Most Affordable Places to Live in Utah

Kristine Cameron

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Kristine Cameron

December 20th, 2021
Updated December 20th, 2021

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Best overall | Best for buying land | Best for families | Best for retirees | Best for renters | Methodology | FAQ

From 2010 to 2020, Utah was the fastest-growing state in the U.S. Low unemployment rates, new job opportunities, beautiful landscapes, and family-friendly cities encouraged more people to move to Utah.

When housing demands increase, so do home prices. Due to this population growth, many cities in Utah now are too expensive for potential home buyers — especially when you look at the price-to-income ratio (PTI ratio).

🤔 What's PTI?

Financial experts use PTI (price-to-income) to calculate housing affordability.

PTI = home price ÷ household income

If the PTI of a location is over 2.6, it usually means home prices far exceed what people can afford based on the median household income.

According to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau, Utah's median home value is $279,100 and the median household income is $71,621. This makes the average PTI ratio in Utah 3.9, exceeding the recommended PTI ratio of 2.6 — and putting the majority of Utah's cities out of most people's price range.

Nonetheless, the Beehive State still has pockets of affordable homes — many of which are within an hour of Salt Lake City. To find you the cheapest places in Utah, we looked at PTI ratios, costs of living, and other factors (learn more about our methodology).

💸 Remember the 28/36 rule

Financial experts recommend spending no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing, and no more than 36% of your gross monthly income on ALL debts. This will give you a much better understanding of what YOU specifically can afford and where you should live.

» LEARN: How much house can you afford in Utah?

Top affordable cities in Utah

🏡 Best overall
💰 Best for buying land
👪 Best for families
🌴 Best for retirees
🔑 Best for renters

Best overall: Roy

PTI
2.7
Median home value
$191,800
Median household income
$70,032
Population
39,040
Median resident age
31.4
Crime rate
25.66 per 1,000 residents

Located about half an hour north of Salt Lake City, Roy tops our list of the most affordable cities. With a relatively low PTI and lower-than-average rent prices, Roy is a good option for both home buyers and renters.

Roy offers plenty of local attractions and things to do, including 10 local parks, a recreation complex, and an aquatic center. Every August, residents look forward to celebrating Roy Days, which features a 5k race, fireworks, golf tournaments, free concerts, and other festivities.

This family-friendly city is also part of Weber School District, one of the largest and best-performing school districts in the state. In 2021, three Weber School District employees earned statewide titles: Superintendent of the Year, Utah Teacher of the Year, and the URISE (Utah Recognizing Inspiring School Employees) award.

Honorable mention: Kearns

Kearns has a similar population and affordability as Roy. Located about 20 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City, Kearns is a small township with a busy community calendar. Residents can sign up for different classes and activities at the local library, enjoy free community movie nights, or enroll in ice skating lessons at the iconic Utah Olympic Oval.

Kearns is part of the Granite School District, the third-largest school district in Utah. The district includes over 60 elementary schools, 17 middle schools, and 11 high schools to meet the needs of over 66,000 students.

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Best for buying land: Tooele

PTI
3.1
Median home value
$195,300
Median household income
$63,851
Population
34,535
Median resident age
31.2
Crime rate
48.84 per 1,000 residents

Spanning across 5 million acres in northwestern Utah, Tooele offers plenty of undeveloped land, farmland, and residential lots for prospective buyers. The most common type of land sold in Tooele is for residential use, though properties can be used for commercial farming, hobby farming, hunting, and more.

Farmland in Tooele County averages $16,577 per acre. While this is slightly above the state average, residents tend to pay less for other essentials. For example, the overall cost of living in Tooele is 13% lower than the national average, and housing costs are 33% lower than the national average.

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Best for families: West Point

PTI
2.7
Median home value
$254,500
Median household income
$92,655
Population
10,615
Median resident age
31.1
Crime rate
25.32 per 1,000 residents

If you're searching for a smaller, community-oriented town to raise a family, West Point could be an ideal location. Situated near the shore of the Great Salt Lake, West Point has a population of just 10,615 and a low PTI of 2.7. More West Point residents work in computers and math than 95% of other cities in the country, which may account for the relatively high incomes.

Despite its small size, West Point still offers plenty of things to do. A community relations specialist frequently organizes activities and events such as Halloween carnivals, Easter egg hunts, senior lunches, free movie nights in the park, and local contests.

West Point is also home to three community parks and is located in the Davis School District, the second-largest district in Utah.

