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Housing Forum Highlights

July 11, 2019

BIAW joined forces with the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and eight other partners to hold a Housing Forum July 8 at the Hilton Bellevue that covered the necessity of increased market-rate housing supply across the state at all price points. Participants heard from local elected officials, home builders, legislators, economists, attorneys, realtors and many more about issues facing our industry from supply to permitting.

“The overarching problem is not the demand of housing, but it is one of supply,” said U.S. Representative Denny Heck Dist. 10.

The event started a conversation about both short and long term solutions in the housing industry. “Crisis prompts action,” said Representative Andrew Barkis, Dist. 2.

According to Director of Washington State Real Estate Research at the University of Washington James Young, statewide Washington is seven million housing units short. In fact, just last month, normally the busiest month of the year for the housing market, only 1,309 houses for first-time buyers were on the market in Kitsap, King, Mason, Spokane, Snohomish, Kittitas, Whatcom, Skagit, Thurston and Pierce Counties combined. The number of permits pulled for single-family homes, which dropped dramatically after the Great Recession, is just now starting to reach pre-recession levels and yet is not enough to keep up with demand.

According to Young, if nothing changes and the trends in housing continue as they are now, the future of the housing market in Washington looks dim. 70 percent of the city populations will be renters and 29 percent of home buyers would move to other states to find more affordable options.

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported this cause,” concluded BIAW Executive Vice President Greg Lane. “Let’s be a part of the solution.”

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