Seattle Times Asks: Who Will Lead On Housing?

The Times today features a special report on housing, with a graphic that I found particularly pertinent. In the past five years, real hourly wages have grown by only 2 percent while the median home price has increased by 52 percent. Though homeownership levels are currently high, a good portion is due to the use […]

Kitsap County Out-Increases King

While King County’s 17 percent year-on-year price increase is impressive and baffling, even more so is Kitsap County’s 23 percent year-on-year increase. What could possibly be driving prices in the rural east Puget Sound county? Definitely not wage increases. August home prices were 23 percent higher than those in August 2004, topping three years’ worth […]

Can’t Build Fast Enough In Olympia

Yet another story about some of the downsides of the extreme seller’s market we’ve had here lately: Achieving the dream of home ownership has become hard-earned for some buyers in South Sound and in some of the nation’s hotter real estate markets. That’s because builders are struggling to keep up with demand for new homes. […]

Seattle Cheaper Than Most Other Tech Cities

According to a report by an organization called the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Seattle’s housing is among the more affordable of the eight “technology regions” they surveyed. For those in Seattle who complain about housing costs, traffic delays, taxes or other issues, the report provides a little bit of comfort. At least you don’t live […]

Real Estate Boom Beefs Up State Income

The real estate blitz is having a noticeable effect on state revenue: Washington state’s surging economy, driven by a continuing construction boom and red-hot real estate market, will pump an additional $493 million into state coffers, forecasters said today. The good news – the third quarterly revenue surge in a row – brings the state’s […]

How Long Can Huge Price Gains Continue?

To me it’s not a question of whether or not the ridiculous price gains of recent years will continue, but rather how long will they continue? Though other parts of the country have shown some signs of slowing, in the Seattle area the answer is apparently “a little longer.” King County’s home price increase means […]

Snohomish County Budget Balanced on Home Sales

Are local governments setting themselves up for budget troubles if/when housing takes a downturn? That is to say, are they taking increased revenues from the high volume and high price of home sales and using them for regular operating expenses, rather than treating it as a surplus? More tax money is forecast to flow into […]