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Report shows Salt Lake renters aren’t getting the amenities they want

Posted 07.12.18 by Isaac Riddle

View of the downtown Salt Lake skyline from the 4th West Apartments' roof deck. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Salt Lake is experiencing a surge in market rate and higher-end apartments as supply tries to catch up to the demand, but according to a new report from Apartment List, an online rental marketplace, there isn’t only a gap in the supply, but in the amenities renters want and the amenities developers are providing.

To match every renter with the right home, the Apartment List gathers unique data on which amenities are most and least popular with renters, as well as which amenities are the easiest and hardest to find.

Apartment List, researched renters’ online search patterns and data from the properties on their platform to see how well the amenities available in rental properties align with what renters want in the nation’s largest metros.  The amenities analyzed are air conditioning, balcony, dishwasher, gym, hardwood floors, in-unit laundry, parking, pool, cat-friendliness and dog-friendliness.

According to the report, Salt Lake City has too few amenities. Renters are likely to have a below average chance of finding all the amenities they want, and a below average chance of ending up with extra amenities that they don’t want.  Salt Lake City had supply gaps in

The report also found that Salt Lake City renters are more demanding than those in other parts of the country, with renter demand above the national average for 7 of the 10 amenities analyzed.

Many Salt Lake renters don’t appear to be pet owners as cat and dog-friendliest are the region’s most oversupplied amenity with a demand gap of 32 and 17 percent.

But for Salt Lake renters, in-unit laundry and air conditioning are the hardest amenities to find with a supply gap of 38 percent and 13 percent respectively.  Overall, Salt Lake’s market has supply gaps in 7 of the 10 amenities studied.

In the Ogden Metro, cat and dog-friendliness also lead as the most oversupplied, with a demand gap of 40 and 25 percent respectively.  In-unit laundry and air conditioning are also the most undersupplied, with an undersupply gap of 36 and 21 percent.  Overall, Ogden’s rental market has supply gaps in 6 of the 10 amenities.

Like Ogden and Salt Lake, Provo’s most undersupplied amenities are in-unit laundry and air conditioning with a supply gap of 45 and 31 percent respectively.  But unlike Salt Lake and Ogden, Provo has very few oversupplied amenities with just cat-friendliness and a pool as the only two amenities with a demand gap at 10 and 4 percent.  Overall, Provo has supply gaps in 7 of the 10 amenities listed.

Based on the data, renters in Salt Lake’s market are more likely to find units with air conditioning than renters in Provo and Ogden.  But in all three metros, nearly four out of 10 renters can’t find units with in-unit laundry.  Interestingly, none of the state’s three largest metros had supply gaps in balconies with Ogden and Salt Lake having instead gaps in demand for balconies with demand gaps of 9 and 5 percent respectively.

Odgen, Provo and Salt Lake’s supply gaps mirror those of the national average with in-unit laundry and air conditioning being the hardest amenities to find with national supply gaps of 40 and 17 percent respectively.  Similarly, pet-friendly amenities are nationally the most oversupplied with demand gaps of 39 percent for cats and 22 percent for dogs.

The report’s author notes that renter preferences vary substantially by location.  Renters in more affordable markets tend to have a higher demand for amenities, while renters in the priciest markets are more willing to settle for less. Overall, most metros have an imbalance in the supply and demand for amenities, meaning that, in many cases, renters are likely to have difficulty finding what they want or to pay for amenities they don’t need.

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