Is 2024 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 2024 include more inventory, more negotiating leverage, and an overall slower pace within the real estate market.
Why 2024 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 2024. So let’s examine them.
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 2024, 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 2024 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.
Houses selling more quickly, compared to a year ago.
A year ago, homes listed for sale in the Tacoma area spent a median of 37 days on the market. Strong demand and dwindling supply accelerated the local real estate market like never before, creating a competitive “footrace” for buyers. Though the DOM crept over over the recent past.
But this is another area where we’ve seen significant change. As of January 2024, the median number of days on market had decreased to 20 days. In other words, it’s taking less time to sell a home these days, when compared to a year ago.
These and other changes could make the home buying process a little more competitive, for those who are entering the market over the coming months. But that just means that buyers stand to gain a valuable asset by purchasing a home in Tacoma.
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 2024, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.6%. That was down from a high of 7.08% reached back in November. According to a January 2024 statement from Freddie Mac, the mortgage buyer that gathers this data:
“Mortgage rates decreased this week, reaching their lowest level since May of 2023. This is an encouraging development for the housing market and in particular first-time homebuyers who are sensitive to changes in housing affordability. However, as purchase demand continues to thaw, it will put more pressure on already depleted inventory for sale.”
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 $458,396 in January 2023. That was a gain of 1.6% 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 2024, 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.
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 2024 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, 2024 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.
Need a Mortgage in Tacoma?
Do you need mortgage financing? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been helping borrowers across the Pacific Northwest since 1992, including Washington State, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon. We offer many different mortgage programs with flexible qualification requirements to suit the needs of each borrower, including our Diamond Homebuyer Program, Cash Buyer Program, and Bridge Loans. Contact us today if you have questions about applying for a mortgage.