Housing Inventory Update

Housing Inventory Update

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Though perhaps not as sizzling as last Spring, the western Washington housing market continues to simmer.

Matt Deasy, president of Windermere Real Estate East, Inc reports that 7 of 10 single family homes in King County sold in 15 days or less last month. Furthermore, 55% of homes for sale in King County sold for at or above their asking price. This represents the highest list to sale price ratio since July of last year. Still, with all things being relative, and the days of homes going pending in 5 days or less, to many it sure feels like the market has slowed way down. But statistically, based on months of inventory, we are still very much in a seller’s market with all areas within King & Snohomish counties having well less than a 3 month supply of inventory.

Our area’s inventory challenges will continue to cause housing prices to accelerate, significantly and adversely impacting many prospective buyers across the continuum of housing profiles. As a Realtor participating in the sub-committee for Governmental Affairs, I’m in a unique position to be informed and involved in housing issues affecting the communities in which I live, work, and serve.

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in panel interviews for 3 mayoral and 2 council member seats. Through this process I learned how top of mind the issue of housing affordability is to these candidates and where they stand on key legislative incentives outlined in House Bill 1923. The purpose of HB 1923 is to encourage modification of city’s comprehensive plans and zoning and development regulations to accommodate more housing.

Examples of some of the proposed actions include:

  • upzoning near transit and rail stations to 50+ units per acre (with max of 1 parking space per 2 bedroom unit in multi-family area),

  • increase the number of Duplex, Triplex or Courtyard apartments per parcel in zoning districts where single-family is permitted

  • adopt higher SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Categorical Exemptions approved by the Dept. of Ecology for residential and mixed-use projects

  • Allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on all lots with single-family hones

  • in residential zones where housing development capacity will increase, allow minimum net density of 6 units per ace.

 The full bill can be found here, and I encourage you become informed about the issues, attend local town halls and make your voice heard through the voting process!