LakewoodListing BlogsPierce County Housing Reports April 28, 2017

3 Bedroom Rambler in Lakewood!

9018 Wildwood Ave SW, Lakewood

 The Essentials:

1,693 Sq. Ft.

10,440 Sq. Ft. Lot

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathroom

Attached Garage and Carport

Offered for $245,000

Click here to view the listing

As you enter this 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,693 sq. ft. home in Lakewood you are welcomed by parquet floors

and a wood burning fireplace. Continue from the living room into the dining room and kitchen.

There is ample storage in the kitchen and the slider leads to the enclosed patio area.

Bring your imagination and tool belt, there is plenty of sweat-equity in this home!

There is also a spacious family room with a gas stove.

Beyond the enclosed patio is the backyard where you will find ample extra storage!

There is also an expansive lawn waiting for your green thumb!

Nestled in Lakewood just minutes from American Lake and American Lake Park where

you can launch your boat at the public boat launch, swim, or enjoy the playground while you picnic.

A bit further away, but worth the drive, is Fort Steilacoom Park which offers a plethora of outdoor activity

options. Head to Lakewood Towne Center to catch a movie at the AMC Lowes Theater or dine out at one of the

many restaurants in the area. You can also head west and enjoy the quaint waterfront city of Steilacoom where you can watch

the ferries come and go to Anderson and Ketron Islands and enjoy stunning sunsets over the Olympic Mountains.

Conveniently located near I-5 making a commute to Tacoma or Olympia a breeze and less than 10 minutes from Joint Base Lewis- McCord!

Click here to schedule a showing

Listing BlogsPierce County Housing Reports February 10, 2017

Pierce County Housing Report 2016 Recap / 2017 Outlook

The U.S. economy is providing a very positive backdrop of low unemployment, new highs in the stock market, and housing appreciation is firmly on the march. Pierce County is also enjoying it’s share of good news and economic fortune, 2016 was a great year of continued recovery.  Looking ahead, Pierce County has some serious considerations that will determine it’s future and the role it plays in our region’s economy. First, here are the end of year end numbers as measured December 31, 2016.

Inventory – DOWN – 17%

Closings – UP – 7.9%

Median Price – UP – 10.5%

New Pending Contracts – UP – 13.8%

Pierce County, by these numbers, has only 1.7 months worth of inventory. We consider 3-5 months worth of inventory to be a balanced market so there is clearly need of more homes to sell in order to satisfy current buyer demand.

Prices in Pierce County are up 26% in the last 3 years (compounded rate of 8% annually) and the median price has fully recovered from the great recession.

As shown by our Pierce County Median Price Index we are at our pre-recession peak. By comparison,  King County prices are 13% above their previous peak. The affordability index in Pierce is fully 45 points better than King County.

This recovery in price also means we have far fewer homeowners with negative equity. When a homeowner owes a mortgage balance greater than their home value they have negative equity.  In 2011 & 2012 we were seeing negative equity rates in Pierce County upwards of 26% of all mortgages.  Measured in the second quarter of 2016 the rate was a much improved 9.7%.

Price recovery is accompanied with Velocity and Volume recovery.  Last year Pierce County sold 15,082 residential units representing a 13% increase over 2015.  This amounted to just over 5 billion in sales and is expected to top 6 billion in 2017.

I feel bad clouding this good news with the following, but it clearly is an issue that is relevant to the health and future of our Pierce County Housing Market.

Here it is: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

The King County market is red, no….white hot!  Why?  The King County number of jobs per resident is 207, in Pierce County the number of jobs per resident is 82.  The unemployment rate in Seattle is 3.7% while in Pierce County it is 6%.  Compare Pierce to U.S. with unemployment rate of 4.7% and see the weak recovery path in the graph below.

After each of the 3 previous recessions, Pierce County unemployment recovery was better. In the 90’s Pierce recovered to 4.5% unemployment, the pre-recession recovery was in the 5’s, while the current recovery has only reached 6% and it appears to be a post recovery low.

Pierce County’s per capital income is $45,000 and would not be that good were it not for King County jobs.  We are fighting a trend of becoming a bedroom community.

