household’s income. It measures how easy or difficult it is for a resident to afford a home.

For this affordability analysis, we’ll be using a home-price-to-income ratio. Home prices have historically had a relatively stable relationship with income, making this ratio a good indicator of affordability.

This ratio is a simple mathematical equation that helps determine housing affordability by dividing the median house price by the median household income. For example, a median house price of $500,000 divided by a median household income of $100,000 equals a home-price-to-income ratio of 5.

Most experts agree, opens in a new tab that a ratio higher than 5 indicates a decline in home buyer affordability.

Of the 166 Utah ZIP codes we analyzed for this study, we found that 60% have a home-price-to-income ratio greater than 5.

Here are the 5 least and most affordable ZIP codes in Utah in terms of home-price-to-income (HPI) ratio.

Least Affordable ZIP codes

ZIP codeCountyPostal CommunityHPIAverage Home Value (2022)Median Income (2022)
84060SummitPark City16$2,064,044$126,602
84102Salt LakeSalt Lake City11$530,160$50,036
84028RichGarden City11$571,330$51,500
84783WashingtonDammeron Valley11$762,345$71,167

Most Affordable ZIP codes

ZIP codeCountyPostal CommunityHPIAverage Home Value (2022)Median Income (2022)

Explore other ZIP codes with our interactive map, opens in a new tab.

What is being done to alleviate housing prices?

Utah faces a worsening housing affordability crisis. The state’s population is booming, but there aren’t enough homes to keep up. The University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute study predicts a shortage of over 37,000 units, opens in a new tab this year.

To address this, Governor Cox aims to create 35,000 new starter homes by 2028, opens in a new tab. The goal is to meet the needs of Utah’s growing population and make homeownership more attainable.

Salt Lake City is already experiencing a surge in building permits, with March 2024 seeing an 81% increase, opens in a new tab compared to the same month last year.

Another bright spot is the increase in multi-family housing units, opens in a new tab under construction.

Continued Growth

Unfortunately, new housing construction hasn’t matched Utah’s booming economy (ranked #1, opens in a new tab) and population growth (#2, opens in a new tab), leading to long-term affordability concerns.

With easy access to recreation, booming job growth, and a high quality of life, Utah’s growth shows no signs of slowing.

Interactive Map

Explore Utah’s housing affordability with our interactive map, opens in a new tab and see where your neighborhood stands compared to others.

Showing home-price-to-income ratio by ZIP Code for the year 2022


We used the most currently available data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, opens in a new tab (ACS) along with Zillow’s Home Value Index, opens in a new tab for this analysis. ZIP codes were used because they were the common denominator (present) in both datasets. Note that we excluded ZIP codes that did not have data in one or both datasets from this analysis.