LOCAL NEWS

Housing affordability hits decade low as inventory shrinks

Jun 25, 2018, 8:31 AM | Updated: 10:51 am
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(MyNorthwest)
(MyNorthwest)

Buying a home in the Puget Sound region isn’t getting any easier.

It was already difficult to find an affordable home, especially in King County where the median price of a single-family home surpassed the record high of $725,000 in May. But now, affordability across the country has dropped to a decade low.

“It’s tough to find a house out there,” CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger told Seattle’s Morning News.

The housing market around Seattle was already susceptible to price increases due to the influx of people moving here, primarily to work in the booming tech industry. A lack of inventory and rising mortgage rates can be blamed for the affordability problem, Schlesinger says.

Additionally, a shortage of labor and increasing lumber prices have added to the costs of construction. Schlesinger says wildfires and the Trump administration’s tariff on Canadian lumber are to blame for increasing the price of wood — adding about $9,000 for a new home.

There is hope, however. Citing the Calculated Risk blog, Schlesinger says home inventory has already bottomed out in some parts of the country. If inventory increases, then we may see home price growth begin to slow.

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Housing affordability hits decade low as inventory shrinks