Job growth in our area continues, but our housing inventory isn’t quite keeping pace.

Our region’s growth doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon, bringing along with it high-wage earners willing to pay a premium for a home.

Cities and communities outside of the tri-county area continue to see an increase in interest in listings as buyers move farther out in search of affordability and less competition. Those willing to commute from outlying areas are finding success in their home searches. This has relieved the pressure on communities closer to job centers; nonetheless, low inventory persists in our region.

One solution to the inventory issue would be more new construction. While Seattle in particular often has the title of “crane capital” of the U.S., there is still a lack of skilled construction labor in our area due in part to our high cost of living.

A shortage of skilled labor results in construction projects taking longer to complete. Meanwhile, competition for the few existing available homes heats up, leading to rising prices.

Of course, there’s no way to know how high prices will go, but in the most recent report released by the Northwest MLS, closed sales prices for single-family homes in July were up again year-over-year. Prices were up by 18.56 percent in King County, 9.56 percent in Pierce and 11.87 percent in Snohomish.

Recent survey data from Meyers Research shows that millennials are adding more fuel to the competitive market, revealing that “40 percent of those aged between 27 and 36 want to purchase a home in the next one to three years.”

Additional data from Meyers Research shows the homeownership rate for millennials jumped from 34.3 percent in the first quarter of this year to 35.3 percent in the second quarter. With our region being a popular choice to lay down roots, we can be sure many more millennials are headed our way.