There are very few first time home buyers in Sequim. The vast majority of buyers are retirees in their 50’s and 60’s, and they are rarely first time home buyers. This is an interesting demographic reality. Why doesn’t Sequim have a lot of first time home buyers?
First Time Home Buyers are Rare
The Sequim economy does not have an industrial or manufacturing base. We don’t have a major tourist industry, although tourism is important. Washington’s high tech companies are based in Redmond and around Bellevue, not Sequim. Sequim does not have destination resorts or convention centers. There are very few jobs in Sequim for young workers. And the jobs we do have for young workers, like teaching and government services, tend to be filled with people who do not plan to leave Sequim, so there is very little turnover of existing jobs. What does all this mean? For the real estate market, it means we simply do not have first time home buyers in any significant numbers.
First Time Home Buyers
This might seem like a weakness in our real estate market, but it is actually a strength. Fluctuations in the national economy do not effect Sequim as much. Retirees have pensions and retirement programs that shield them and Sequim from economic downturns. While young couples can and do lose their jobs in recessions or downturns, and their homes can go into foreclosure, retirees in Sequim have stable incomes that do not suddenly end. We have few foreclosures in the area, and homeowners have the financial wherewithal to maintain their homes and yards no matter what the economy is doing.
In many cities, like Tacoma or Seattle, first time home buyers are an important driving force, but they are not in Sequim.
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