To hear those in the know talk, Mount Vernon is the “go-to” place in Skagit Valley for homes over the next 15 years.
In that time the county is expected to reach a population of 150,000, or about 45 percent more than what it is now.
Is an increase of ~43,000 people in fifteen years an “explosive growth rate”? If it is, what could be the reason for this growth? Are a lot of people moving up from Seattle to escape the housing madness there, or is it mostly people from out of state?
According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which includes 14 counties in the Puget Sound region and Garfield County east of the mountains, the average price of a house sold in this county last June was $273,016, while the median price (the mid-point between lowest and highest) was $239,000.
For perspective, even using “creative financing,” the most I could get pre-approved for on my engineer’s salary was $275,000. I would barely be able to get a loan for the average house in Mount Vernon, a place where there surely aren’t many jobs that pay like mine. Where are the people who are moving here getting the money to pay this much for housing?
(Michael Barrett, Skagit County Business Pulse, 08.07.2005)