We are seeing the same low-inventory trends in most of the hip-and-happening markets around the country, like Seattle. Sam is a prolific blogger and an active realtor – here’s his take (h/t Susie!):
The headlines read “Seattle’s real estate market is hot!” Under that glossy surface, Seattle real estate’s inventory dearth is a growing, unruly mess.
Home prices in King County rose 12% in February, but that’s no longer an attention-grabber. They rose 18% in the same period one year before.
Inventory is at just 1.1 months. The number of available homes for sale dropped 21% in one year. These crisis-level numbers should be astonishing, but they’ve begun to seem unremarkable. After all, inventory dropped 26% in 2015, 17% in 2014 and 10% in 2013.
The shock has worn off. We’ve been inundated with double-digit noise for so long in the Seattle real estate market that we’ve almost become numb to it. While that’s understandable, it’s also problematic.
King County is issuing 200 new driver’s licenses every day to people moving in from out-of-state. That doesn’t include in-state migration and in-county natural population growth. Meanwhile, the county is only issuing building permits for 27 new housing units per day.
The diverging trend lines of people and homes get further apart by the day, month and year. Prices rise swiftly.
Residents get squeezed. They “drive to qualify”. They live further out, commute longer distances, create more traffic gridlock, spend more on transportation, have less time to spend with their families and experience a diminished quality of life.
There’s no risky financing housing bubble to blame like there was a decade ago. Employment and in-migration in King County is forecast to rise exponentially in the coming years. These are people with real jobs, verified income and real down payments. There just aren’t enough homes, so prices continue to soar.
Read full article here: