Real Estate: A place to live
This story is found in the 2019 edition of Milepost.
So, you have a job, and a fairly decent car to get to work, but where will you live? As many workers find out, it’s not easy finding an affordable rental anywhere near Park City. And buying a house in this market is nearly unattainable. The median sales price of a home in Summit County in 2018 was $975,000.
In fact, according to Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, Wasatch County is first in severe housing cost burdens, and Summit County fourth. Nearly 12% of homeowners in Wasatch County, and 10% in Summit County, spend more than half of their income on housing. For renters, a quarter of them pay over half of their wages for housing. Which is also why eastern Summit County, and specifically the Kamas Valley, is fast becoming a more affordable option for potential homeowners as is the North Summit area. Wasatch County sees a noted lack of units, as developers were able to pay a fee to an affordable housing fund, instead of building units.
That means more commuters coming from farther away to take service jobs that barely pay enough to cover expenses, and it’s getting worse for younger workers. Jeff Jones, Economic Development Director at Summit County says, “It takes 3 millennials to replace one baby boomer.”
Park City will be going toward more affordable rentals, instead of for-sale housing, according to Park City Manager Diane Foster. “The housing authority can bond, and payback with the rent. And at the end of the bond we still have the asset,” she says. The city will build from 50 to 70 units to start in the Bonanza Park and Homestead parcels.
And local businesses are stepping up, as they are dependent upon commuters for labor. Nearly 60% of workers commute from outside Summit County every day. To address this, a few have been providing housing for their employees. Deer Valley Resort currently has 420 beds for their employees and plans to add 24 more this year. The Canyons Village Management Association is planning to build over 1000 new housing units for their employees, including a small grocery store and other amenities. It all helps, but the demand far exceeds the supply.
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