Fully 135,000 Pierce County residents have jobs outside the county.  Put another way, 40% of the non-military work force don’t work here.

The effect on real estate is the commuter buyer/renter is a big part of our market and will continue to be that way until Pierce County improves it’s workforce skill and attracts new businesses.

With the Pierce County shortage of inventory and the pressure of high prices in King County, homeowners in our area will enjoy another year of increased values, likely in the 9-10% range.

Buyers will need to be fully pre-approved, able to react quickly, and be open to the idea they will likely compete for their dream home.

Yes, it will be a good year for real estate in 2017, but there is work to do if Pierce County wants to be more than just a place for Seattle skilled workers and executives to come home and sleep until they can afford a home closer to their job.

Listing BlogsPierce County Housing Reports July 12, 2016

Second Quarter 2016 Pierce County Housing Report

When is a "HOT MARKET" not Hot?  and….Are you one of the Pierce County Homeowners poised to "beat the market"?!  There is a way to out-perform this crazy market using current trends!  More on that below, first the Pierce County headline numbers

Inventory – DOWN – 21.5%

Closings – UP – 5.3%

Median Price – UP – 13.6%

New Pending Contracts – UP – 24.1%

TGChartImage 7.11.16

These headline numbers show us the market continues to roll through the summer and buying in this market can be challenging with a high level of increased sales with the backdrop of decreased inventory.  What would you say if I told you  you could leverage this market in your favor?  It's not for everyone but if you're in the market for a larger, or more luxurious home while selling your median priced home, you could be in for a big advantage. Maybe the waterfront or the view you've always dreamed of is within reach!


You know I love Sales Ratios as a tool for measuring market effectiveness.  Click here for a refresher on Sales Ratios.  The Pierce County Market is not performing with the same effectiveness throughout the price spectrum. You can see under $500,000 is HOT! Above $500,000 the market fundamentally falls off pretty drastically. 

sales ratios by price


The way to trick this intense market into working in your favor will begin to be revealed with a look at where the home sales are concentrated. It doesn't take long to see the "high-end" is not performing the same as the median or lower price ranges.  I defined the high end in Pierce County as;  2.5 x median price in combined markets of North Tacoma, University Place and Gig Harbor.  So, $359,000 x 2.5 = $900,000.  Looking at the chart below and the layers of market intensity are quite visible.


market concentration chart

By the way, turns out this is nothing new, Pierce County has recorded about 95% of all sales below the $500,000 price level for….well….ever.


The strategic move here says Captain Obvious, "If it is possible with your circumstances to sell in a lower price sector and buy up into a higher one, the negotiation table should be in your favor." If you are selling in a price range where there is only 1.3 months of inventory and a sales ratio of 87%, prices are likely moving up and you can sell at a premium.  The farther up the price tree you climb the worse the fundamentals are for sellers and the more things are in favor of buyers. 


This market condition is important for high end sellers to realize. It may be "new" news to Pierce County luxury home sellers because there has been so much talk of the "hot" market, but I haven't seen a report break it down by price. 


As you can see the overall market averages are impressive and the market is really good! That said, it reminds me of an old saying.  "If you have one bare foot in a bucket of hot coals and the other in a bucket of ice, 'on average'…you should be fine!"


Drop me a line if you have any questions or comments, it's always good to hear from you!



Listing BlogsPierce County Housing ReportsSouth TacomaTacoma April 26, 2016

Three Bedroom Rambler in South Tacoma

front 1

6440 S Gove St, Tacoma 

The Essentials: 

1,168 Sq. Ft. 

6,900 Sq. Ft. Lot 

3 Bedrooms 

1.75 Bathrooms 

1 Car Detached Garage 

Offered for $199,950

Click here to view the listing 

kitchen 4

Nestled in the Manitou neighborhood of South Tacoma this charming 3 bedroom rambler has been recently refreshed and is move in ready! This commuter friendly location is only 20 minutes to Joint Fort Lewis McCord or Downtown Tacoma

kitchen 1

The light and bright kitchen boasts new contemporary cabinets, slab granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances that stay with the home.  There is ample storage space. You're only a 10 minute walk from Metro Parks Star Center where you can visit the Treetops Playgrounds, purchase a membership to their fitness center, take a cooking and nutrition class, or on Sundays June 5th – August 28th, visit the South Tacoma Farmers Market and bring home local fruits, vegetables, meats, bakery products or handcrafted items while enjoying live entertainment! When the farmer's market isn't running you can head West on S 74th and you'll find yourself at H&L Produce, a small local grocer that has been a staple in Tacoma since 1985. 


