This seems to be one of Seattle’s biggest issues when it comes to real estate. The lack of affordable housing and the new construction of single-family homes has been one of the most major issues that homeowners and potential buyers face throughout the Puget Sound region. New construction has been declining since 2006 but apartment development has been on the rise since 2011. Those that pay more than 30% of their income for housing are at an all-time high across the Seattle Metro region.
According to a recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journals, new housing units took a drastic dive in 2019 but have quickly regained over the last six months. New housing units were at an all-time seven-year low earlier this year with just 759 new housing units but no more than a quarter later, that number rose to over 3000.
Multi-family property housing permits have also increased from just 1183 back in 2009 to over 15,000 over the last 12 months.
Our national single-family home price is dramatically higher than the national average of just $224,000. For the Seattle-Tacoma and Bellevue area, the median single-family home price tops out at $380,000.
The highest-priced median value of owner-occupied homes is unsurprisingly in places like Medina, Mercer Island, Bellevue, downtown Seattle, and Sammamish on the east side.
The term “cost-burdened” means the number of households that paying housing costs becomes a burden. 40% of Seattle-based homeowners consider themselves cost-burdened with homeownership and housing fees.
So, what can developers, real estate agents, and city officials do about Seattle’s Affordable Housing Shortage?
According to the article, a meeting of the minds with the business Journal, Master Builders Association, and other Seattle developers and experts state that some solutions could be:
- Developers consider this a regional situation rather than fall in line with the national average.
- Permitting fees should be reduced as they make up a quarter of the development costs.
- Cooperative homeownership should be encouraged as a cost less than the traditional single-family or even condominium complexes.
- Pressure should be placed on certain suburbs that have resisted to accept more density. This could encourage light rail stations and more commuter options.
- Seattle should consider banning micro-housing.
- Consider wealthy residents to help fund the development of affordable housing.
However, affordable housing still exists but it does take a trained eye to know where to look and went to make an offer. Give me a call at any time and let’s discuss your options, current finances and budget, and when to pull the trigger on buying a house or property in the Seattle, Bellevue, or Mercer Island real estate market.
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