Tacoma rental prices expected to continue rising

TACOMA, Wash. — If you're shopping for a rental in Tacoma, get ready to pay more.

Diana Brown said her rent went up so much, she was forced to move.

“At least a hundred or two hundred in the last year,” said Brown.

Kenneth Brown agreed.

“It’s been the same price for about the last 10 years. Now it’s significantly more expensive to live in the same area,” said Brown.

Rents are on the rise in the South Sound. It’s frustrating for renters, but good news for property owners.

“Right now the market is better than it probably has ever been in 20 years,” said Family Real Estate broker Steven Weinman.

According to Axiometrics, the city's metropolitan area recorded a 9.1 percent annual effective rent growth in October, the highest in five years.

But the city is still a bargain with a two-bedroom apartment averaging $1,227, compared to $2,316 in Seattle—nearly double that cost.

And vacancies are in Tacoma down from a high of 10 percent a few years ago to around 3 percent.

“Most of the units that I roll over are already rented before they’re even vacant,” said Weinman.

A lot of the new renters are commuters, working in Seattle or the east side and living in Tacoma to take advantage of better prices.

Weinman says the market isn't on a trend to continue spiking high prices, but returning to more normal increases after the recession of around 3 to 4 percent a year.

And Weinman says he expects growth to continue.

“Slow and steady,” he said. “You’re not going to see any more huge spikes like they have in Seattle.