More than 275,000 people call the Kitsap Peninsula home. Some of them were born here. Others were stationed here. Still others moved here to enjoy our beautiful waterfront views. And our population continues to grow.
Like the rest of Washington, population growth brings challenges, including increased housing prices and greater competition for the limited supply of homes available.
A median-priced home in Kitsap sells for $551,933 — and at that price, only 18.7% of Kitsap County families can afford a home. Some people blame builders and developers for these prices, but the facts are much more complex.
Housing Deficit Nears 8,900
Currently, there’s a shortage of 8,895 homes in Kitsap, yet the county only issued 1,701 permits in 2022. At that rate, we’ll never close the gap, and more families will be priced out of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of homeownership.
The Kitsap Building Association recently shared the experience of just one local builder with our local Department of Community Development to illustrate the hidden costs of permit delays and regulations.
Right now, the average time for that one builder to complete all the permits is 233 days, resulting in $33,726.03 in added costs. It takes 350 days — nearly a full year — to complete land development, adding $53,150.68 to those costs. The cost of regulations during construction adds another $126,616.
Washington’s housing shortage already drives up housing costs for families. We should be looking at ways to reduce costs to builders — not blaming them for added costs they can’t control.