According to the latest population growth analysis from the Kem C. Gardner Institute at the University of Utah, almost all of the counties in Utah experienced growth in 2018. Only Garfield and Emery counties saw a reduction in population in 2018 compared with 2017. Out of 29 counties, that's pretty impressive. Even more exciting is the fact that two of the fastest growing metro areas in the entire country continued to see strong growth. It was last year that the St. George metro area made national news as the fastest growing area in the country. Following strong in the top ten was the Provo metro area, which came in eighth place. Also notable was the Heber micropolitan area being in first place nationally in overall growth.
This staggering growth in both northern and southern Utah has had an enormous economic impact throughout the State. Utah has ranked in the top ten of best states for business for several years, but most recently was named third best state in the nation by CNBC this year. That's a big deal, and the growth rates are a big reason why. Businesses tend to move where growth is strong. Not only that, but a lot of new businesses are started from the ground up in such a flourishing environment, as demands for more services abound. Businesses also love the fact that Utah has business friendly regulation and low taxes.
There is nothing in the University of Utah report that indicates any slowing in the growth pattern. As a result, southern Utah and northern Utah are expected to be a prime spot for real estate investing. While there are some areas that are seeing major spikes in home prices, the market is still neutral in many parts of the State. There is a lot of buying and selling going on, and there are still opportunities for investors. With the growth in population and business continuing to trend upwards, now can be a great time to buy, even with rising prices. This is especially true in cities that are growing but may not be as expensive as those in the top-ten growth rate.
The time to buy real estate is when the national economy is strong and trending upwards, and the place to buy is wherever there is going to be the most stable population growth and business opportunities. Utah is certainly an option to consider for anybody looking for a home or property to put their money into, as it's doing the best in the country in all important categories.