The dining room is spacious and overlooks the side yard. It is bathed in soft natural light. The living room is to the left through the doorway. If you're taking the night off as chef Montezuma's Mexican Restaurant is only a mile away! Continue on S 56th St and you'll find Starbucks, Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar or Dawnson's Grill and Bar.

living room 2 - Copy

bath main 2

bath main 1

The full bathroom has been updated as well with a contemporary tile tub surround with an glass tile inlay as well as a new vanity.  This bathroom is located near the kitchen and is ideal for guests.

bedroom front right

There is also an updated 3/4 bathroom shared by the front two bedrooms for convenience! 

bath three quarter

If you are looking for more room to roam than the 6,900 sq. ft. lot then you can cross over I-5 and find yourself at an oasis in the city, Wapato Park. Enjoy strolling around the picturesque lake, or take your four legged friend to the off-leash dog portion of the park! Meadow Park Golf Course is also an excellent option with both Golf and FootGolf courses available as well as professional golf lessons for all ages! 

front 2

Click here to schedule a showing



Listing BlogsPierce County Housing Reports April 21, 2016

Pierce County Housing Report Supply vs. Demand

Last week I talked about the shortage of houses for sale in Pierce County being notably below the demand and how this condition makes the home buying and selling experience a little testy for many. Buyers have to make decisions quicker than they might otherwise like to, sellers face tricky waters getting their price right, and the negotiation process  can have some tension that both may prefer to be without.


In the process of preparing that report I began to wonder; “Is demand really high or supply just super low?” I referenced some historical Pierce County housing data for perspective. The chart below represents 14 years of Pierce County housing activity. The bright green bars represent supply of homes; the dark green bars represent closings while the red line tracks Pending sales.

TGChartImage (13 months)

As soon as I prepared this graph the Pending line caught my attention, I call it the “Demand” line, and it is shown in red on this graph. When stepping back 14 years we can see there is certainly some fluctuation in the “Demand” line, but it looks relatively flat compared to the “Supply” line! Getting a little geeky I set out to measure the two, here’s what I learned after sifting through 14 years of data.

Supply Vs Demand Graph

Next I wondered how often the demand or supply fluctuated higher or lower than 25% of the median. I wanted to know what, if anything is out of whack with our market “today”.

PC Demand Pie Chart


As you can see, in the last 14 years 63% of the time demand is within 25% of the median, and surprisingly has only been more than 25% above the median 22 out of 168 months (13%). Currently, demand for Pierce County housing as measured by 1st Quarter 2016 is in the high side of the “Normal” range. At 1,380 Pending sales it is 22% above our 14 year median. Not the same story for supply.

PC Supply Pie Chart

Our 1st Quarter supply average is 1,941 which is 61% below the median. Insert shocked face – here! – Pierce County is low on inventory! What is extraordinary about right now is the inventory has actually been in this “more than 25% below median” status for 29 of the last 36 months. Additionally, while I earlier stated that the 1st Quarter average demand is within the “norm”, if we only look at March demand it is 54% above the median making it one of the highest demand months in 14 years.


So what are we saying here? 


Even though the market feels like there’s an extraordinary amount of pressure it’s been like this 80% of the last 3 years. March has us feeling market tensions in an exaggerated way due to a spike in demand along with the chronic low supply of homes we have been living with. It is also important to remember that the conditions described here are going to vary (sometimes a lot!) depending on where and what price range in Pierce County you are looking.  This is one more reason why it is so important to have a Realtor at your side that can show you the #’s for your area. There are opportunities to sell into a High Demand/Low Supply sector and buy into a Normal Demand/Normal Supply sector. More on that next time!

