Like Silicon Valley in California, Utah’s Silicon Slopes region has long been a hub for business, especially tech startups. However, unlike Silicon Valley, the Silicon Slopes have remained an affordable place to live compared to most US cities. With local residential and commercial real estate both increasing in value, now is a great time to invest in this growing market by building your home or business here.
You’ve heard it before – location, location, location!
Regardless of the purpose that a building serves, location matters. If it’s a business you’re starting, location defines who your customers are, and how easily they can get to you. If it’s your home, the area in which you build is going to shape your entire lifestyle. Your commute to work, your children’s schools, and your proximity to the things you love to do; like shopping and dining in the city, or exploring the great outdoors, are all determined by location.
Of course, constructing a building is also a considerable investment. Location heavily influences the overall value of your building, so where you choose to build is a significant financial decision, too. When well-planned and executed by an experienced professional team, constructing a new home or commercial building can bring you a return on investment in the future.
If you are on the hunt for the best place to construct a building right now, look no further than the Silicon Slopes.
Where are the Silicon Slopes?
A relatively new term, the “Silicon Slopes” region is defined as the metropolitan area stretching from Salt Lake City to Provo, the two biggest cities in Utah.
Book-ended by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and Brigham Young University in Provo, the Silicon Slopes region produces an extraordinary quantity of talent. These new graduates are eager to grow their careers within the startup community. Many businesses, including Amazon, have sited Utah’s extensive talent pool as a reason for setting up shop in the Silicon Slopes.
We can confidently tell you that Utah, specifically the Silicon Slopes region, is a fantastic place to invest.
Why, you ask? Let’s dive in:
The Silicon Slopes area is growing incredibly fast.
Utah’s population is growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country, and the value of both commercial and residential real estate is increasing right along with it.
By 2065, Envision Utah predicts the Silicon Slopes will have 2.5 million new residents. To find out what is bringing so many people here, we reached out to our friend and local real estate expert, Alicia Holdaway. The owner of Sherpa Solution, Alicia is a licensed Realtor with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty and currently serves as President-Elect on the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. When it comes to Utah’s real estate market, she knows her stuff!
About Utah’s Population Growth
First and foremost, we asked her what’s bringing all of these people to Utah. It turns out that the state has always been one of the top states for population growth. Until recently, about 70% of Utah’s growth had been coming from “internal growth” – AKA, children of existing Utah residents’ growing up and buying houses. The other 30% was “external growth,” people moving in from out of state.
This number is on the rise; however, as companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Adobe have begun to recognize Utah’s business-friendly environment. These companies have been relocating and building second headquarters here, joining the ranks of Utah-born companies like Ancestry, Overstock, Pluralsight, and Qualtrics (among others).
The influx of large companies has brought a massive number of new jobs to the area, and this job growth has contributed to a rapidly appreciating housing market. In the last year alone, Salt Lake County homeowners saw an average appreciation of 6.9%, and in Utah County, 6.7%.*
What this growth means for those building homes:
With appreciation rates like this, and the length of time it typically takes to build a house, “new owners often move in with equity already gained,” Alicia pointed out.
When you build a home from scratch with an architect, 9-12 months is typical; however, it always depends on the scope of your project. Our Trio Design team would be happy to provide you with an estimated timeframe; please reach out to chat about your upcoming project!
Alicia also gave us a hint at where we might see the most growth in the coming years:
“Utah County is slated to increase the most over the next ten years since that is where the developable land is, and Bluffdale specifically is to see some great appreciation over the next 5-10 years as the state prison relocates and that land gets redeveloped.”
And for those building commercially:
According to a recent report released by CBRE, which details Utah’s commercial real estate outlook, all commercial industries performed well in 2018. The report notes that there is a strong demand for office space, in particular, citing record-high absorption rates (the rate at which a new office building is leased), and low vacancies. In the same report, CBRE also predicts an increase in commercial rents.
Ready to join the Silicon Slopes?
Don’t walk, run! In the grand scheme of things, the Silicon Slopes is still in its infancy – but as they say about all infants, it will grow right before your eyes, and if you blink, you’ll miss it. Now is the time to set the foundation for a solid return on investment.
As if that isn’t enough motivation, mortgage interest rates are the lowest they have been in three years. In most cases, your rate can’t be secured until construction is close to being completed; which means the sooner you start building, the better your interest rate will be.
With this urgency, however, it’s important to avoid cutting corners in the construction process. When building a completely custom home or commercial structure, we cannot stress how valuable it is to have someone in your corner to keep the builder and their sub-contractors accountable for quality work. Your team of professionals should include a licensed, experienced Architect who can design the structurally-sound, up-to-code building of your dreams, and a knowledgeable Realtor who can help you find the perfect location and determine the market value of your completed building.
At Trio Design, we are committed to providing high quality, client-focused service from project inception to completion. We’re with you every step of the way, helping you navigate everything from the design to the permitting process, and keeping a close eye on the construction of your building. To learn more about our project management services, please contact us!