Regional Forecast Shows High Demand for Future Housing
With an average annual rate of 1.8% growth between 1970 and 2000, the central Puget Sound region is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas when compared to an average of 1.1% growth rate for the rest of the nation. Regional forecasts by the Puget Sound Regional Council expect the area to grow by an additional 1.7 million more people between 2000 and 2040 which will equate to approximately 5 million persons. Currently, King County represents over 50% of the region’s current population. Additionally, the entire region’s population is on average wealthier than the majority of other areas in the nation. This has already caused a struggle for lower- and middle-income households.
During 1970 and 1980, figures show 324,000 jobs were added, and 386,000 between 1990 and 2000. The large increase in speculated population is due to an additional forecast which reports that 324,000 jobs were added between 1980 and 1990 and 386,000 between 1990 and 2000. Following that trend we can expect an additional 1.2 million jobs between 2000 and 2040. By 2040, the regional job base is estimated to show over 3.1 million workers.
With a decline in average household size, future population growth will require 1 new home for each 1.77 additional persons. With the expected increase of 1.7 million additional persons between 2000 and 2040, the region will need to construct another 1 million new housing units by 2040. This also means that all regions will need to accommodate to this growth one way or another.
Because the cost of building new or expanded infrastructures are more costly in undeveloped areas, we can expect that the majority of growth will happen in more dense areas such as the city’s urban core.