The housing market remains quiet in University Place and Fircrest, with fewer homes selling in the third quarter of this year than last.  Despite low activity levels, home values continue to strengthen.

Third Quarter Market Update
for University Place and Fircrest

After dropping in late 2022, median home prices in University Place and Fircrest started rising again this spring.  We seem to have regained the value that we lost last year and then some.  The median home price in University Place and Fircrest is $671,500 – 2% higher than it was 12 months ago.  With persistently low inventory levels, home prices will likely continue trending up as we move into 2024.

The median home price in zip code 98467 is lower now than it was 12 months ago, but home values have been rising since the spring.  The rebound has been more robust in zip code 98466, where the median home price is about 3% higher now than it was last year.

Only 90 single family homes were sold in zip codes 98466 and 98467 in the third quarter of 2023 – a 22% decrease in sales activity when compared to the third quarter of last year.  Sales activity is unlikely to increase until mortgage interest rates drop.

Homes in University Place and Fircrest aren’t selling as quickly now as they once did, but the average time from “active” to “pending” is still about 2-3 weeks.

Housing inventory levels remain extremely low in UP and Fircrest.  A lot of home owners are reluctant to let go of their super low interest rates in order to make a move, which means they’re not putting their houses on the market.  Inventory levels are unlikely to improve until and unless interest rates drop.

Current Market Conditions

    • Mortgage interest rates remain high, hovering between 7.5% and 8% - the highest we’ve seen in almost 25 years.
  • Expert opinions about when the Fed will start cutting interest rates vary widely - from later this year to the end of next.  In a recent Reuters poll of 97 economists, the consensus prediction for rate cuts was late spring or early summer of 2024.  The housing market is likely to remain sluggish until then.
  • Though not the most common reason for moving, approximately 10% of U.S. home sellers have been motivated by return-to-office mandates according to a recent report by Redfin.  Amazon, Google and Meta are among the major corporations that have asked their employees to come back to the office, at least part time.
  • ranked Tacoma at #3 on its list of America’s Best Places to Live in 2023, citing its high earning potential, its relatively low cost of living compared to neighboring Seattle and its proximity to Mount Rainier.
Living room and dining room off front entry
Dual zone heating and air conditioning
Eat-in kitchen is open to the family room
Upstairs media room

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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