The State of Orem Housing
Orem is growing.
The City of Orem has an estimated population of 94,457 as of July 1, 2015. The population has increased by 6192, or 6.9 percent since April 2010. A large part of that growth is tied to three factors:
1. The area’s natural population growth and the county’s high birth rate (second in the nation). This constitutes about 70% of the areas growth.
2. Utah’s emerging technology industry, contributing to the nickname “Silicon Slopes” along the Wasatch Front.
3. Utah Valley University’s continued growth, currently the largest public university in the State of Utah.
People are attracted to the area, in part, because of relative affordable housing, recreational amenities, and growing job opportunities. The Provo-Orem area was ranked number one last year by Forbes Magazine for job growth. Even more growth is expected for our neighbors to the north, closer to some of the flagship technological industries and where there is more land for development.
Why are we seeing more apartment complexes under construction?
Due to the housing crash, the availability of new units did not keep pace for demand, which has led to the current surge in apartment construction. Table 1, provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), shows the forecasted demand for sale and rental units from November 2015 to 2018. Diagram 1 shows that housing construction for both single and multiple family housing began to drop in 2006 and continued far below the necessary pace needed to keep up with demand until 2014. The red trendline, representing multiple family housing, shows that current construction continues the necessary development to meet the demands of growth.
According to the HUD, the rental housing and apartment markets are both currently tight with an overall vacancy rate of 3.5 and 2.1 percent respectively. A large part of that demand comes from UVU students, with the housing office reporting an increased number of students struggling to find housing in 2015. UVU does not provide on-campus housing for students, which requires them to turn to the private market. In 2015, it was reported by the UVU Student Association that 25 percent of UVU students live in BYU housing. Rising housing prices in Salt Lake City is also driving people south; with individuals willing to trade up to a 45 minute commute for a larger apartment or small house.