Is 2023 a Good Year to Buy a House in Tacoma, Washington?

January 31, 2023
Last updated:
February 3, 2023
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Is 2023 a good time to buy a home in Tacoma, Washington? It sure is looking that way. Tacoma home buyers actually have a lot going for them these days, as explained below.

The biggest benefits for buyers in 2023 include more inventory, more negotiating leverage, and an overall slower pace within the real estate market.

Why 2023 Is a Good Time to Buy a Home in Tacoma

To create this report, we analyzed a variety of trends and data relating to the Tacoma, Washington real estate market. And most of those trends will benefit home buyers who are planning to enter the market sometime during 2023. So let’s examine them.

  1. There are more properties for sale in the Tacoma area.

At the end of 2021, real estate inventory in Tacoma, Washington dropped to an all-time record low. Back then, there was roughly a 0.3 month supply of homes for sale, which is an astoundingly low level of inventory. But the supply situation has trended upward since then.

At the start of 2023, for example, the Tacoma real estate market was up to about a two month supply of homes for sale. That’s still a bit low by historical standards, but a major improvement from where we were just a year ago.

This is one of the biggest reasons why 2023 could be a good time to buy a home in Tacoma. With more inventory available, local buyers should have an easier time finding a suitable property within their budgets.

  1. Houses are taking longer to sell, compared to a year ago.

A year ago, homes listed for sale in the Tacoma area spent a median of just five days on the market. Strong demand and dwindling supply accelerated the local real estate market like never before, creating a competitive “footrace” for buyers.

But this is another area where we’ve seen significant change. As of January 2023, the median number of days on market had increased to 40 days. In other words, it’s taking a lot longer to sell a home these days, when compared to a year ago.

A report published by earlier this month showed that real estate listings were up by a whopping 176% in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro area. That was one of the largest year-over-year inventory gains among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas.

This is the second reason why 2023 could be a good time to buy a house in Tacoma, Washington. The real estate market has slowed down considerably, so buyers don’t have to rush as much due to limited supply.

These and other changes should make the home buying process a little less stressful, for those who are entering the market over the coming months.

  1. Mortgage rates have eased a bit.

Last year, mortgage rates went on an upward surge that lasted for many weeks, culminating in a 15-year high. But they’ve declined a bit since then, and it seems that the “surge” might be over for now.

As of late January 2023, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.13%. That was down from a high of 7.08% reached back in November. According to a January 2023 statement from Freddie Mac, the mortgage buyer that gathers this data:

“Mortgage rates continue to tick down and, as a result, home purchase demand is thawing from the months-long freeze that gripped the housing market.”

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  1. Home price growth has slowed as well.

A couple of years ago, home prices were surging all across the Seattle metro area, including Tacoma. But prices decelerated through the latter half of 2022 and into 2023.

According to Zillow, the median home value in Tacoma, Washington was around $496,000 in January 2023. That was a gain of 4.4% from a year earlier. But they’ve actually dipped slightly over the past couple of months.

Granted, home prices will likely start to rise again in the near future. Tacoma is a strong real estate market with a long history of steady price growth. But for those who are planning to buy a home in 2023, it’s nice to know that some “normalcy” has been restored.

It’s also worth noting that the typical home price in Tacoma is significantly less than in the city of Seattle. This is one reason why many home buyers in the metro area zero in on the Tacoma real estate market in particular. They do it to get more house for the money.

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  1. The window of opportunity won’t last long

Early data and first hand accounts of buyer demand shows that buyers who left in the fall and early winter are coming back eager to buy. If this trend continues you will see an end to the brief buyers market as the increased demand is unlikely expected to be met with an increase in supply. Homeowners currently at a

sub 3% interest rate are less inclined to sell their current home and buy a new home with rates double what they already have locked in. Macro trends do not support an extended price decline so we may have already seen the bottom as home prices stabilize and then continue to appreciate albeit at a more moderate pace compared to the unsustainable increases we saw in 2020-mid-2022.

Bottom line: Only you can decide if 2023 is the right time to buy a house. Home buyers need to consider a variety of factors, including their current financial situation and long-term goals. But from a market standpoint, 2023 could be a great year to buy a house in the Tacoma area. In fact, we are currently seeing the most “buyer-friendly” housing market conditions we’ve had for quite some time.

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