Jun 29, 2022 - Business

Seattle homebuilding lags as housing shortage continues

Illustration of a plywood house that is also an upward arrow.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Seattle lags behind other metro areas when it comes to building new homes, per the latest analysis by real estate company Redfin.

What they found: The city issued 6.5 single-family building permits per 10,000 people in the first quarter of this year, the 30th-most per capita among major U.S. metros.

Data: Redfin; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: Redfin; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

Why it matters: As the number of homes for sale remains near all-time lows and monthly mortgage payments are near their record high, building more homes is one way to ease the affordability crisis.

Zoom out: Single-family and multifamily building permits are up from pre-pandemic in most U.S. metros., Redfin found.

  • Of note: Redfin defines "single-family" as buildings with one to four housing units and "multifamily" as buildings with five or more housing units.

Yes, but: "There still aren't enough homes to meet the pace of household creation, and we need to be more prepared when demand inevitably picks back up," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

The bottom line: Ramping up new home construction will help move the market toward balance, if only a little.

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