Promenade Place Skyview

A look from above at Promenade Place, student housing in Orem that sold for a record amount in August 2019. 

Colliers named the No. 1 ‘economic engine’ in Utah County

Utah Business Q released its annual rankings for the top 50 businesses in Utah County last month. Colliers International was named the No. 1 Economic Engine in Utah County. This is the second year Colliers has been included in the list; last year it was ranked No. 3.

The Utah Business Q list, UV50, represents the top companies operating office headquarters in the valley. Colliers joins the list alongside Qualtrics, Vivint, Nu Skin, Four Foods Group, doTerra, Adobe, Ancestry, Clyde Companies and Xactware.

“It is an honor to be part of such a prestigious list of leading companies,” Brandon Fugal, chairman of Colliers International | Utah, said. “These companies represent the world-class level of business that originates from Utah County. Colliers is proud to have served many of these companies and looks forward to continuing to serve as a trusted partner well in the future as they continue to expand operations.”

According to a press release, Colliers is the top-performing commercial real estate firm in Utah and represents over 85% of all deals closed within the Utah County region, including office, retail, multifamily, industrial, investment, hotel, hospitality and land transactions. Last year, the company’s employees closed over $3.1 billion in transactions throughout the state.

Job market confidence remains high despite trade uncertainties

According to a press release, the Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index, created in partnership with Cicero Group, increased 6.2 points to 119.3 last month. Compared to last year, the index is 4.7 points lower. The national Consumer Confidence Index decreased 9.1 points to 125.1 this month.

The press release states that according to the “Present Situation Index,” fewer Utahns are pessimistic about current economic conditions; 4% of Utahns surveyed feel business conditions are bad, compared to 5% in August. Since Zions Bank began its index in 2011, the lowest ever percentage of Utahns who felt business conditions were bad was 3%. In addition, only 8% of Utahns in September felt jobs are hard to get, as compared to 9% in August.

However, compared to last year, Utahns are more uneasy about future business conditions, the index found. Only 23% of Utahns feel business conditions will be better six months from now, and 18% of Utahns feel business conditions will get worse in the next six months. Despite this, Utahns are more positive about future incomes, with 40% of Utahns believing their income will increase in the next six months, the highest percentage since January 2018. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah now has the eighth highest median household income in the nation, growing 7.8% since 2017.

A major topic of conversation that arises is the impact of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. The recent index survey found only 19% of Utahns indicated they noticed a personal impact as a result of trade negotiations. Fourteen percent of Utahns attribute higher prices to trade negotiations, 6% say they are concerned about overall economic volatility as a result of negotiations and 5% say negotiations have negatively impacted their business.

In regards to future effects, 28% of Utahns said in September that they feel current trade negotiations will positively impact their economic situation while 46% feel negotiations will negatively impact their economic situation.

“The growth of the national consumer price index has been below target levels, so the tariffs that China and the United States have already levied have not, as of yet, done much to raise prices for American households,” said Randy Shumway, chairman and partner of Cicero Group. “But some expect that effect to happen soon, particularly with the new rounds of tariffs largely being placed on non-durable goods.”

The full index is available to view on the Zions Bank website, under community articles.

Lehi man announced as Neighbor.com’s top referrer for August

Neighbor.com, the peer-to-peer self-storage company, announced Wednesday that Austin Taylor, from Lehi, was the top referrer during the month of August, qualifying him for Neighbor’s still fairly new monthly mortgage payment referral program.

As part of the program, Neighbor will pay one month of Taylor’s mortgage. According to a press release, Taylor is an active Neighbor “host” himself, and has referred many of his friends to the platform, even helping one of his neighbors become a host virtually overnight.

“We would like to congratulate and thank Austin Taylor for the neighborly work he has done to help others in his community turn their extra space into passive income streams through Neighbor.com,” said Joseph Woodbury, co-founder and CEO of Neighbor. “With demand for self-storage space far outpacing supply across the country and mortgage debt on the rise, many people are quickly learning how simple Neighbor makes it to earn money as a host or save money as a renter. Debt relief is fundamental to Neighbor’s mission as a company and we are thrilled to pay Austin’s mortgage payment this month — and a new customer’s mortgage payment every month thereafter.”

Neighbor began its monthly referral program, designed to provide mortgage relief, in June. The program was inspired by stories hosts shared about using Neighbor to pay down their mortgages and other debts. Both Woodbury and his co-founder Preston Alder have said they plan to continue the debt relief program in perpetuity.

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at cporter@heraldextra.com.

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