Snohomish County Real Estate Too Hot to Handle. For many, this statement is not an exaggeration. It is a hard and, frankly sad reality. Some say we are not in a bubble. I will agree to disagree. I have been a Broker for over 30 years and I have seen markets come and markets go. One thing that is a constant is that the real estate market is a cycle. Our current cycle is being driven by the simple principle of supply and demand. The issue this time around is the demand. With companies like Amazon hiring ridiculous numbers of people that have no affordable options close to their jobs, buyers are forced to look either North or South to find anything that could qualify as affordable housing. These companies are not considering the impact this is having on our entire region. Greed is a powerful animal!
Just think about it. Housing prices are up in all parts the county compared with the previous year. The median price for houses reached $450,000 for all of the county up from $389,950 the previous year. That’s a 15.4 percent increase. On top of that, Snohomish County now has less than a 1 month supply of inventory. A real estate market is considered healthy with four to six months of inventory. So, to put it into real terms, our real estate market is NOT healthy. Some may ask, what can we do about this? I wish I had an answer. I have many young buyers that truly need to find homes and they cannot compete with the competition. Their competition is not just other buyers that live and work in our region wanting to become homeowners. Much of their competition are foreign investors with cash that are gobbling up the inventory with the intent to use the properties as rentals. With rents as high or higher than mortgage payments, where does this leave so many people?
Many people are simply leaving the region. There are many communities around our country that are so much more affordable with plentiful jobs. Those that are established and perhaps want to just move to a new community or down-size, retire or buy a larger home – they also have hurdles. What is there to buy if they sell? The gain from their sale will be gobbled up by the amount they will pay for the next house. We really do have a serious housing crisis in our region. It would be great if companies hiring would have to provide affordable housing options for their employees. How about giving buyers that intend to occupy the property priority over investors?
I don’t know what the answer is. It is a complicated situation but one that cannot be ignored. Share your thoughts and ideas. We are all in this together.