2024 Legislative Session Information & Resources
It’s no surprise that 2023 was labeled “The Year of Housing"...between escalating mortgage rates, lack of inventory and increasingly tight mortgage lending standards, getting people into homes—and, existing homeowners’ properties sold—consumed a lot of resources and attention. Washington REALTORS® successfully introduced bills to increase housing density/supply and also expedite homebuilding.
The focus for the 2024 Legislative Session will be an extension of the work we carried forward from 2023, using the momentum gained to further pro-housing legislation and protect against legislation that would harm the real estate transaction. View WR's Legislative Priorities below for more details...
2024 WR Legislative PrioritiesUpdated 1/15/24
Allow Administrative Lot Splitting to Create New Buildable Lots
REALTORS® support legislation through which a homeowner can create an additional residential buildable lot through an administrative lot split. This determination would be made by cities through an administrative process similar to lot line adjustments, so that cities can ensure that the new residential lot meets various requirements such as lot size, availability of utilities, legal access and easements, and compliance with critical areas, wetlands, and other environmental constraints. In the 2023 Legislature, HB 1245 passed the House 94-2, the House again passed HB 1245 to the Senate to start the 2024 Session.
SPONSOR(S): Rep. Andrew Barkis
WR POSITION: Support
BILL(S): HB 1245
Allow Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in Rural Areas
While King County allows Detached Accessory Dwelling Units outside of Urban Growth Areas, Growth Board decisions have prevented other counties from allowing this same type of housing. The result is that while attached units can be built in rural areas, detached ADUs cannot be legally built. The result is an increase in illegally converted garages, barns, or sheds – and a clear inequity in housing supply for rural areas of Washington State. Detached ADUs are less expensive, smaller, and easier to build – our State’s largest and wealthiest county allows them – but other counties cannot. The Legislature should correct this unfairness by allowing (but limiting) Detached ADUs, or by giving all counties the option of implementing King County’s Detached ADU ordinance.
SPONSOR(S): Chapman (HB 1133) / Gildon (SB 5357) / Low (HB 2126) / Braun (SB 6029)
WR POSITION: Support
Increase Housing Supply Through Transit-Oriented Development
Washington State will be investing billions of dollars in rail and bus transit, and these areas must include significant new housing supply and neighborhood commercial services. Cities with major transit centers should not impose development regulations or other requirements that prevent transit-oriented housing supply. Housing affordability should be addressed through locally-developed programs that reflect market conditions, with state funding support, and by using successful incentive programs like the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE). Cities deserve state financial support for local TOD planning and infrastructure needs, to ensure that TOD areas have a mix of residential and commercial development, while also providing community services and amenities.
SPONSOR(S): Reed (HB 2160) / Trudeau (SB 6024)
WR Position: Support
The Housing & Real Estate Market is Fragile – Do No Harm
Current economic conditions result in a struggling real estate market for residential single and multifamily, and commercial real estate. Washington State is experiencing declining investments in new single and multifamily housing construction, cancellation or delay of numerous development projects, and a reduction in new building permits. Our real estate markets compete against other regions to attract investments in housing and real estate – state and local tax and regulatory actions must not harm an already fragile real estate market or disincentivize investment in future supply.
WR Legislative Videos
WR Legislative News
Important Announcement from the Appraisers' Coalition of Washington
In recent months, there has been confusion over how local or state increases to residential zoning could impact the ability of residential appraisers to appraise residential properties that currently have 1 to 4 dwelling units, but have been upzoned to allow redevelopment of 5 or more dwelling units.
Detached ADU's - Legal in cities and now legal at the State Capitol - but will they become legal in rural areas?
Legislative Testimony 2024: SB6191
Watch Washington REALTORS® Government Affairs Director, Mary Hull-Drury give testimony to the Senate – Ways & Means Committee on Senate Bill 6191, Housing/Taxes.
A Successful Legislative Days Event
The two-day event was packed with meetings, networking events, a beautiful installation banquet, guest speakers and more. Furthermore, our members met with 119 Legislators on the Hill to help further REALTOR Legislative Priorities. Read the full recap...
Legislative Testimony 2024: HB2274
Watch Washington REALTORS® Commercial Government Affairs Director, Riley Benge give testimony to the House – Housing Committee on House Bill 2274, Consumer Protections for Solicited Real Estate.
