Despite Redfin’s recent announcement that Tacoma’s housing market is the “hottest” in the nation, the market in Tacoma’s North End looks a lot like it did a year ago. Our median home price is essentially unchanged, the number of homes selling remains steady and inventory levels are still incredibly tight.
The average time on market hasn’t changed much since last year, but it does FEEL like homes are selling more quickly, particularly those priced below $500K. Eager buyers are touring new listings within hours of MLS activation and writing offers immediately – and many listing brokers are letting their sellers accept the first good offer that comes in.
We generally take a different approach when we list properties for sale, encouraging our sellers to delay review of offers for a few days to allow for full exposure to the market. It increases the odds of getting the best offer possible, which is good for our sellers, and it decreases the sense of frenzy, which is good for buyers.
Current Market Conditions
- Geopolitical uncertainty has been applying downward pressure on mortgage interest rates, with 30-year fixed rates dropping below 4% in June. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner doesn’t expect to see rates over 4.5% before the end of the year.
- Depending on the outcome of trade and tariff discussions with China, the cost of some building materials could rise as much as 25% this year – a cost that would almost certainly be passed on to home buyers already struggling with housing affordability.
- Concerns about a potential economic slowdown persist. A Wall Street Journal survey of economists and a Duke University survey of CFOs both predict a recession in 2020.
- Wages have been trailing rising housing costs for years, but wages for Washington workers did increase an average of 5.5% across all industries in 2018 – a step in the right direction.
The housing market in North Tacoma may feel hot, but it does also seem to be flattening out. Is it a seasonal slowdown or a broader market shift? Hard to say for sure at this point, which is why it remains critical for buyers and sellers to seek expert real estate advice. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the area, please contact us to discuss how we can put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Mark Pinto is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Professional Partners, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.
Mark Pinto: (253) 318-0923