The housing market in Seattle may have cooled off—with mediating home price growth, longer market times, and inventory gains—but the same cannot be said for nearby Tacoma, where the housing market has been described as “on fire.” Back in May, King 5 News reported that roughly half of Tacoma homes went under contract within two weeks with an average market time of eight days, the shortest time reported in the United States. While the Seattle area saw price growth of around 2.6 percent, it was double that in Tacoma, at 6 percent.
“The South Sound market is the hottest in the entire United States. Median home prices have soared and homes within that value average less than six days on the market. We currently have less than 36 days of inventory and there is a serious rush coming from the North Sound market. In addition to the North Sound buyers, we are continuing to see California buyers seeking refuge in our beautiful hidden gem. With the easily accessible Narrows Private Airport, many high-end buyers are finding the area has everything they need,” says Jamie Michaud, a long-time Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) broker who specializes in the region.
Looking at Northwest Multiple Listing Service data from May 2019, the median sales price and average price per square foot of single-family homes and condominiums in Tacoma have risen by double digits:
“From a local perspective, North Sound buyers are finding they can buy a home in the South Sound for less than half of what they would pay in the North Sound. The South Sound continues to grow and with the new transit/Light Rail line, it has become more appealing, not just for affordability but also for accessibility,” Michaud added.
Lori DeVore, another RSIR broker specializing in the South Sound echoed Michaud’s sentiment: “We are amazed at the increase in the number of buyers exiting Seattle and Bellevue. South King and North Pierce counties are half the price for beautiful view and waterfront properties—many of them built by the same luxury builders as the North end. The value in the South end is highlighted now as transportation is improving and prices across the region have soared to incredible highs.”
Though affordability and transportation are contributing to a surge in Tacoma, RSIR Broker Venessa Harper also notes recreation in the region. “Tacoma is a fun place to live,” says Harper. “You have the Puget Sound bordering North Tacoma and University Place, and there are plenty of places for shopping, fine dining, museums and more. Buyers have many options; whether it’s a modest starter home or lavish estate, Tacoma is a wise place to invest your hard-earned dollars in a single- or multi-family property.”