Cost of regulatory compliance soars, exacerbating housing affordability crisis

The Building Industry Association (BIA) releases the latest cost analysis for home prices in Clark County Washington. Permitting fees, building codes, and regulatory compliance add an average of $134,354 to the cost of a new Clark County home where the median sale price is hovering at $562,869. The costs of government fees and implementation of building and energy codes equate to roughly 25 percent of the sale price of new home.

“Amidst the current housing affordability crisis, the unintended consequences of flawed policy choices and implementation challenges are driving up the cost of purchasing a home,” stated Noelle Lovern, Government Affairs Director at the BIA. “Effectively, pushing homeownership further out of reach for the average household in Clark County.”

Purchasing a home at the median sale price in Clark County requires an average household income of approximately $130,113. The average income of Clark County households is approximately $77,118 which is $53,000 less than needed to qualify to purchase a home at the median price.  Under these market conditions purchasing a new home is unattainable for 84 percent of Clark County residents.

“The overly burdensome and expensive regulatory environment has priced residents out of the sales market and the dream of homeownership,” said Eric Golemo, Co-chair of BIA’s Government Affairs Committee and Owner of SGA Engineering. “Homeownership is known to be the most effective pathway out of generational poverty. To preserve that pathway, we need better policy choices focused on balancing the environment and safety with affordability and equity.”

Housing affordability is being affected by policy decisions at all levels of government including federal trade agreements to import tariffs. However, county and city governance are responsible for operationalizing regulations established by state and federal legislation. Clark County is mandated to comply with and implement federal and state legislation that impacts housing stock, land supply, and housing affordability issues.

“The legislation that is handed down from Washington DC and Olympia is complex and compliance can be arduous,” stated Lovern. “Now more than ever we need leadership who understand these issues at the local and county level.”

The BIA is actively working with city and county governance to pursue solutions to address housing affordability and attainability. For more information on the BIA and initiatives of the organization, contact Noelle Lovern at or visit

“Voting is the easiest way to move the needle on issues that impact our community most,” stated Aaron Helmes, BIA President, and Owner of Generation Homes Northwest. “We urge everyone to vote this November.”