Redfin: Tacoma among nation’s fastest-cooling housing markets

The days of Tacoma being among the hottest real estate markets in the nation are now a distant memory.

Redfin, in a new report Wednesday, listed Tacoma as among the top markets cooling the fastest in the nation.

At different times, including January 2020 and January 2021, the city topped the real estate company’s list for fastest-selling markets nationwide.

This time around, data for August put Seattle at the top of the list among those in the big chill, with Tacoma at No. 10.

“Seattle’s housing market is slowing faster than any other housing market in the country amid rising mortgage rates, inflation, a slowing stock market and broad economic uncertainty,” Redfin reported.

The news came the same day the Fed announced the third-straight three-quarter point rate hike, a move set to further increase the cost of borrowing to finance home sales.

In its example for Seattle, Redfin noted that the “typical monthly mortgage payment on the typical Seattle home, which costs $775,000, is more than $4,400 with today’s 6% mortgage rates. That’s up from about $3,300 with the 3% interest rates common at the beginning of the year.”

The news isn’t too surprising, following the August home sales report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which showed Pierce County’s pending sales down more than 21 percent from 2021 and closed sales down more than 25 percent from a year ago.

Pierce County’s median closed sale price for August was $555,000, while Redfin listed Tacoma’s at $543,000.

Redfin compared the August market with February 2022, looking at prices, price drops, supply, pending sales, sale-to-list ratio and speed of home sales.

It used that span, it explained, “because in many US metros, that’s when the housing market reached a peak in terms of demand and competition while the number of homes for sale was at a low.”

In Pierce County, August numbers from Redfin show slim 90-day percentage price gains for most sellers.

Redfin noted the top 10 fastest-cooling markets all were either along the West Coast, which have long been pricey, “or places that became significantly less affordable during the pandemic because they attracted scores of relocating homebuyers.”

After Seattle, Las Vegas came in second, followed by San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Denver, Phoenix, Oakland, North Port (Florida) and Tacoma.

“These are all places where homebuyers are feeling the sting of rising home prices, higher mortgage rates and inflation very sharply,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather in Wednesday’s report. “They’re slowing down partly because so many people have been priced out and partly because last year’s record-low rates made them unsustainably hot.”

Fairweather added: “The good news is that the slowdown is dampening competition and giving those who can still afford to buy more negotiating power.”

This story was originally published September 21, 2022 2:32 PM.

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.

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