Washington first-time home buyers priced out of housing market

Washington housing market- Tri-Cities
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) reports first-time homebuyers are increasingly priced out of the housing market.

BIAW attributes this to a hot buyer’s market and a shortage in construction, which has left people in middle- and lower-income brackets out of the game.

“Legislators are considering a number of bills this session that will significantly increase the cost of new homes. Many of the bills have worthy goals. However, they also have significant consequences,” said BIAW President, Tracy Doriot. “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.”

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A study from the National Association of Home Builders also points to higher home prices and rising interest rates as additional factors in Washington’s precarious housing market.

In Washington, the median home price is $522,023 and requires a minimum income of $112,295 just to qualify for a mortgage. By that metric, 72-percent of Washington’s 3 million households are already priced out.

For every $1,000 in additional costs, more than 2,500 households are priced out.

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In the Spokane/Spokane Valley area, the median home prices sit at 411,934—which requires a minimum income of 90,357 to qualify for a mortgage. According to data from BIAW, 55,216 households can afford that median price, and 176,398 households have been priced out.

Meanwhile, in the Kennewick/Richland area, the median price of a new home is approx. $445,051, requiring a minimum household income of $96,481 for a mortgage.

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