‘The Rundown’: Utahns overwhelmingly say housing prices are too high

Your Wednesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Utahns overwhelmingly say housing prices are too high

If you think Utah’s housing prices are out of control, you’re not alone. A brand new poll shows an overwhelming number of Utahns say the housing market in the state is overpriced.

The survey from OH Predictive Insights shows 81% of Utah residents said housing prices were overpriced. A similar number, 82%, said rental prices were also too high.

Graphic from OH Predictive Insights

Housing prices in many parts of Utah are skyrocketing right now. The median price for a home in Salt Lake County is $550,000, and many buyers are giving up looking for a home right now, which is likely contributing to the hot rental market, too.

That’s borne out in the poll numbers, too. Two-thirds of Utahns (66%) say right now is a bad time to purchase a home. That reluctance to buy is slightly more pronounced among those living in urban areas vs. suburban and rural areas.

Graphic from OH Predictive Insights

“The housing market in Utah is primed for its record-breaking high costs and limited supply, and after seeing the results of this survey, it is clear that home and rent affordability is a huge point for Utahns, especially among suburbanites,” Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research said in a press release.

In May, state lawmakers pushed $70 million in federal COVID relief funding toward affordable housing programs, but advocates say that’s not nearly enough to address a growing problem in the state.

You can see the full results here.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

🦠 A classified report ordered by President Joe Biden on the origins of the coronavirus is inconclusive. The intelligence community cannot say for sure where the virus originated, including whether or not the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan. [WaPo]

💉 Are vaccine mandates on the way? Gov. Spencer Cox says he opposes requiring the COVID-19 vaccine while other state leaders remain mum on the issue. [Tribune]

💉 When will you be able to get a COVID-19 booster shot? State officials have no plans to re-open mass vaccination sites when boosters are available. [Tribune]

😷 Will the Salt Lake City School District enforce Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s emergency mask mandate for students? Maybe. [Tribune]

😷 Robert Gehrke argues will likely punish Mayor Mendenhall for requiring masks for schoolchildren. [Tribune]

🚨 Fossil fuel and mining groups pressured federal regulators to blame pollution in Salt Lake City on China and other countries in Asia. [Tribune]

🪖 President Biden said Tuesday he plans to meet the August 31 deadline for completing the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan, but he left the door open to staying beyond that date. [WaPo]

🚨 The Secret Service warned U.S. Capitol Police of possible violence from supporters of Former President Donald Trump. The warning came just one day before the January 6 riot. [Politico]

🏛 The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to advance the $3.5 trillion budget plan. [NBC News]

🏛 The House also passed a voting rights bill named after the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. The bill is likely to stall in the Senate. [NYT]

⚖️ The Supreme Court said the Biden administration must reinstate the “wait in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers started by the Trump administration. [WaPo]

🤔 Two members of Congress made an unauthorized trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday. Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton and Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Meijer traveled to Kabul amid the evacuation efforts. [WaPo]

👀 A CDC study shows unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. [CNBC]

🦠 6,500 students in Los Angeles missed one or more days during the first week of school due to the coronavirus. [Los Angeles Times]

🦠 The National Rifle Association canceled its annual meeting in Houston because of a surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant. [NYT]

🛑 Hawaii’s governor is pleading with tourists to stay away as the state grapples with the rising number of COVID-19 cases. [AP]

😳 “How screwed is Adam Kinzinger?” Illinois Democrats are set to introduce a proposed map that guts the Republican’s seat. [Politico]

✈️ Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been quietly arranging charter flights out of Afghanistan for at-risk women. [NYT]

🗳 Former football star Herschel Walker launched a campaign for U.S. Senate in Georgia on Tuesday. Walker is a close ally of former President Donald Trump. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Contest time!

There are four things wrong with this social media post from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Becky Edwards.

Image from @beckyforutah on Instagram

The first reader to correctly identify all four errors will receive a copy of the book I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

Send your lists to me at bschott@sltrib.com.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s Utah news roundup


  • Forecasters couldn’t predict how quickly Colorado River reservoirs would dry up this year. Scientists are trying to improve their models. [Tribune]

  • As Salt Lake City pauses to reflect on its ‘shoddily done’ foothills trails, residents say their concerns aren’t being taken seriously. [Tribune]

  • Olympic climber Nathaniel Coleman joins fight against Little Cottonwood gondola, construction. [Tribune]

  • Salt Lake County D.A. says convictions for these two men ‘lacked integrity’ and asks they be vacated. [Tribune]


  • Another 1,140 COVID-19 cases in Utah, and nine more people have died. [Tribune]


  • LDS Church fires back at James Huntsman’s ‘unfounded’ tithing lawsuit, stands by its story on funding of City Creek Center. [Tribune]

  • Latter-day Saint Charities provides ‘heaven sent’ supplies to Afghan refugees arriving in Qatar. [Deseret News]


  • Utah Sen. Mitt Romney calls Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal the biggest ‘mess up’ in his lifetime. [Deseret News]


  • BYU forms new ‘office of belonging’ to address diversity. [Fox 13]

  • More Utah kids start first day of school with COVID protocols. [Fox 13]

In the opinion pages

  • Here’s how to help newspapers without government interference, the Editorial Board writes. [Tribune]

  • Gary Wockner: Breach the Glen Canyon Dam and let the Colorado River run free. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: Navajo Code Talkers should be remembered for more than just WWII. [Deseret News]

— The Tribune’s Jordan Miller contributed to this report.