Housing prices are crazy. Why can’t we build enough?

House XXL

During the recent recession, home building dropped dramatically in the South Sound, forcing construction workers out of their trade and many developers out of business.

Today, companies in the region are creating jobs at an unprecedented pace — adding more in the past five years than any period since the early 1990s.

With those new jobs come new residents. From mid-2015 to 2016, more than 86,000 people moved to Pierce, King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties — and we welcomed our 4 millionth resident a year ago.

Where will all these new residents live?

Thousands of apartment units will open in Pierce County in the coming years as the structures are built at a record pace. But some some developers question whether that building boom will last.

“The big question that all developers are asking themselves is how deep is the market?” said John Wise, who co-owns The Grand on Broadway.


State and U.S. Census data show far more people are moving here than there are new homes to accommodate them.

“You can hire people for any industry a lot faster than you can get housing suddenly online,” said Josh Brown, executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council. “The regional economy has created an enormous amount of jobs over the last five years.”

From mid-2013 to mid-2017, state and Census data show, 285,900 people moved to Pierce, King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties — nearly 200 people a day.

During that time, 82,521 housing units were built.

285,900Number of people who moved to King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish counties from mid-2013to mid-2017

82,521Number of housing units built in those four counties in the same time frame.

Much of the soaring growth in new residents locally is fueled by explosive job creation.

State labor economists predict another 30,000 jobs will be created in King County by the middle of next year — more than half in the software industry alone.

Case in point: software job openings in Seattle are outpacing the number offered in Silicon Valley, according to The Seattle Times.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article164078797.html


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