Listing BlogsPierce County Housing Reports April 14, 2016

First Quarter 2016 Pierce County Housing Report

You don't need me to tell you the market is great!  The market is really back!  Media is buzzing with positive housing news complete with rising prices, inventory shortages & bidding wars coupled with low interest rates and a strong economy!  What's not to like?  It is great, but like so many things there's two sides to the coin and the answer is, "it depends!"  First, a look at the numbers for Pierce County as measured on March 31st.


Inventory – DOWN – 35%

Closings – UP – 16%

Median Price – UP – 9%

New Pending Contracts – UP – 28% 

TGChartImage (29)


These year over year numbers are astounding. We have over 1/3 fewer homes offered for sale while at the same time we have an increase in the number of closings by nearly 1/3 creating a classic demand exceeding supply scenario. Pierce County houses are selling in an average of 59 days, the shortest length of time measured since July 2006. 


In the past I've referred to sales ratios as being one of the most accurate way of describing the strength of the market. (To read a past description of Sales Ratios click here.) We know a balanced market has a sales ratio of 55%, currently the numbers give Pierce County a 95% sales ratio.  We have nearly as many houses Pending as we do Active. Yikes!  Another key measurement of a housing market is Months of Inventory.  The target here for a normal "breathe through your nose" market is 3-5 months….Survey Says!!  1.4 !!

TGChartImage (MI)

Most would say, "This is a great time to be a seller and a challenging time to be a buyer".  There is some truth to that, but in reality, it can be a challenging time to be on either side of the table. Sellers naturally want to price their home accordingly to take advantage of the favorable market conditions and not leave any money on the table but proper pricing strategies right now can be elusive. Meantime, no buyer wants to "get in a bidding war" and the result is a tension from both sides that can get interesting. Consider this scenario that recently played out;


Our new listing just hit market – Within days we have two offers! No, wait three! Buyers are notified, "we have multiple offers!" First one raises offer – second stays put – third one goes dark!  Aghh!  Then, just before time to review and sign off, first one lowers to original amount…..oooookkkkayy!  So second one goes away to chase another house. Wait!, first one has gone dark now too!  What the..?!  day goes by….first one is out!  Good grief!  Word is #2 didn't get the other house they were chasing….so go get #2, right?!  Ohhhhh we can't! #2 has now decided house is too close to a relative she doesn't want to be so close to! 

Day 15 – still on the market.



With the added tension of this fast paced market sometimes decisions have to be made quicker than we would like and the resulting flip flopping can be hard on everyone!


Despite the obvious inventory shortages and low market times it is not hard to find homes that have been on the market for 100 days or more. That shows us the market is not all forgiving and throwing any high price on a property will fail. For sellers it is a delicate balance between pushing the envelope and being realistic. For buyers, the last house is not the last house. Find good counsel in a trusted Realtor, have a pre-approved loan in your pocket, and the right house will come to you at the right time. 


Markets seek balance and the current shortage of good homes will not last forever, it never does. Yes, prices are going up, and that erodes buying power. In the process new neighborhoods evolve as qualified buyers gentrify more affordable areas. The dream of having the right home to call your own is still obtainable.



Listing BlogsPierce County Housing ReportsTacoma March 9, 2016

Recently Refreshed Four Bedroom Home in Tacoma!

IMG_9144 (2)

1925 E 60th St, Tacoma

The Essentials: 

1,374 Sq. Ft. 

6,600 Sq. Ft. Lot

4 Bedrooms / 1.75 Bathrooms

1 Car Attached Garage

Offered for $194,950

Click here to view the listing

IMG_9167 (2)

Pass through the foyer and upstairs you will find the light and bright living room in this recently refreshed four bedroom home nestled in East Tacoma. Tucked between Portland Ave E and Swan Creek this quiet established neighborhood is the perfect place to call home. 

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Spacious living room with energy efficient vinyl windows will help with your heating costs! The handsome wood burning fireplace will keep you cozy on dreary days. 

IMG_9164 (2)

The recently refreshed kitchen will please even the most discerning eye. Timeless dark wood cabinets accented with slab granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that stay with the home greet you. The window overlooks the fully fenced backyard, perfect for keeping an eye on activities. There is also a deck off the dining room perfect for enjoying a meal al fresco. Safeway is conveniently a mile south on 72nd St E.  You can also visit the Eastside Farmers Market Wednesdays from 3-7 pm June 1st through August 31st for fresh and local produce, flowers, honey, and baked goods! If you're taking the night off as chef local favorites such as Stanley and Seafort's or Top of Tacoma are both less than 10 minutes away by car! 

