While the home building contraction has been devastating for the local industry, Utah has fared better than other western states, and in fact better than the national trend, which shows a 73.4 percent decline. Among the nine high growth western states, Utah ranks best with the smallest decline of 61.8 percent in residential permits as measured from peak year to 2009. Nevada, Arizona and California have all reported declines of over 80 percent since their peak years. If Utah had experienced a similar level of decline, residential construction activity in 2009 would have been 5,000 units rather than the 10,600 units reported.
Home building in most states registered serious losses in 2009. Utah, however, was an exception. The number of residential building permits issued in Utah in 2009 was down only 2.5 percent, less than 300 units. Nationally, residential permits were down 36.8 percent, with the eight other high growth western states all having sizeable reductions in home building activity in 2009.