Rents, home values rise sharply in western Washington: Report

2022 marks the first time in a decade that King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties have been ranked below the balance between income and home value.

SEATTLE – A new report from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) reveals rents and home values ​​have skyrocketed and home ownership is decreasing for people of color across western Washington.

The monitoring report, released this month, is part of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Regional Housing Strategy. The Regional Housing Strategy is described as a “handbook” for improving housing supply in the area.

“After the Great Recession, it took a long time for the housing industry to get back into the housing construction business,” said Josh Brown, CEO of PSRC. “But our economy, especially thanks to the tech sector in King County, has recovered a large number of jobs very quickly, and in this decade we are lagging a lot in building enough housing to keep pace with job growth.”

Fortunately, housing construction rates have gone up, says Brown — but in a way, it’s a catch-up game. He said that policy work is happening at cities, counties and at the state level that is likely to empower faster replenishment of supplies.

“Especially for home ownership, we are seeing an urgent need for what we would normally call middle-class housing in short supply,” Brown said. “Townhouses, really well-suited to established single-family neighborhoods, but we haven’t built enough of the missing mid-range townhouses to meet the overwhelming demand.”

The report looked at several key housing measurements in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

According to the report, typical rents have increased by 60% and home values ​​have skyrocketed 135% in the area since July 2014. Rents increased from $1,462 to $2,346 from July 2014 to July 2022 while rents increased from $1,462 to $2,346. home value increased from $332,500 to $781,600.

The report also identifies that potential first-time homebuyers will find it harder to own a home.

According to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER) Housing Affordability Index, first-time buyer housing affordability has hit its lowest point since WCRER began tracking it in 2016. 2012. Affordability has declined over the past two years in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties, with King County being the most affordable for first-time buyers.

The second quarter of 2022 marks the first time in the past decade that all four counties have ranked below the balance between income and home prices, indicating a widespread shortage of affordable housing.

According to the report, home loan rejection rates for people of color are also higher, making the home ownership journey more difficult. Mortgage applications are rejected at a higher rate, higher than the area’s 10% rejection rate, for people of color than for white applicants in the area.

According to the report, the home ownership rate for white households, 66%, is more than double the home ownership rate for Black households of 31%. Even after adjusting for household income, the home ownership rate for households of color is still much lower than the rate for white households, the report said. Asian households also lag behind white homeownership rates, although average Asian household incomes are higher than white households.

“I think people really care about equity in our area and what we’re trying to do is report on home ownership and how communities of color are impacted,” Brown said. matched by housing affordability and the staggering numbers in our area.” “Housing is really the primary concern for most families. Housing is how you build wealth for generations.”

The area needs housing of many different types in all communities, according to Puget Sound Regional Council. Council says there is a backlog of around 50,000 units to address existing housing gaps. According to the council, the area needs more than 800,000 new apartments by 2050 to meet housing demand.

While most of the report’s provisions focus on ways to empower the market to provide more affordable housing, a number of local nonprofits are also offering alternative approaches. “House Our Neighbors” is currently campaigning for I-135, a Social Housing proposal that Seattle voters will decide on in November.

“For example, even though Seattle is investing in affordable housing, we have to be honest with the public that we are not on track to achieve that goal,” said Tiffani McCoy. “We’re making positive strides, we can’t beat ourselves up too quickly – we have a lot of work to do and that’s why we need new and innovative solutions to the market.” House.”

McCoy says the report’s data isn’t particularly surprising, but it’s very serious.

“Do we want this city to be a place where only the extremely wealthy and those who are earning mid-to-high six-figure salaries can live here?” McCoy asked. “Or do we want to make sure that anyone who lives or works here has access to Seattle so they don’t have to worry, ‘Will the rent increase make me leave the city?'”

Camille Gix, a recent graduate working part-time at Real Change, said she is currently facing an inability to pay.

“With a part-time income, my husband and I, he’s an immigrant without a work permit – we couldn’t afford anything at all so we lived with our parents. “, said Gix. “We’re almost 30 years old and it’s the only option that allows us to afford food and still live in Seattle so I can study.”

Gix said if soaring housing prices don’t keep up with wages, Seattle will lose a lot of what makes it up.

“We lose the diversity of our workforce, the diversity of thought, if the only people who can live in the city are people who have incomes above six figures or have multiple generations of wealth or been a homeowner since the early ’90s like my parents,” said Gixx. Rents, home values rise sharply in western Washington: Report

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