Pierce County median home prices up again; no break in rents, either

Pierce County median home prices up again; no break in rents, either

January home prices in King County represented the slowest growth in a year-and-a-half. (AP)

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — It was another expensive month for home sales in Pierce County.

According to data Monday from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median closed home sale price ticked up to $376,500, up 7.26 percent from the same period a year ago.

In Pierce County, the number of closed sales for single-family residential homes were down 8.65 percent from a year ago, a bigger drop than experienced in King County, which was down 1.45 percent in sales from a year ago.

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King County’s median closed home sale price was $695,000, down 2.80 percent from a year ago.

Pierce County home sales’ median price was lower than Kitsap County, which hit $391,657 in June.

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“The darling of the Puget Sound real estate market is Tacoma/Pierce County,” Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest Realtors in Gig Harbor, said in the NWMLS news release.

Mike Larson, the president at ALLEN Realtors in Lakewood said in the release about Pierce home prices: “You can buy twice the house for about half the price. You just have to be willing to deal with the traffic if you work north or south of here.”

Beeson, for his part, said he noticed a slightly slower pace for sales.

While homes still sell twice as quickly in the region as a traditional ‘normal’ market,” he noted that it “feels kind of like things have slowed down. Folks are taking deeper breaths.”

Most agreed it was still very much a seller’s market.

Mike Mansour, John L. Scott Puyallup-Main broker, told The News Tribune via email: “With home prices increasing and interest rates hovering where they are, it can present a challenge for clients to get their offer accepted.”

“This can be especially tricky for first-time homebuyers, so taking a smart approach is necessary to find success. Being fully underwritten and ready to go will put buyers at an advantage when they are looking to make an offer on a home.”

As for rents, Apartment List, in its July report, noted that Tacoma rent rates "have remained flat over the past month, however, they have increased 1.5 percent year-over-year."

It also noted that Tacoma’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,560 is still higher than the national average of $1,190.