Is Salt Lake City the New Austin?

As Silicon Valley continues to become expensive to the point of unaffordability, it’s become a common guessing game as to which metro area is poised to become the next “it” market for startups to flourish, find investors and win over consumers.

Naturally, major locales like Seattle, New York, San Diego and Los Angeles are considered major tech hubs as well. Austin, Texas, has emerged in recent years as the go-to area for major tech companies looking for a more affordable alternative for employees, bringing startups and investors along with it.

But is Salt Lake City gearing up to take that title?

Called “Silicon Slopes” by many in the industry, Utah has seen steady growth in the analytic data industry in particular since the 1990s, and in more recent years the state has made significant progress in attracting startups and venture capitalists.

As will happen, the effects of business growth are having a direct effect on Salt Lake City’s real estate industry. The average home price in Salt Lake City is currently $285,000, according to real estate information company Zillow, which is a 9.9 percent increase over the past year. Paul Benson, a real estate agent and CEO of Engel & Volkers Park City in Park City, Utah, says he has watched the luxury home market transform as more investments, startups and expansions occur throughout Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.

“It used to be in Utah we were looking for just a random [relocation] or we were looking for a ski-home buyer – somebody that was coming here primarily to ski,” Benson says. “That has now switched to marketing a lot more in Northern California and places like Austin, Texas, for our buyers in the real estate world.”

One of my former employees had offices there. Attrition was just as high as SV. I assume that means their tech job maker is that hot. Park City is close which held the Winter Olympics.

Utah’s CS department is pretty good. Very strong in graphics. Weather is not good though.

Depends on your definition of good. Tons of Bay Area people drive to Tahoe every weekend in the summer and winter for the weather. Utah is very similar and it’s not a 4+ hour drive to ski. I have no clue why people brag about SF weather. The summer sucks. You need a winter jacket to go to a giants night game.

Utah is a good place for business. Mormons have a strong work ethic, right?

How open is Utah for diversity? Will tech’s diversity meet strong resistance from Mormons?

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We don’t need to… we brag with our home prices

I heard from an interview with Raj Chetty that Utah has surprisingly good social mobility. Poor Utah children has relatively better shot at the top than most other regions in the US. SF’s score is not bad. Old article from NYT:


Neighborhoods with good schools in Salt Lake City.

Neighborhoods with goods schools in Austin.

Houses in Salt Lake City are not cheaper than Austin’s popular neighborhoods for techies.
Anyone know which neighborhoods in Salt Lake City are popular with techies?

Location matters only because of the ethnicities living in that location. That map shows that poor white children have better shot at the top than non-white.


How many times is the Austin property tax over Salt Lake City?

Since it snows in SLC and it’s too cold to build houses there in winter, supply might be less than Austin. But will liberal tech workers move to Utah if there are no bars and no liberal lifestyle allowed?

Did the legwork for you.
Austin ~1.8%-3.3%… ZERO state personal income tax
SLC ~ 0.5-1%…5%
Bay Area ~ 0.65-0.85%…1-13.3%

Then go buy SLC to save property tax. I know Austin sucks on property tax

There is homestead exemption and zero state personal income tax in Austin. Also, better schools and lower crime rate. SLC seems to have high crime rate.

I heard people say that Salt Lake City is extremely safe because of Mormons. Why is the crime stats higher than US average?

Salt Lake is a great place to live…Beats the hell out of Austin…Snow not an issue…Similar to Reno. .Rarely much snow on the valley floor…Can build all winter…Barriers to entry low…Similar to Texas…Too easy to overbuild…But Park City is definitely highend…Was my number 2 pick after Tahoe…Has better skiing but doesn’t have the greatest alpine lake in America…Very pleasant summers, no humidity. …

Why buy in the middle of nowhere? The coast is where you can find value… :wink:

Salt lake MSA over 2m…invest for the future. .Salt Lake and Denver are both high growth…People are moving there for healthy mountain living…The millenials want lifestyle more than career…Investors should go with the growth. .

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Salt Lake City is the least Mormon part of Utah…There is crime, but less than Reno which is another great place to invest…