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Why Utah and Idaho are seen as 'attractive places to live'

For the first time in 40 years, the increase in households in Utah exceeds the number of new housing units, according to a recent study by James Wood of the University of Utah and a director for the Salt Lake Home Builders Association. Framers from Dave M
For the first time in 40 years, the increase in households in Utah exceeds the number of new housing units, according to a recent study by James Wood of the University of Utah and a director for the Salt Lake Home Builders Association. Framers from Dave Miller Construction work on houses in the South Jordan area on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Utah just earned some praise for its burgeoning housing market.

Real estate news website Realtor.com recently said Utah and Idaho both joined the ranks for hot markets for homebuyers, standing alongside long-time hotbeds like Seattle, Denver and Oregon.

Annual prices surged throughout many cities in the U.S. Seattle prices rose the most (12.7 percent), while Utah placed second at 10.7 percent and Colorado at 9.2 percent, according to a report from CoreLogic.

Year-over-year prices also surged in Utah and Idaho. Salt Lake City saw an 8.8 percent growth in June, while Boise had an 11 percent increase.

Prices rose 6.7 percent overall nationwide, according to the report.

Danielle Hale, the chief economist of Realtor.com, said she isn’t surprised to see Utah and Idaho joining the ranks of others.

She said the two states "have a lot of the benefits and advantages of other sunny Western cities with lots of outdoor activities, decent job growth, technology companies relocating to that area.”

She also said the states are "attractive places to live especially since (they're) more affordable than some of the other Western markets.”

Read more at Realtor.com.

An ongoing housing shortage has affected Utah, according to a 2016 analysis by James Wood, the Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Local experts said the crises may not have a conclusion anytime soon, though.

"We're getting hit with factors that, combined, have put us in very precarious housing situation that's going to take some time to get out of," said Jaren Davis, executive officer of the Salt Lake Home Builders Association. "Land, labor and regulations are our biggest hurdles."