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February 2017

REALTORS unveil online tool to help answer house-hunter questions

SKCR logoREALTORS® in King County are embarking on a multi-media education campaign to provide simple, straightforward answers to complex questions about the local housing market. Called "Housing Translator," the initiative is centered on a new microsite.

"Our members cite a lack of housing supply as the number one issue in the King County market," said Sam DeBord, a broker with Coldwell Banker Danforth and 2017 President of Seattle King County REALTORS®. "HousingTranslator.com is designed to elevate the discussion about housing priorities. REALTORS® are in a unique position to talk about solutions - we're in the middle of the conversation with buyers and sellers - and our goal is to help more people become homeowners."

Sam DeBordEvery day renters, newcomers, empty-nesters and others ask about renting versus buying, taxes, and a host of other questions about the current market, according to DeBord. "Housing Translator is a platform where people can find simple answers to help them navigate their concerns. This online tool is a starting place and an extension of the role Realtors play every day," DeBord explained.

Citing statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, DeBord noted prices since 2014 have jumped 22 percent in King County while the selection (including single family homes and condominiums) has dwindled by more than 33 percent in just two years:

King County snapshot
(Single Family Homes & Condominiums)
2016
2014
Change
(2016 vs. 2014)
% Change
(2016 vs. 2014)
Median Price
$489,000$399,750$89,25022.3%
Active Listings (average for year)
3,2934,943-1,650-33.4%

Source:  Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Heightened competition for homes is a result of strong job growth and an unprecedented shortage of homes available for sale, DeBord explained, adding, "HousingTranslator.com uncovers the links between housing policy, housing inventory and affordability, while identifying options for achieving a more balanced housing market."

"As people use Housing Translator, we think they'll come to understand that housing opportunities can be expanded," said DeBord. "Increased housing supply and affordability will create more homeowners, which we know leads to stronger communities. Realtors will continue to push for solutions and policies that make our communities great places to live and work."

Seattle King County REALTORS® is a trade association of 6,500 real estate brokers who serve clients throughout the Puget Sound area. The organization is a founding member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the largest professional trade association in the country, comprised of 1.2 million members.