Is the Seattle area destined to have permanent high housing prices like many other West Coast cities? Or are we headed for trouble? Please vote.
Another month, another record for the price of residential real estate in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $722,250 in April — up $22,000 in the past month and compared with $500,000 less than three years ago. The price on the Eastside was $880,000, also a record. (Median means half of the houses were priced above the number and half below).
Some economic fundamentals are driving the boom: Rising employment, good wages for many of the jobs being created, new residents moving in from places such as the Bay area with money to spend, and limited land, especially in the most desirable areas.
Harder to quantify are froth-producing forces, such as the amount of Chinese capital flowing in (which could flow out again) after Vancouver, B.C., placed a tax on foreign buyers. And how does it respond to a shock, such as a recession or bad times at Amazon or another major company? Does it bounce right back or stay in a prolonged slump (where a larger economic downturn doesn’t help affordability anyway)?
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No place leads the nation in price increases forever (and we’re still cheaper than the Bay Area and some other places). But how does this housing dynamic play out in the years ahead?
This Week’s Links:
• April jobs report: Have we reached full employment? | Jared Bernstein
• Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ three years later | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
• Sigh…no, tax cuts won’t boost growth | Dietrich Vollrath