Tacoma Real Estate Market Update
updated June 6, 2017
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service statistics for October just came out. The press release that accompanies their report suggests that real estate Brokers predict the seasonal slowdown that generally happens this time of year could be more pronounced than usual due to uncertainty around the proposed GOP tax plan. I too sense a bit of a slowdown. Yet there are still a lot of buyers out there looking for a home; some of them tried all summer and still haven’t pinned something down.
The article goes on to say that October numbers do not say “slowdown”. I crunched them myself and they sure don’t. Look….
|Pierce County||October 2017||October 2016|
|Months of Inventory||1.5 months||1.9 months||down 21%|
|Active Listings||2,108||2,420||down 13%|
|Pending Sales||1,802||1615||up 11.6%|
|Sold Listings||1445||1256||up 15%|
|Average Price||$349,308||$319,463||up 9.3%|
|Average Market Time||36||41||down 12%|
October was more of a seller’s market than October last year. We are at 1.5 month’s supply of inventory, significantly below last year (which was already a serious seller’s market!)
The good news here is that if you look at my last update below, we were at 1.1 months. So the inventory situation has actually improved. That is good news for those buyers who are still out there looking, or just starting.
|Months of Inventory||1.1 months||1.25 months||down 12%|
|Active Listings||1,833||1,866||down 1.7%|
|Pending Sales||1,982||1902||up 4.2%|
|Sold Listings||1651||1488||up 11%|
|Average Price||$348,322||$314,381||up 11%|
|Average Market Time||27||36||down 25%|
If you are a Tacoma home buyer or if you are simply alive and pay attention you probably know that buyers have been in a tough market for some time. Home buyers in Tacoma are having a difficult time even finding properties they like among the available inventory at record lows. And finding a suitable home is not enough. Then comes the hard part. It is frustrating to discover there are already several offers. It is frustrating to write a great offer only to be outbid, because then the whole routine starts over! I have seen this go on 6 or 7 times before a buyer finally wins out or gives up. I’m sure there are stories out there of it going beyond that.
I wrote several pieces over the past year or so on this topic, ranging from the use of personal letters to sellers, to how to write your highest and best offer. I was recently quoted throughout an article on this very topic. It appeared on the website for PennyMac, a big national lender. If you are a frustrated buyer, you may find some tips here.
Currently things seem to be moving in the right direction for buyers. While inventory is still quite low we are not seeing quite the frenzy of offers as new listings hit the market. Only time will tell if this is a seasonal blip or a trend. We will know in April, when our selling season starts its peak. The August numbers below don’t quite tell this story. A one month supply of inventory is not a great market for buyers, but we are now a couple of weeks into September. Currently Pierce County shows 2,357 active listings, so moving in the right direction.
The top two graphs combine to create “Months of Inventory” in the bottom graph. When you have lots of sales and no homes coming on the market you get less than a 2 month supply of homes, which is a big time seller’s market. In order to reach a balanced market we would need to get up into the 5 to 6 months’ inventory range.