(253) 302-4847  ·  Tacoma, WA

Blog  ·  June 18 2020

How has Covid-19 impacted Pierce County Real Estate?

THE SPRING MARKET - WEEK BY WEEK

It’s now June and we’ve been tracking market activity on a weekly basis since Covid-19 hit Washington State in early March. Each week we take a look at the Pierce County and Tacoma markets, breaking them out over and under $500,000. We also take a look at the condo market and the luxury market (over $1,000,000).

PIERCE COUNTY REAL ESTATE

When the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order by Governer Inslee was issued, everyone had many questions about the state of the market:

“Are we heading into another recession?”

“Will it be as bad as 2008?”

“Will I lose equity in my home?”

“When is the right time to sell my home?”

All valid questions that we really could not predict in early March. In this post we will look to answer those questions based on past data from the last 15 weeks.

Take a look at the graph below:

BUYERS MARKET OR SELLERS MARKET?

The blue bar represents the number of pending properties, while the green represents the number of active. Each week in the graph is independent of each other.

When the pendings (blue bar) are higher than the active listings (green bar), that means it is a sellers market. Another way of looking at this is to say more of the homes on the market are under contract with a potential buyer than available homes for sale.

For most of the homes represented in this graph, they sell fairly quickly. How quick? The median days on market for homes in Pierce County in the month of May was 6 - which means most listings don’t even last a week!

Now that we have 15 weeks of data, you can see it has been a Seller’s market throughout the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order. Although we officially entered a recession during this time, there are strong signs that housing won’t be as impacted as it was in 2008. This qualifies as a health crisis, not a housing crisis, which bodes well for homeowners and the equity they have gained in their homes during the last 5 years.

Another trend to watch is that we started the year in a housing shortage, and Covid seems to have only exacerbated that. The number of homes listed for sale in Pierce County is down 37% from May of 2019.

TACOMA REAL ESTATE

We saw the similar patterns emerge for Tacoma during the lockdown. It has remained a strong Seller’s market, and inventory is pacing well below 2019.

Take a look at the graph below:

SELLING IN TACOMA

Although at the beginning of March both active and pending numbers were lower than typical (reflecting low inventory), it still remained a Seller’s market. People were hesitant to put their homes on the market, fearing for their safety, where they would move, and how restrictions put on Realtors and their buyers would impact home sales. It turns out that we saw a short lived dip in market activity, and then a fairly quick recovery as restrictions on showings relaxed in Phase 2.

As you can see from the graph, Week 7 is the only outlier -- the one week in the last 14 where there were more Active listings than Pending sales. Tacoma is a strong Seller’s market and if you are looking to sell your home, this year is a good time to do that in the city of Tacoma.

WHAT ABOUT CONDOS?

The condo market has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last 15 weeks. Let’s take a look at what condos are doing in Pierce County:

While the residential market has been on fire with an inventory shortage, the condo market has been telling another story. Since August of 2019, there have been more active listings than pendings in condos. In fact, May inventory was up 51% from May of 2019.

Also in May, we saw a sharp spike in pendings after two straight months of decreases in pendings. Could that be because of lack of single family residences available? Perhaps that’s a question to ask your broker. What we do know is we are seeing two different markets when looking at condos, and single family residences. One in an inventory shortage, and the other in an inventory surplus.

If you would like more breakdown data, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our brokers, or shoot us a chat in the chat box below and someone will be in touch! We’re always here to provide insight to the market, and how that impacts the value of your home.