The Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER)has released their latest affordability statistics. Unsurprisingly, home affordability in King County dropped yet again, reaching a new low of 69.2. Here’s your latest graph of WCRER’s index since 1994:
The decline in affordability from Q2 to Q3 was relatively minor, due to lower interest rates in Q3, combined with a smaller increase in the price of homes than previous quarters.
WCRER Director Glen Crellin is quoted in the Associated Press article about these latest figures as saying “home ownership depends on the ability to purchase the first home, and too often that is more a dream than a reality.” First time buyer affordability in King County also reached a new low, coming in at 38.8 for the quarter. In a “normal” market in King County, first time buyer affordability tends to be in the 60’s. If first-time buyers really do get priced out forever, who will existing homeowners sell their homes to when they want to upgrade?
I don’t see how this trend can possibly continue for much longer.
(Nicholas K. Geranios, AP via Seattle P-I, 11.22.2006)