King County Builders release ten-point action plan for housing affordability

The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) released a plan today at its annual Housing Summit to promote the creation of more housing options for Puget Sound consumers. The ten-point plan suggests both regulatory and legislative changes to increase housing attainability that could be implemented by state or local government.
One recommendation calls for the reform of condominium liability laws to stimulate the production of more affordable homeownership options. “Homeownership bridges the economic divide between the haves and the have-nots in our society,” said Gail Luxenberg, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County. Luxenberg explained how Habitat seeks to help service sector employees with housing options close to where they work. “We need to go vertical with condominiums, to have an impact for our clients. That’s why we are aligned with the building community to seek solutions,” she said.
Clay White, principal planner for LDC Inc., praised the proposal as “a great plan with quick to implement regulatory changes and more comprehensive suggestions that will help us address housing needs now and into the future.” He suggested that cities adopt a minimum requirement for the development of single family housing in their comprehensive plans.
Economist Elliot Eisenberg detailed how dire the housing shortage is in our region. He said the problem with housing affordability is simple: “We’re not building enough houses.” He explained that we currently have housing production levels that are consistent with past recessions despite being in the 100th month of an economic recovery. Eisenberg encouraged action now to address the production shortage, before the millennial generation reaches its peak home-buying years.
Troy Thiel of Windermere East, Inc. was one of several REALTORS® to attend the MBA Summit. “The builders presented many great options to address our housing affordability crisis,” he said. “They are just one of the many housing choice organizations that REALTORS® will work with as we partner to improve our communities.”

Hipsters create hot housing markets

Farm-to-table restaurants, dive bars, breweries and
independent record stores give a city a “hipster” vibe – and also attract unexpected home buyers. and Yelp ranked the Hottest Hipster Markets in America, which have strong buyer demand with homes selling in about 30 days. Javier Vivas, director of economic research for, said in a news release that “a concentration of hipsters seems to be an indicator of a hot housing market.”
Columbus, Ohio, ZIP 43202, came in first place for its art, music, theater and museums. Columbus is home to Ohio State University, which creates a pipeline of young design talent. Behind New York and Los Angeles, Columbus has the highest number of fashion designers.
Merriam-Webster defines a hipster as “a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns (as in jazz or fashion).”
In California, “flipsters,” or millennials hipsters who flip homes, are taking over the market and changing the aesthetic of neighborhoods, The Los Angeles Times reported. A specific subset of flipsters forgo traditional vertical fences for horizontal board fences in the front yard, per The Los Angeles Times.
“That immediately identifies a house — OK, someone has come in and hipsterized this,” David Raposa, head of Los Angeles-based City Living Realty, told The Los Angeles Times. He said it’s a way for flipsters “to put their stamp on a house, a kind of advertisement for buyers who can then expect an upgraded, hip house.”
Here are the top 10 metro areas following Columbus:
2. Seattle, Wash. – ZIP 98122
3. San Diego, Calif. – 92104
4. Fort Wayne, Ind. – 46802
5. Rochester, N.Y. – 14620
6. San Francisco, Calif. – 94117
7. Long Beach, Calif. – 90814
8. Louisville, Ky. – 40217
9. Grand Rapids, Mich. – 49506
10. Colorado Springs, Colo. – 80903
Yelp used data to rank zip codes by the share of businesses with reviews containing the word “hipster.” Then calculated the Market Hotness Index for each zip code, based on the number of page views each market received on the real estate site. Yelp and combined both sets of data to identify the zip code in each hot metro area with the most hipster businesses.