Before the coronavirus recession, Utah’s housing market was on fire. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which sent residents of Northern California and Seattle in search of affordable homes and more space, and an already-hot market grew hotter.
Dave Robison, president of the Utah Association of Realtors, sums up the activity simply. “It’s insane,” says Robison, a real estate broker in Salt Lake City.
His assessment isn’t just salesmanship. Utah home prices have been soaring as Californians stream into the state. Utah boasts the nation’s strongest pace of job growth, along with rock-bottom unemployment, ultra-low mortgage rates, few mortgage delinquencies and low state and local taxes.
All those factors pushed Utah into first place in Bankrate’s Housing Heat Index for the fourth quarter of 2020. Residential real estate has boomed during the coronavirus recession, and Utah has emerged as a particularly desirable market.
Other states in the Mountain time zone also are thriving. Montana, Idaho and Arizona rank second, fourth and sixth, respectively, in Bankrate’s index.
At the opposite end of the list is Hawaii, a state that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its tourism industry has ground to a halt, and Hawaii’s jobs picture has darkened.
The 5 states with the hottest housing economies
The Housing Heat Index shows how states’ real estate markets are faring in the coronavirus-fueled housing boom, and how they might perform in the future. To calculate the…