Utahns Overwhelmingly Prefer Single Family Homes Says a New Report

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According to a recent analysis from the Utah Foundation, an independent research organization, 72 percent of respondents said that "style is the most significant element in their home choices."

What's that look like?

You've guessed it, single-family detached dwellings.

According to the foundation report, 45,000 people in Utah are missing out on the country's hottest housing market because of rising costs caused by the redevelopment of old properties. Despite the obviousness of this, the report reveals a number of paradoxes and nuances that could help land-use authorities and housing advocates better understand how best to fill this "45,000-door housing gap."

"Shocking" house prices are predicted for 2021.

As part of a wider study, Utahns' Development Preferences, the state's third report on "Missing Middle Housing," a category of multifamily housing alternatives that falls somewhere in between single-family houses and big apartment complexes, was issued this month. Examples include duplexes, cottage courts, townhouses, and other medium housing, which are deemed essential to alleviating the state's housing shortage.

As a result, many middle-class housing developments have been greeted with opposition from residents who object to any increase in density. Survey participants were shown photographs of various houses and projects before being asked to determine which would "make a nice addition" to their communities, defined as the area within a five-minute walk from their home, in an attempt to draw out the finer elements of the NIMBY arguments.

Researchers were able to identify key preference elements because to the survey's visual focus, and the results are compelling: multifamily projects, according to the researchers, would get greater support if they follow the proper designs.

Adding new housing in a community is less of a problem if it looks like what residents are used to seeing, according to Shawn Teigen, the report's author.

As the study's findings reveal, Utahns enjoy the look of single-family houses, which implies that middle housing will be more popular if designed in a similar style and size.

For policymakers looking to build new housing stock without upsetting the NIMBY (or those who object to the siting of something perceived as unpleasant or hazardous in the area where they live) crowd, the survey's findings identify areas where people are willing to compromise between their wants and their ability to pay, according to Teigen, who argues that single-family detached home developments cannot save Utah from its housing crisis on their own.

However, the report's conclusions fall short of a mandate and leave a substantial amount of controversy and contradiction in place. As an example, despite the overwhelming support for more inexpensive housing alternatives, less than half of respondents were ready to accept medium housing, and 18 percent were extremely opposed.

In the end, "people have a lot of competing goals." There are trade-offs between having a huge house with a wide yard and being near to work, a grocery store, and bike lanes and trails," added Teigen. "More flats in their city are not wanted by the public. Because of this, people may begin to understand why it's so vital," he says.

With their efforts, the foundation might assist in developing a bridge between proponents of supply-side housing and existing communities concerned that densification would ruin their unique sense of place. NIMBY sentiments may soften, at least in principle, if new structures "resemble single-family houses," indicating that bungalow aesthetics may be a good compromise for both home builders and lifelong homeowners.

Utahns were equally split when it came to housing type and price range in the poll; half preferred houses in their areas to have similar style and price range, while around 40% stated they preferred a diversity of prices and kinds to be available in their neighborhoods.

However, proponents stress that middle housing is more than just a matter of space and affordability. The goal is to make it a kind of development centered on lifestyle and community (such as that proposed by this etoro review) that can adapt to shifting demographics and improve the convenience of being able to stroll around one's area.

"Walkability is a major component of medium housing." Middle housing is all about making sure that there are schools, supermarkets (and even a park), parks, and bike paths in the area, Teigen said, and she cited the Daybreak neighborhood in South Jordan as an example.

Renters and homeowners in Utah, on the other hand, are more concerned about the cost of living. A new report from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors this week found that the median price of single-family homes sold in Salt Lake County in 2021 will be $533,000. This is in line with the report's findings that more than half of current homeowners say they couldn't afford to buy the home they currently live in.

According to the foundation, completing the "missing middle" would be beneficial.

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I live and work in Utah, so my news will focus on this state. I am also very into finance, entrepreneurship, crypto, and small business. I'm an owner of several businesses, from a solar farm to a sports card shop. I write about my experiences running them.

American Fork, UT
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