Affordability and real estate. These are topics that aren’t academic for people trying to find one of life’s basic necessities: housing.
Island life. It’s something romantic for some, too remote for others, not remote enough for those who want an island for theirself.
For the last year or so, I’ve made presentations about the affordability and real estate trends on Whidbey Island. Stereotypes persist, which means I surprise people when they expect a different message from a real estate broker. Now that I know many brokers, I can acknowledge that few fit the stereotype of “bigger is better.” Buyers, owners, and sellers are people, not stereotypes either. We’re all just people trying to lead lives.
Much of real estate revolves around stories, anecdotes that typify people’s concerns and goals – subjective perspectives. While that is a necessity, there is something to gain by looking at the data – objective perspectives.
This presentation, as well as the others tries to describe the story within the data – at least for Whidbey Island. Global issues, like ghost houses, are here, too. Local issues, like rising costs, an aging demographic, and limited options benefit from slicing the data even finer. Each town or city has its story and data. Every property is unique. Hopefully, the presentation provides what one member of the audience described as (paraphrased); “an interesting and unexpected perspective and series of insights”
In general, Whidbey Island has affordability issues, yet has strong demand because it is less un-affordable than other Puget Sound islands; greater name recognition around the world, and an increasing military presence. Supply, however, is barely budging, and is actually dramatically down over the last decade. High demand, low supply, and there’s a reason for increasing prices.
The following post includes the presentation slides, and a bit of the narrative that follows.them. Want to see more? The same presentation will be made at Freeland Library (10/15) and Coupeville Library (10/28). Maybe this time the live-stream will be more cooperative.
Thanks to everyone who attended the event in Langley, especially while a candidates’ forum was being held. Apologies to those who hoped and tried to attend online. My Windows laptop and Google software couldn’t agree on what “Go Live” meant. Say hello to a spinning icon that spun for most of the hour.
Whether you were there or not, whether you tried online or not, you’re here now. Welcome.
As usual, the presentation is based on sales data and colored with anecdotes. Only presenting the slides can be drier than a desert and harder to decipher than a scribble in the sand. So, here is the presentation as well as some of the narrative. Hopefully, the computers will play nicer at the Freeland and Coupeville events (Freeland 10/15 at 2PM, Coupeville 10/28 at 5PM).
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