In the first quarter of 2024, the median home sale price in University Place and Fircrest was $630K – 6% higher than it was in the first quarter of 2023.

First Quarter Market Update
for University Place and Fircrest

A 6% annual increase in home values is expected in a normal housing market, but the current market is far from normal, with sales activity slower than we’ve seen in years.  Buyer demand is weak in the face of 7% mortgage interest rates, but it’s still outpacing supply, which is why we’re starting to see sale prices above list price again.  Until our housing supply increases to meet demand, University Place and Fircrest home prices will almost certainly continue rising.

Only 74 single family homes were sold in zip codes 98466 and 98467 in the first quarter of 2024 – an 11% drop in sales activity when compared to the first quarter of 2023 and very sluggish historically speaking.

Despite what you see in the graphs, UP and Fircrest home values are on the rise – a trend that’s likely to continue.  Mortgage interest rates are expectedto start dropping towards 6% by the end of 2024, which will increase buyer demand.  Unfortunately, the number of homes for sale is unlikely to increase to meet that demand until mortgage interest rates drop closer to 5%.  At that point, homeowners currently sitting on mortgage interest rates in the 3% range might be willing to sell.  For now, low inventory levels and increasing buyer demand will continue to apply upward pressure on home prices.

Homes in UP and Fircrest aren’t selling as quickly now as they were last year.  On average, it’s taking about six weeks for listings to move from “active” to “pending”.

There just aren’t many homes available for sale in University Place or Fircrest, which is why you’re probably seeing fewer brokerage signs in your neighborhood.

Current Market Conditions

    • According to Redfin, homebuyer demand was down 15% nationwide this spring compared to the spring of 2023, likely due to an increase in affordability issues for potential homebuyers.
  • According to Fannie Mae’s most recent national housing survey, only 19% of consumers believe it’s a good time to buy a home, while 65% believe it’s a good time to sell.  Hopefully that means we’ll be seeing more new listings as we head toward summer.
  • With existing homeowners reluctant to sell, new home construction has represented a larger proportion of sales than usual.  Some analysts report that new construction currently accounts for 30% of all home sales nationwide – 2-3 times greater than usual.
  • According to an NBC News report, the percentage of homes being bought by “absentee owners” has increased over the past few years.  These “absentee” buyers are often investors purchasing with cash, making them immune to current interest rates.
Stainless appliances
Primary bedroom on the entry level
Living room with wood burning fireplace and vaulted ceiling
Family room is on the lowest level

In the current real estate marketplace, it remains critical for buyers and sellers to seek expert 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 Chambers Bay, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.

Mark Pinto: (253) 318-0923

Mark Pinto
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