IMG_9174 (2) - Copy

The master bedroom is on the upper level and the full bathroom is Jack & Jill style with access from the hall or the master bedroom! The second bedroom is across from the full bathroom. 

IMG_9200 (2)

Downstairs you'll find two more spacious bedrooms, a three quarter bathroom, and access to the 1 car garage! Forced air heat and a brand new composition roof as well. 

IMG_9186 (2)

Cloverdale Park is within walking distance and encompasses 2.24 acres with a basketball court, picnic shelter, and playground. Stop into Portland Avenue Nursery for landscaping advice and offers a huge variety of trees, annuals, perennials, and gifts! Swan Creek Park is a little further north but is worth the trip! There are 373 acres to explore and boasts mountain biking trails as well as hiking, bird watching, and picnicking. 

Click here to schedule a showing


Listing BlogsPierce County Housing ReportsTacoma January 20, 2016

Puyallup Rambler on a 1/4 Acre Lot!

(1) front 1

4626 143rd St E, Tacoma

The Essentials: 

1,584 Sq. Ft. 

11,167 Sq. Ft. Lot 

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathroom 

Click here to view the listing

(5) living dining kitchen

Nestled in Tacoma minutes from all the conveniences of Puyallup and Spanaway this recently refreshed rambler is move in ready! As you enter the home you are greeted by a handsome wood front door, brand new flooring throughout, and fresh interior paint. 

(3) living room 1The light and bright living room is spacious yet charming with wainscoting. 

(4) living room 2Just past the living room is the updated kitchen. The sunny eating nook conveniently leads out to the covered patio via the glass slider. Dining alfresco couldn't be easier and firing up the BBQ on even the rainiest evenings is not a problem! 

(6) dining roomLooking back into the living room from the dining area. The new stainless steel appliances stay with the home! 

(7) kitchen 1

A closer look at the new cabinets, countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The home is conveniently located off Canyon Rd E, Safeway is a quick 5 minute drive away if you are picking up fixings for dinner. McLendon Hardware is also 5 minutes away to pick up all your garden or home improvement supplies! if you're taking the night off as chef you can enjoy delicious Mexican food at El Toro

(8) kitchen 2

In addition to the living room there is a large family room off the kitchen. This is an excellent flex space and could function as a playroom, home office, media room, artistic retreat, or…? 

(9) family room

The full bathroom has been tastefully updated as well with a modern vanity and sink, matching mirror, and coordinating tile tub surround with glass tile inlay. 

(10) bath 1

(11) bath 2


Outside you'll find a large fully fenced backyard and a covered patio that is perfect for the BBQ! Enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather. You can see the new composition roof and vinyl windows which will help with energy costs! Exterior paint is also new. 

(15) back

Looking from the back of the lot back to the house. There is ample space for gardening or playing with some mature trees providing privacy. 

(16) back yard

Merely 5 minutes from Hwy 512 commuting is a breeze from this home. Downtown Tacoma and Joint For Lewis-McCord are about 30 minutes away.  Continue South on Canyon Rd and you'll find another Safeway, Farelli's Pizza, and Starbucks! Small ones will attend the Franklin Pierce School District. Outdoor adventures will love the close proximity to the Northwest Trek. Continue through Eatonville and soon you'll find yourself at beautiful Alder Lake. Head East from there and Mt. Rainier National Park awaits! 


Click here to schedule a showing 


Listing BlogsPierce County Housing ReportsTacoma October 8, 2015

Five Bedroom Post Victorian Home in East Tacoma!


1013 East 45th St, Tacoma

The Essentials: 

1,948 Sq. Ft. 

