Study: Washington ranks last in housing availability

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While dwindling housing inventory continues to be a source of frustration across the country, Washington has been hit harder by the housing crisis than any other state, according to a new study by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Washington ranks last among 50 states in the ratio of housing units to the number of existing households, the EcoNorthwest study revealed. For every household, Washington has roughly a single unit or less of housing. This equates to 1.05 units of housing per single household in King County and 1.04 in Snohomish, compared to the country’s average ratio of 1.14 units. 

Consequently, housing has become less affordable. Households earning 100% AMI (area median income) can afford a median home in only nine Washington counties, with King and Snohomish Counties averaging over $500,000 per home. 

By 2050, the Puget Sound Region is predicted to increase to 6 million people — an average of 55,000 additional people per year who will need housing. Although it is anticipated that home prices will improve due to unmatched wage growth, housing scarcity will remain a problem as long as demand outpaces supply, the report noted.

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