Salt Lake City Retail Investment Forecast
Salt Lake City Retail Moves Beyond Recovery Phase;
More Outside Investors Venture to the Wasatch Front
Vacancy notably below other Mountain metros. Fueled by standout job creation and strong in-migration, Salt Lake City's retail sector has weathered the health crisis better than most U.S. markets. From the onset of 2020 through 2021, vacancy compressed 40 basis points, and the average asking rent elevated by double digits. During that span, the number of jobs across the Wasatch Front climbed 55,000 positions beyond the pre-pandemic mark, and the local populace rose by 66,000 residents, as the metro's horde of tech and financial employers bolstered headcounts. Recently inked office leases by these firms signal a continued increase in higher-paying job creation that will lift the median household income to nearly $90,000 this year. The boost in earnings bodes well for area retailers as consumers' discretionary incomes are likely to elevate at a time when housing costs remain relatively affordable. Expectations for strong rates of household formation over the next five years will further enhance retailers' confidence and encourage local expansions. Vendors focused on near-term market growth will pick from existing floorplans as 85 percent of the space slated for 2022 delivery was accounted for entering this year.