Tacoma's hot housing market continues to defy area trends

TACOMA - We've been covering how hot the housing market is in Tacoma but now data also shows that Tacoma is defying area trends.

Home prices slightly fell in Seattle in July but in Tacoma, prices increased by almost 6%.

That kind of increase is why Tacoma continues to get national recognition.

Redfin says Tacoma is 4th in the entire country when it comes to competitiveness for buyers.

The cities at the top of Redfin's list are Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia. Two cities seeing the effects of Amazon's HQ2.

Monica Martek lives in Tacoma and in the next few years, she wants to buy a home.

Tacoma has felt like home and I would like to stick around this area,” Martek said.

But it’s taking time to save a down payment so Redfin’s latest ranking has her worried.

“Prices are going to go up, availability is going to go down,” Martek said.

As in availability of what she can afford.

For example in July about 47% of homes sold above asking price in Tacoma while in Seattle it was 32%.

“Multiple offers in the first few days of listing, the prices are going well above list price,” John S Realty Broker Crystal Schlanbusch said.

Redfin says the Amazon effect in part is fueling intense competition. Many priced out of Seattle are flocking to Tacoma.

According to Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather, Tacoma's median sale price is $375,000 above the national average of $318,000.

Fairweather says when you look at July numbers it took an average of 11 days for a home to sell in Tacoma versus 14 in Seattle.

“It’s really changing the entire culture of Tacoma,” Broker David Madrid of John S Realty said.

Real estate experts say the growth is also more than just the Amazon effect.

“The secret is out Tacoma is the place,” Madrid said.

They point to Point Ruston development, downtown’s revitalization and transit improvements for some of the reasons why many are moving to the area.

Not only are homes selling fast, Madrid says the demand for Airbnb and VRBO in Tacoma is spiking.

But first, you need a home to run that kind of business.

A buyer would have to pay almost $150,000 more to purchase a median-priced home in the Tacoma metro area than they would have just 5 years ago.

Monica just hopes it’s not too late for her to buy a home in the next five years.

“It’s hard to keep up with the cost of living,” Martek said.