Stock photo

Stock photo

First-time home buyers increasingly priced out of Washington housing market

Building Industry Association of Washington says state’s median home price is $522,023

With a hot home buyer’s market and ongoing shortage of new construction, home builders are troubled by a growing crisis in housing: People in middle and lower-income brackets are increasingly priced out of the market for home ownership.

“Legislators are considering a number of bills this session that will significantly increase the cost of new homes,” said Tracy Doriot, 2021 president of the Tumwater-based Building Industry Association of Washington, in a news release. “Many of the bills have worthy goals. However, they also have significant consequences.

“Every $1,000 increase in the cost of building a new home prices more than 2,500 people out of the market in Washington. We’re asking legislators to also consider the effects of their policies have on preventing more and more people from attaining the American Dream of home ownership.”

The National Association of Home Builders recently shared a report citing home ownership as the primary driver of household wealth. Across all racial and ethnic demographics, people’s homes were their largest asset.

The national group also released its 2021 Priced-Out Estimates, showing how higher home prices and rising interest rates affect people’s ability to buy new homes.

In Washington state, the median home price is $522,023, requiring a minimum income of $112,295 just to qualify for a mortgage. At that price point, more than 72% of Washington’s roughly 3 million households are priced out already. And for every $1,000 in additional costs, 2,524 more households are unable to qualify for a new mortgage.

Washington’s housing affordability pyramid shows how many households are priced out at various price points above and below the median price.

“By adding more and more regulation, legislators, sadly, are telling those in the disadvantaged, lower and middle economic classes that they will not be able to own a home,” Doriot said. “That’s why, as Washington continues work to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIAW is supporting legislation that helps address the state’s housing shortage with homes more people can afford.”

The association has been actively opposing measures that add new regulations, requirements and restrictions that drive up the costs of home ownership and reduce the supply of new housing to meet the state’s needs.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

Seattle Children’s Hospital (Courtesy photo)
Seattle Children’s Hospital identifies racial disparities in infections, security response

The healthcare provider did not respond to multiple requests for data used to identify disparities.

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Courtesy Photo, Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle to require vaccinations for employees

2,200 workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 15

People hold up signs in protest of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest proclamations during a Rally for Medical Freedom on Aug. 25 in Buckley. Photo by Alex Bruell/Sound Publishing
State workers get incentive to comply with vaccine mandate

An agreement between the state and their union also provides for some leeway in meeting the deadline.

This is a screenshot that shows the pursuit of a stolen vehicle Sept. 1 on Interstate 5 in King County.
VIDEO: Auburn police let suspected vehicle thief go, citing new laws

State laws passed earlier this spring require police to have probable cause to engage in a pursuit.

Juanita High School student Ria Mahon. Courtesy photo
Student brings awareness to menstrual health among Puget Sound’s homeless

When Ria Mohan, a junior of Juanita High School in Kirkland, had… Continue reading

Matt Axe, the Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Coordinator with the King Conservation District, speaks to homeowner Anita Kissee-Wilder about fire reduction strategies at her home in North Bend on Aug. 24. Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record.
King County braces for more wildfires in rural areas

Firefighters have already responded to a number of large fires.

t
New data dashboard tracks COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated, vaccinated people

Information compiled by Public Health – Seattle & King County

This 2019 security footage at the Cenex gas station in Black Diamond shows Anthony Chilcott on his phone before entering, and driving off with, Carl Sanders’ Ford Raptor and Monkey, his poodle, in the front seat. Courtesy photo
Oversight office releases scathing report on King County Sheriff’s Office

Report analyzes 2019 killing of Anthony Chilcott by deputies.

Close-up hand using phone in night time on street. File photo
King County Council steps closer to establishing hate crime hotline

The program is aimed at reducing the number of unreported hate crimes.

A Link light rail train travels underneath the University of Washington during testing to open the new line to Northgate. COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Northgate Link light rail testing moves into final stages

Three new north Seattle stations opening Oct. 2