The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) has just released a new study showing our state is lagging well behind in demand for housing.

The study says WA is at least 250K behind demand.

  The study uses many of the same formulas as Freddie Mac, comparing each county's population, and includes the following data:

  • "Number of Households
  • Forecasted Number of Households
  • Vacancy Rate
  • Target Vacancy Rate (for a balanced market, total housing units should sit at 13%, according to FreddieMac)
  • Housing Stock
  • Target Housing Stock (relative to the number of households)"

In 2022, the BIAW reports only 49,033 building permits were processed, but of those (due to attrition and other factors) only about 45,846 were actually built.

The BIAW also says some "policymakers" improperly atribute the number of permits with actual construction. A number of projects end up being abandoned or never built for a variety of reasons.

 Most of the counties that are high on the list, with the most shortages per-capita of population include San Juan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Ferry and Mason.

King ranks 31st, Snohomish 36th, Benton 28th, Franklin 29th, Spokane 34th, and Yakima 38th.

The BIAW says in order to speed up the process, and make housing more affordable, the  state needs to reform and accelerate the approval process, scale back design standards and building codes, and re-assess the effectiveness of impact fees.

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Streamlining and speeding up the process will also cause housing costs to ease, making them more affordable for more families. Most of the adjustments made by the legislature this year towards housing were towards multi-family units, homeless housing and what is called accessory dwelling (or mother-in-law) construction.


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