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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: Utah homeownership increasingly out of reach for many

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024   

For generations, homeownership has been synonymous with the American Dream, but a new Utah report shows housing affordability is at historic lows, with millennials seeing the largest decrease in housing affordability during what the report calls "peak household formation years."

Steve Waldrip, senior adviser for housing strategy and innovation for the State of Utah, said while Utah has some of the highest levels of homeownership in the country, wages haven't increased at the same rate home prices have, leading to a housing crisis.

"Most of our none-homeowner residents cannot afford to get into a home," Waldrip pointed out. "The vast majority, I think we are probably in the 80% range. And that lack of opportunity is really a significant problem going forward."

The Utah Foundation's report found even with possible declines in interest rates and the potential increase in inventory as older generations leave their homes, trends suggest millennials may not achieve the level of past generational affordability until 2030 or beyond. Waldrip considers the report a crucial tool for not only Utah policymakers but for voters as it's a topic of mounting interest in the upcoming elections.

Waldrip acknowledged homeownership may not be for all Utahns and added there are drawbacks to buying a home, including fluctuating markets and other home buying costs. But data from the report show home equity still composes the largest proportion of wealth for U.S. households. Waldrip noted the barriers to homeownership in Utah and across the nation don't discriminate.

"As home prices increase and more and more people drop out of the bottom, which disproportionately impacts the lower socio-economic class of people in the state, but it's also gone up to people who have done everything right," Waldrip emphasized. "They've graduated from school, they got good jobs, they've got careers."

The report found between 2012 and 2022, the value of a median-priced home in the U.S. increased by $190,000, but in Utah the increase came between 2017 and 2022, when the median home price nearly doubled.


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