Washington State has seen some significant population increases in recent years, with more and more people moving in and going through the home buying process. Even so, the different areas of the state are seeing vastly different activities in the housing market. One area that continues to heat up is Pierce County, particularly the city of Tacoma and most of the South Sound area.
Tacoma is considered the hottest housing market in the United States today
In May, 2019 Tacoma was declared the hottest housing market in the US, as the following trends were noted in the city:
- 50.2% of the homes sold in May went under contract in two weeks
- Median time in the market was 8 days, the shortest in the country
- Inventory was down to 1.3 months, the lowest in any metro
- 49.7% of homes sold above their asking price, the fourth highest figure in the US, after San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose
- Median home prices went up by 6% from May, 2018, but sales and inventory went down 5.5% and 12.5% for the same period
The housing market in Pierce County in general continues to be hot
For June, 2019, the median home prices in Pierce County shot up by 7.26% from June, 2018. This is a much higher increase compared to April, when median home prices went up 5%, and to May, when they were up 4.2% from the past year.
Closed sales in the county went down 8.65% from the previous year. Overall, though, Pierce County, and Tacoma in particular, are still considered sellers’ markets.
Pierce County remains relatively more affordable
Despite the continuing rise in prices of homes for sale in Tacoma, WA , and in Pierce County in general, homes in the area are still relatively more affordable compared to neighboring King County, particularly Seattle. Local real estate agents in Pierce County have been fielding many inquiries from individuals looking to start the steps to buying a house. There have also been signs of moderation, such as buyers taking care not to overbid for a property or making sure necessary inspections are done.
It’s not just individuals looking to purchase homes that are flocking to Pierce County. Investors are moving in, too. Like buyers, investors are taking some care in their purchases, making thought-out decisions between investing in a single-family home that could have a high appreciation value, and multi-family properties that can help to provide steady monthly incomes.
The contrast between Tacoma and Seattle
In Seattle and King County, on the other hand, things are looking a bit different. In May, 2019,prices dropped 5.4% in Seattle from May of 2018. In other areas of King County, prices decreased more, some as much as 12.4%.
What’s discouraging potential buyers? Price is one of the biggest factors. Only around 13% of homes are listed at under $600,000 in King County. Because of this, most people simply can’t afford a house there. Potential buyers are looking at surrounding areas, instead, where they are more likely to find homes within their price range.
What Makes Tacoma and Pierce County so popular?
Price is one of the biggest factors that makes Tacoma, and most of Pierce County, appealing to people looking for a home in Washington State. But that’s not the only reason why people are moving here.
- The cost of living is also affordable. In addition to lower home prices, groceries, utilities, transportation, and other living costs are lower.
- The weather is great year-round. The temperatures in Tacoma are great all year, ranging from lows of 44 in winter to highs of 77 in the summer.
- Delicious cuisines. Tacoma’s food scene has exploded in recent years and the city boasts numerous incredible restaurants. In addition to old favorites, there are also new eateries that have foodies begging for more.
- Great outdoor recreation. Tacoma has an incredible park system, one of the best being Point Defiance. This park covers 760 acres. On the grounds, you’ll find trails for biking and walking, playgrounds for the kids, and gorgeous gardens. There are plenty of water activities as well, such as fishing, boating, and swimming. You’ll also find a zoo and an aquarium.
- Vibrant art scene. Tacoma’s ART at Point Ruston offers a year-round exhibit that changes constantly. Even frequent visitors will always have something new to see. There’s also Museum Row, which offers plenty of interesting places to visit such as the Tacoma Art Museum, the LeMay America’s Car Museum, the Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Glass.
Tacoma is becoming a very popular place for people to move. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in the city or other communities in Pierce County, you need to work with experienced Realtors who know the area well.