“So, how’s the market?” Spring 2019 edition

With a special Tacoma focus!

  • 3 mins read
  • May 2, 2019

“How’s the market?” is a question that real estate professionals get asked a lot. The biggest thing to understand though, is that unless you’re talking about very big-picture topics like the Federal Reserve, Brexit, or federal tax code, the market really doesn’t exist. There is no monolithic market. What’s most relevant to you as a home owner (or home owner-to-be) is your region and community, and ultimately your own neighborhood. So let’s start with our region first.

Windermere is fortunate to have our own in-house economist, Matthew Gardner, who analyzes these trends for our region every quarter. According to his report, Western Washington is still a strong seller’s market. That means things like multiple offers and low numbers of days on market after listing are still pretty common. However, the region is showing signs of stabilizing. Inventory is increasing, with a 40% increase in the number of listings compared to last year. This is due to not only new construction, but also more sellers entering the market trying to take advantage of increased property values. (Side note: this is also a reason why I am seeing more refinance appraisals these days).

Now with Tacoma-Pierce County, this is largely similar, but with a twist. Unlike say, Seattle, which is actually a buyer’s market right now due to all the new housing they’ve built, Tacoma remains a strong sellers market, with a noticeable 4.1% uptick in property values within the past quarter. We can expect market conditions to eventually stabilize for our community as well, but with more room for the currently tight market conditions to even out before then.

Within Tacoma, the differences get more interesting. Home prices in neighborhoods like West Tacoma, Northeast Tacoma, Central Tacoma/Hilltop, South Tacoma, and the North End have been relatively stable over the past year. However, the average time on market is less than two weeks (5 days in the North End), and the overall rate of sales is accelerating. Eastside Tacoma, on the other hand, is actually seeing accelerating price increases.

City of Tacoma Home Prices

 

The main takeaway? Western Washington is still a strong sellers market, but buyers are beginning to catch up. This is especially the case, given how mortgage interest rates are expected to stay well under 5% for the remainder of 2019. If you rent, this is huge, considering how 88% of property managers raised rent last year, with no end in sight.

Curious about how your home has appreciated in value, and want a more accurate valuation than computerized averages like Zillow or Redfin? Email me for a complimentary report on your house!