Windermere Professional Partners

Pierce County Spring 2023 Real Estate Market Update

April 3, 2023

As we head into the spring market, buyers and sellers have more questions than ever! Is right now a good time to buy a home? Should I sell my home this year, or wait? Which city is best to buy in? Should I wait for interest rates to go down before I buy?

There’s a lot to navigate at the moment, and it can feel overwhelming to consider all of your options. In this post, I do my best to break everything down so you can feel more confident about your understanding of Pierce County’s current real estate market. Thanks for reading!

How much does it cost to buy a home in Pierce County right now?

Pierce County Market is an interesting place. Let's do something a bit different and analyze some of the more popular neighborhoods in Pierce County to see what the average prices look like and whether they are up year over year or down.

As of March 2023:
  • Puyallup average price is $550k and is up 7.8% over last year
  • Tacoma average price is $470k and is up 4.4% over last year
  • University Place average price is $640k and is up 6.1% over last year
  • Lakewood average price is $500k and is up 7.3% over last year
  • Gig Harbor average price is $739,500 and is up 5.6% over last year
  • Dupont average price is $539k and is up 12.3% over last year

Tacoma and Lakewood look to be the most affordable, but the most activity is in Puyallup. Meaning, Puyallup currently has the most inventory due to new construction and the size of the area.

Is Q2 a good time to buy a home in Pierce County?

The challenge facing our community today is the challenge of affordable housing. Wages just have not kept up, and those first time home buyers have the largest challenge compared to past generations. Add to that the consistently increasing rent prices, and it quickly becomes overwhelming.Knowing all of this, the best hedge against these economic forces is to buy whatever you can, as soon as you can, because that is the only way to put a budget on your housing costs. However, there are 2 key factors to making the decision to buy right now:
  1. You must be committed to the home for at least 5 to 7 years
  2. A fixed mortgage further reduces the threat of increasing housing costs

While this is not really an answer to the larger problem, in our current economic environment, we believe this is the best solution.

One last suggestion is to consider multigenerational housing, where children, parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. can live together.

Where are there opportunities for buyers in Pierce County right now?

Mortgage lenders are very aware of the pressures caused by high interest rates for buyers and sellers. As a result, they have creative and effective programs that help buyers defer those costs by having the seller help to buy down that high interest rate. Mortgage lenders and many sellers are highly motivated to work with buyers now, which is why I believe this is the best it has been for buyers in over 6 years.

Is Q2 a good time to sell a home in Pierce County?

As of the end of March 2023, there are fewer than 1,000 homes for sale in ALL of Pierce County. Meaning, as a seller there are not a lot of choices for buyers. “Go buy the other one” is just not an option currently. Again, as a seller, you do have the challenges of higher interest rates, but if you are willing to work with the buyer, you will still get a sales price you can be happy with.

If someone wants to sell their home in Pierce County in 2023, what should they keep in mind?

The best time to buy and sell in real estate is always the same: Whenever you are ready. (Check out my recent blog “Is Real Estate All About the Numbers?” for more of my thoughts on this.) There are pro’s and con’s to ANY market, so just jump in when the time is right for you. If you are a buyer that currently does not own a home, as we mentioned earlier, that time should be now for you.

If someone wants to buy a home in Pierce County, should they wait until interest rates go down?

If the time is right for you, the mortgage company and most sellers will make it work for you. This is true whether you are a seller or a buyer. As you can see from our earlier statistics, prices are NOT going down. They are not likely to increase at the same rate as the past three years, but they certainly are not going to go down either.

There is one caveat that we would like to point out: Last year at this time, the market was VERY active and prices were increasing monthly, which peaked in May of 2022. It is for that reason you may see the average price decrease in some areas when looking at year over year data. Just know that it is only down because it is being compared to the peak, which as we all know was not sustainable. Those numbers will normalize as we get deeper into 2023’s summer months.

Even if you’re just thinking about buying or selling this year, it doesn’t hurt to meet with a real estate professional to weigh your options. If you’d like to get in touch with an experienced local REALTOR®, get in touch here or email us at [email protected]!