Eighty-four percent of Americans believe purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yet six in ten said they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. Nationally, forty-four percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or big problem.
“Most American’s still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home. Yet, Americans consider the lack of affordability as a big obstacle to ownership,” said Denise McDonald, President of Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®.
Specifically, in Washington State, there is a housing affordability crisis impacting buyers, sellers, and renters. Growing pressure and demand for housing lead to skyrocketing prices and low housing supply. Families in all income groups are struggling to find homeownership opportunities. This impacts every part of the housing and rental markets in Washington. According to the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research, first-time buyers in Snohomish County face home prices that are nearly double what they can afford. Home prices have increased faster than incomes.
Affordable and stable housing matters for many reasons. One reason being affordable and stable housing increase individual and family well-being, including better physical and mental health, improved school performance, and greater opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. “Our communities also benefit when affordable and stable housing are available,” stated McDonald. “Having affordable and stable housing create equitable access to services and opportunity, give ability for all to prosper regardless of socioeconomic background, and improve racial and economic integration.” Lastly, the local economy benefits from affordable and stable housing. When affordable housing is available the local economy is better able to attract and retain workers, there are shorter commutes, less traffic, and there are support for diverse businesses and sustainable economic growth.
Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® is launching a local “Unlock the Door for Affordable Homeownership” campaign. “Unlock the Door” is a coalition which seeks to bring affordable housing to Washington by reaching out to our local legislators. Washington will benefit from affordable ownership opportunities and, among other things, we need to encourage condo, townhome, and small lot building and zoning – especially near our transit lines. However, accessible and affordable housing cannot be solved by the private sector alone. This is a statewide problem which requires action by local officials and even the federal government. For starters, we need to educate our elected officials about how the lack of affordable housing impacts the residents.
For more information about buying or selling a home, be sure to work with a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Snohomish County. If you have questions for The Expert about Real Estate email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting https://www.sccar.org/.