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Honorable mention: Clinton

less than 10 minutes northeast of West Point, Clinton is a great option for families who would prefer to live in a larger town. Clinton is also part of the Davis School District, has a similar PTI (3.0), but about twice the population. Residents can enjoy family-friendly activities year round, such as the annual Heritage Days celebration, recreational sports leagues, or art classes.

Best for retirees: South Ogden

PTI
3.1
Median home value
$213,800
Median household income
$68,585
Population
17,063
Median resident age
34.6
Crime rate
16.73 per 1,000 residents

Whether you choose to buy or rent, you'll have affordable housing options to consider in South Ogden.

With a median home value of $213,800 and a median rent of $963, South Ogden is an affordable and charming area for retirees. South Ogden has an extensive hiking trail network and nine local parks, making it easy and enjoyable for residents to stay active. Nearby, retirees can also find Ogden's Golden Hours Senior Center, which offers meals, classes, clubs, fitness activities, special events, and social groups for adults 55 and older.

Ogden is also home to several 55+ communities, assisted living facilities, and memory care centers.

» MORE: Buying vs. Renting in Retirement: Which Is the Better Idea?

Honorable mention: Syracuse

Syracuse has a variety of housing options for residents over 55. Independent and active retirees will love the age-restricted community of Sunset Park Villas. It offers a maintenance-free lifestyle, giving seniors the freedom to enjoy the community clubhouse, join clubs and social groups, or explore the city. Another choice to consider is RainTree Senior Living, which offers both home health aid and an assisted living facility to match your needs.

Best for renters: Brigham City

PTI
3.4
Median rent
$739
Median household income
$53,504
Population
19,150
Median resident age
32.2
Crime rate
25.89 per 1,000 residents

Situated on the western edge of the Box Elder Canyon, Brigham City offers some of the lowest rent costs in Utah. The median rent is just $739, which is $298 less than the state average.

Brigham City may be inexpensive, but that doesn't mean it's a boring place to live. The city is rich in natural beauty, such as the nearby Wellsville Mountains, which have been dubbed "the steepest mountain range in the world". Birdwatchers can happily visit the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, which lies just west of the city.

Downtown Brigham City is actually a 501(c)3 non-profit! Through the Main Street Program, the organization sponsors a variety of art, historical, and cultural events throughout the year while promoting local businesses. One of the most popular annual events is the summer farmers market, which is often referred to as "Utah's Famous Fruit Way."

As for local dining, new residents are encouraged to check out Maddox Ranch House. Known as "Utah's Original Steakhouse," Maddox Ranch House is a beloved old-fashioned restaurant in the nearby town of Perry.

Honorable mention: Logan

Located about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, Logan offers a low median rent of just $764. It's home to two college campuses — Bridgerland Technical College and Utah State University — which help contribute to the city's young median age of 24.0.

The Logan parks and recreation department manages the local golf course, fairgrounds, and aquatic center. During the summer, the fairgrounds host numerous fairs, rodeos, and demolition derbies. In the winter, Logan opens its outdoor skating rink at Merlin Olsen Park. Year-round, residents can keep themselves entertained with hiking and camping in Logan Canyon, joining classes at Logan Library, or attending performances at the Ellen Eccles Theatre.

Methodology

We selected the most affordable cities by analyzing each city's price-to-income (PTI) ratio, which is calculated by dividing each city's median home value by its median household income (both from the latest US Census). While cities with PTI ratios close to or below 2.6 were considered, we looked beyond housing costs alone to determine each area’s affordability.

We reviewed factors such as median rent prices, costs of living, taxes, health care, and city-specific expenses using the latest US Census Bureau data, Payscale's Cost of Living Calculator, and Data USA. Crime statistics were gathered from NeighborhoodScout, CrimeGrade.org, and the FBI.

Furthermore, we included honorable mentions for most categories to account for more individual preferences, such as school systems, transportation options, and culture and entertainment.

Finally, we narrowed our top five cities to those with at least 10,000 residents.

Frequently asked questions about affordable places to live in Utah

</p><p>Based strictly on the price-to-income ratio, <a href="#overall" onclick="globalTOCClick('#overall');" data-link-type="jump-link">Roy</a> is the cheapest place to buy a home in Utah. With a PTI ratio of just 2.7, residents can comfortably afford to buy a house on the local median household income of $70,032.</p><p>

</p><p><a href="#retirees" onclick="globalTOCClick('#retirees');" data-link-type="jump-link">South Ogden</a> is one of the most affordable places in Utah for residents age 55 and older to buy a home or rent an apartment. The median home value is $213,800 and the median rent is $963, which is $74 lower than the state average. It's also home to several independent senior communities, assisted living facilities, and memory care resources.</p><p>

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