7,750 Sq. Ft. Lot 

5 Bedrooms / 1.75 Bathrooms

Mountain and Territorial View

click here to view the listing

Nestled in quiet East Tacoma just blocks from McKinley and conveniently 2 blocks from a park and city transit lines sits this historic 5 bedroom home overlooking the city lights on a clear day. Enter into the updated 5 bedroom post Victorian home and you are welcomed by durable laminate floors and a pellet stove in the living room to keep you cozy! This historical home is fondly refereed to as a 'grand old lady' by the current owners and was originally the rectory for Sacred Heart Catholic Church on East McKinley Ave, and East 45th St, before it was moved to the current location.

Continue into the dining room with period details intact such as the crown molding, chair rail, and built ins. 

Past the dining room is the large open kitchen. There is ample cabinet and prep space and an open pantry that is ideal for storing canned goods, many of which you could grow in the raised beds that are already in place! 

Doing dishes isn't such a chore as you gaze out the side window. Keep an eye on backyard activities while prepping dinner at the island. If you're taking the night off as chef Stanley and Seaforts is famous for the generous happy hour and stunning views of Downtown Tacoma. Don't miss the always popular Top of Tacoma which offers two happy hours and daily specials! It's a local favorite. 

Laundry is just off the kitchen. Step out onto the deck and unwind in the hot tub, tossing the towels in  the wash on your way in! 

The current owners cherished the home for 34 years and have lovingly restored it to be a comfortable home.  Some of the things they will miss most are outside in the spacious fully fenced yard. 


"I could sit back there and feel like I was in my own private park. Also with a Red Delicious apple tree, Manchurian walnut tree, Italian plum tree, raspberry and blueberry  bushes, and endless possibilities in the two raised planting beds, the gardening choices were many. In addition, there remains a substantial yard for children to play in." – Current Owner


If you like to expand the garden you're not far from Portland Avenue Nursery which has been growing gardens since 1941.  If you want to stretch your legs or take your 4-legged friend for a stroll in Swan Creek Park which encompasses 373 acres. It is an excellent spot for bird watching, hiking, and picnicking. 

There are two bedrooms on the main floor, one of which has an attached 3/4 bathroom. 

Upstairs you'll find three more bedrooms and a full bathroom with updated fixtures. 

The dry basement is the perfect storage area and workshop! Imagine the possibilities down here! 

Click here to schedule a showing




Listing BlogsPierce County Housing ReportsSouth TacomaTacoma September 22, 2015

3 Bedroom Victorian with the Conveniences of New Construction!

2908 S 13th St, Tacoma

The Essentials:

1,350 Sq. Ft. 

4,200 Sq. Ft. Lot 

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathroom 

Attached 2 Car Garage 

Offered for $189,950

Click here to view the listing

Nestled in Tacoma just blocks from Franklin Elementary and Franklin Park this charming Victorian home has been recently refreshed to provide the conveniences of new construction. Franklin Park is the perfect spot to stroll on a beautiful autumn day. Encompassing 20 acres with trails, walkways, a plaza space, picnic shelter, and in the summer months, a sprayground that is perfect for cooling off! 

You'll love cooking in this updated kitchen with oak cabinets and coordinating hardware, stainless steel appliances that stay with the home, contemporary countertops, and new flooring. 

There is also a walk in panty and a huge laundry room with more storage and an utility sink! If you're taking the night off a chef you're just a 10 minute walk from bustling 6th Avenue! Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Old Milwaukee Cafe after a night out at Jazzbones, Masa, or O'Malleys. Visit Red Hot for a specialty hot dog  or the old fire house, Engine House No. 9 for a delicious burger and sip on some house brewed beer. From early May through late September you can enjoy the 6th Ave Farmers Market on Tuesday evenings from 3 pm – 7 pm. Farm fresh produce, hot food vendors, and artisan craft vendors line Pine street and there's often live music to enjoy! 

Beyond the kitchen is the spacious living room with durable engineered hardwood floors that continue into the large living room. 

The full bathroom has been tastefully updated and has a standing shower and jetted tub. It conveniently has two entrances and you can pass through the huge master bedroom closet complete with organizers into the master bedroom! 

Closet organizers in the huge master bedroom closet! New carpeting underfoot, all you need to do is move in and enjoy! 

Out back you'll find a deck perfect for the BBQ and an attached 2 car garage with extra storage and a work bench! 

Click here to schedule a showing