Population growth putting squeeze on housing

I was reading through posts on a Pierce County real estate group within Facebook and ran across a friend’s post begging to have information on behalf of another friend to find a 3-bedroom house for $2,000 per month in Gig Harbor. They just want a normal single-family detached home; no view, no waterfront, just a house with a backyard. I don’t know where you are while you are reading this, but my last recollection for 3-bedroom rental houses was in the $1,300 – $1,500 range. That was only two years ago. Today I know several families that are looking for rentals in the area and are having difficulty finding a home that fits their needs and their budget. It pains me to see this happening, but it is the nature of the marketplace to set the price according to the demand. As housing prices increase, so do rental prices, but rental prices do not come back down too often.

Why are prices going up so quickly? The Puget Sound Regional Council, a group that studies the region for population trends, has just recently released its report showing the population growth for 2016. They reported that the region, of 4 counties, grew by 86,000 people. Two-thirds of that number were in just 10 cities. In our city of Gig Harbor, the growth was over six percent. The building of new housing is still not at the pre-recession levels and is not keeping up with the growth. Quick increasing population with a slowly increasing housing supply helps to push prices up.

There are lots of good reasons to rent: short-term housing, not responsible for repairs, lower initial cost, etc. But the best reason to buy is to control your monthly housing costs. Why? When you rent, the price of the rental is always market priced. You may run into a great landlord once in a while that doesn’t increase your rent each year, but that may not always be the case. When you purchase a house, it is only market priced at the time of purchase. With a fixed-rate loan, your principal and interest payment will never* change again.

What is holding you back from buying? There is a common myth that people think they need 10% to put down on a house. We have some greatest programs that are 5%, 3%, even 1% with great rates available. Is the down payment holding you back? Are you unsure if you are ready to be a home owner? We have a team of professionals that can help you make an informed decision as to what is best for you. Call us today.

*unless you refinance or make approved changes to your loan.