Legislative Testimony 2024: HB2276
Watch Washington REALTORS® Government Affairs Director, Mary Hull-Drury give testimony to the House – Housing Committee on House Bill 2276, Real Estate Excise Tax (REET).
Legislative Testimony 2024: HB2114
Watch Washington REALTORS® Commercial Government Affairs Director, Riley Benge give testimony to the House – Housing Committee on House Bill 2114, the bill's potential negative impacts on our state's housing market, and the stress its passage will have on housing providers in our state.
Legislative Testimony 2024: SB5961
Watch Washington REALTORS® Commercial Government Affairs Director, Riley Benge give testimony to the House – Housing Committee on Senate Bill 5961, explaining how the passage of this bill in its current state will add pressure to our state's already stressed housing market.
Legislative Testimony 2024: HB2008
Watch Washington REALTORS Commercial Government Affairs Director, Riley Benge give testimony to the House – Housing Committee on House Bill 2008: Creating a Taskforce on Housing Cost Driver Analysis on January 8th, 2024.
Legislative Testimony 2024: HB2160
Washington REALTORS® Director of Public Policy, Bill Clarke, recently testified on HB 2160, which addresses Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).
Kicking off the 2024 Legislative Session
As the 2024 Legislative Session kicks off, we aim to carry forward the momentum from the historic 2023 Washington Legislative Session, famously dubbed "The Year of Housing." During this period, a record number of pro-housing bills were passed, marking a turning point in our housing initiatives. Now, it's time for REALTORS® to drive housing progress even further!
Question: Will upzones driven by 2023s HB 1110 and 1337, or locally-adopted zoning changes, cause existing single-family properties to lose eligibility for conforming financing or FHA- and VA backed loan products on a widespread basis? Find answers here.
House Passes REALTOR® Priority Residential Lot Splitting Bill on Day 1 of 2024 Session
On January 8, the first day of the 2024 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives passed HB 1245 regarding residential lot splitting, sponsored by Representatives Andrew Barkis and Jessica Bateman.
DBrief Episode 06: Agency Substitutions and Team Scenarios
There are significant legal changes impacting real estate transactions: the mandatory naming of brokers in brokerage service agreements. Annie Fitzsimmons delves into which forms to use when handling broker absences and asks for feedback regarding team scenarios.
Statement from Washington REALTORS® President Alisha Harrison on the Burnett v. NAR et al Jury Verdict
Following the Burnett v. NAR verdict, Washington REALTORS® highlights its proactive approach to industry changes, emphasizing the forthcoming transparency-focused Agency Law effective January 1, 2024. The association provides resources and educational tools to assist brokers with the transition. Washington REALTORS® President, Alisha Harrison, expresses gratitude to members and reaffirms the organization's commitment to excellence.
Washington REALTORS® Announce New Government Affairs Director: Mary Hull-Drury
Washington REALTORS® is pleased to announce that Mary Hull-Drury has accepted the role of Government Affairs Director effective immediately.
2023 Legislative Summary
The 2023 Washington State Legislature adjourned Sine Die on April 23. Washington REALTORS® entered the session with a lengthy to-do list, asking the Legislature to update and correct several real estate brokerage issues, and to make this session the year of housing policy. It is well known that Washington State ranks last in the number of housing units per family nationally, and the dream of homeownership is getting farther away from families in our state.
Early Session Wins for REALTORS® in Olympia
Friday, February 10 will be the 33rd day of the 105th day in the 2023 Legislative Session. While it is a budget year, typically the first half of the session is dedicated to policy issues and this year is no different. Washington REALTORS® came into this session with big asks of the Legislature...
Real Estate Agency Law Reforms – Bill Summary
Washington State’s real estate agency law, Chapter 18.86 RCW, has not been updated since its adoption in the 1990s. Existing law does not require certain basic consumer protections, and does not reflect modern industry best practices. This legislation will both protect consumers and avoid litigation seen in other states.
2023 Session Priorities
You may have seen our television ads and wonder, "What was 'Welcome Home' all about?" Welcome Home is a comprehensive plan to provide additional types of housing and ramp up incentives for local jurisdictions to provide more and diverse housing types...such as duplexes, triplexes, and cottage housing. Under Welcome Home, a series of legislative initiatives have been designed to allow more housing for our communities.