Gov. Inslee’s repeal of the State Building Code Council’s code extensions expected to increase home prices


Governor’s veto disappoints Building Industry Association of Clark County officials

VANCOUVER – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) is disappointed with Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of the Washington State Building Code Councils’ decision to delay the state building and energy code from Feb. 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021.

With less than two weeks until the new codes take effect, builders will have to scramble to educate themselves and comply according to information provided by the BIA this week.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s repeal of the State Building Code Council’s code extensions expected to increase home prices. Photo by Mike Schultz
Gov. Jay Inslee’s repeal of the State Building Code Council’s code extensions expected to increase home prices. Photo by Mike Schultz

“Governor Inslee claims that delaying implementation of the code to July 1, 2021… is not necessary to preserve the public health, safety, or general welfare,” read a statement from the BIA. 

“The BIA is disappointed in the governor’s veto because the code changes will add an average of $15,000 to $20,000 to the cost of a newly constructed home,’’ the BIA stated. “In a time when home prices are skyrocketing due to increased demand (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and low interest rates), labor and supply chain disruptions, and historically low inventory of existing and newly built homes, this is the absolute worst time to institute new and costly building codes.’’

The BIA disagrees with the governor’s claims and firmly believes that delaying the code implementation would have provided significant relief to public health, safety, and general welfare of all Washingtonians. “What is more foundational to the health, safety, and wellbeing of citizens than affordable access to a place to call home, providing the most basic needs such as warmth, rest, security, and safety?’’ the BIA stated.

“Our state counterpart, the Building Industry Association of Washington, is also deeply concerned about the governor’s decision and is exploring all options – including litigation – to reinstitute the State Building Code Council’s emergency delay,’’ the BIA stated.

Market Action Update for December 2020

In December, new listings, pending and closed sales all increased from last year, but are all down from November according to RMLS information provided to Clark County Today by Cano Real Estate (https://www.canorealestate.com/).

In December 2020, there were 551 new listings, which is a 31.2 percent increase from the 420 listed in December 2019, and a decrease of 12.5 percent from the 630 listed in November 2020.

Graphic courtesy Cano Real Estate

The 632 pending sales show a 19.2 percent increase from the 530 offers accepted in December 2019, and a decrease of 15.8 percent from the 751 offers accepted in November 2020.

The closed sale count of 803 was an increase of 16.4 percent from the 690 closings in December 2019, and a decrease of 2.7 percent from the 825 closings in November 2020.

Inventory decreased to 0.6 months in December 2020. Total market time decreased to 34 days. The year-to-date shows an average home sale price of $448,000, and a median home sale price of $405,000.

Industry officials indicate the decrease in activity could be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that many homeowners are taking advantage of historically low interest rates to refinance and stay in their current homes.

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