King County is experiencing the worst shortage of homes for sale in more than a decade, driving prices higher and keeping more would-be buyers in apartments.
Housing production can’t keep up with the massive influx of residents from out of state, said Todd Britsch, Northwest regional director for Metrostudy, a research firm that tracks home construction. About 6,000 new people moved to King County, on average, each month so far this year, state data on driver’s licenses show.
Though the long-term homeownership rate has been well above 60 percent, King County, and especially Seattle, don’t have enough buildable land for single-family homes, Britsch said. As a result, about 70 percent of the housing being produced over the next two years is apartments, Britsch said.
“What we are doing with our current regulations is turning the Puget Sound into the next San Francisco, where only the elite can afford a house,” he said.
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