Are people still selling their houses in Seattle and moving to Tacoma? They sure are. As of last month, MoveToTacoma.com turned 7 years old. Much has been made of the phenomenon of people moving from Seattle to Tacoma over the past decade. The truth is, Seattle and Tacoma are part of the same regional housing market. People move from Seattle to Tacoma and from Tacoma to Seattle all the time. And over the past decade people have been moving to both Seattle and Tacoma from all over the country. It’s a massive boom that has caused huge growth in the region (and an increase in rents and home prices).
How are the Seattle real estate market and the Tacoma real estate market different?
While Seattle and Tacoma are located pretty close together (heck, we share an airport!) and have a lot in common, our real estate markets have different local quirks. Home prices are also quite a bit different. The median home price in King County right now is about $860,000. The median home price in Pierce County is more like $550,000. That means homes in Seattle are selling for one and a half times what homes in Tacoma area selling for right now. For this reason, there are still folks who will sell their house in Seattle’s hot hot housing market and move to Tacoma with their equity where they can get a bit more house for their money while keeping their Pacific Northwest Lifestyle.
The Median Home Price in Seattle over the past ten years:
This graph from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows how the home prices in Seattle have more than doubled over the past ten years. Seattle home prices increased from $365,000 in January of 2012 to $860,000 as of March 2022. That’s right, Seattle home prices more than doubled in a decade. Seattle has had a huge influx of people moving there from all over the country. In addition Seattle has not been able to build enough to keep pace with the demand for housing. This is creating huge demand for the houses they have.
This video with Roy Powell from Team Diva Real Estate talking about the demand rate and what’s going on in the Seattle Real Estate Market can give you an idea of how Seattle Real Estate agents gauge demand for housing for their sellers and accurately price in such a fast moving market:
The median home price in Tacoma over the past ten years:
Tacoma home prices have also more than doubled over the past years. The median home price in Pierce County was $185,000 in 2012. The Pierce County Median home price is now $550,000. So while home prices in Seattle doubled over the past decade, home prices in Pierce County have tripled. This is also because Pierce County had the highest rate of foreclosure in Washington State during the house crash. The Pierce County market took longer to recover than the King County real estate market.
While Tacoma has a lower median home price than Seattle, it’s affordability has plummeted over the past decade. If you’d like to know more about why Tacoma is no longer as affordable as it used to be, check out “Tacoma isn’t affordable anymore. Here’s why.”
How can I sell my house in Seattle and move to Tacoma?
Between the two, Seattle is still a more competitive and aggressive housing market. We here at MovetoTacoma.com strongly recommend working with a Seattle real estate agent who specializes in your neighborhood and your type of home and knows the market inside and out. Seattle is an outrageous seller’s market with tons of buyer demand. Working with a specialist will mean better marketing for your home, better quality offers from buyers, and hopefully a painless transaction and closing.
The Tacoma and Seattle real estate markets are completely different. In addition to the differences in home prices there are differences in taxes, laws, inspection norms, and even LIDs.
How do I choose a Seattle real estate agent?
MovetoTacoma.com creator Marguerite has helped hundreds of people in the Pacific Northwest find a real estate agent. While the majority of folks who reach out on this site are looking for buyers agents in Tacoma, she also helps folks find real estate agents to list their houses in Seattle. You can read a bit about her strategy for selecting a real estate agent here, “An Insiders Guide to Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent.”
The best real estate agent for listing your Seattle house is going to be someone who knows your neighborhood well and has a track record of professionally listing, marketing, and skillfully managing offers on homes to help you make the most money. The best seller’s agents sell dozens of homes per year and have staging, marketing, and negotiating for their clients down to a science. Check out this article, “How to Prep Your Home for Sale in Seattle” to learn more about all that goes into successfully listing and selling your home in Seattle.
While we’ve recommended lots of Seattle real estate agents we especially love working with Team Diva Real Estate at Coldwell Banker Bain.
Should I use the same real estate agent to sell my house in Seattle and buy in Tacoma?
We recommend using a Seattle real estate agent to list your house and a Tacoma real estate agent to buy your house. Many times your agent will want to do both transactions, but the truth is the two markets are very different. You should work with a specialist in each market- and they should be cheerfully working together to serve you. While Seattle and Tacoma are both sellers markets, there are big differences in norms between the two.
Check out this post from Jessica Dally about, “Why I Sold my House in Seattle and Moved to Tacoma.” She talks about how she sold her house in Seattle with a Seattle seller’s agent and bought her house in Tacoma with a buyer’s agent. Working with a seller’s specialist in Seattle and a buyer’s agent in Tacoma is in your best financial interest- because then you’re working with two experts. And no one has to drive over an hour to show you a house.
Marguerite has talked before about how Seattle agents sometimes offer too much or giving too many concessions. It’s not because they are unskilled, it’s because they don’t realize you don’t always have to do that in Tacoma. For example, Tacoma has quirks like LIDS. LIDS are a tax for improving a neighborhood that is present in Tacoma but Seattle doesn’t have. You definitely want to work with a local agent that knows the ins, outs, and quirks of the market you’re buying and selling in. We highly recommend using two experts. If you’re looking for agents in Seattle or Tacoma, contact Marguerite for a recommendation.
Resources for people considering Selling in Seattle and Moving to Tacoma:
New Housing Trend Has Seattlites Moving to Tacoma (Kiro News 7)
How to Prep Your Home for Sale in Seattle (Blog Post)
Move to Tacoma is a neighborhood guide, podcast, and blog run by Tacoma real estate agent Marguerite Martin. When MovetoTacoma.com was created in 2015 there was very little information about neighborhoods, restaurants, or what life is like in the City of Destiny. Marguerite set out to provide people with neighborhood information that came from the people who live here.
That eventually turned into the Move to Tacoma Podcast which then expanded into the creation of Channel253 by Erik Hanberg and Doug Mackay- which now features hundreds of podcast episodes about life in Tacoma from many different people. You can learn more at Channel253.com.
Here is Marguerite talking about how Move to Tacoma works:
Whether you live in Tacoma right now or are moving to Tacoma from somewhere else, MovetoTacoma.com is the best resource for helping you find your place in the City of Destiny.
Our clickable neighborhood map of Tacoma’s neighborhoods is our pride and joy. Click through to find images and videos of each neighborhood. The Neighborhood guides on the map also include median home price information, blog posts about the neighborhoods, podcast episodes about the neighborhoods, and candid quotes from local neighbors.
The best way to learn about Tacoma is to hear from the people who live here. On the Move to Tacoma Podcast Marguerite interviews Tacomans who’ve been here generations and Tacomans who just got here. From business and technology leaders to politicians and activists and everyone in between. The Move to Tacoma Podcast will give you insight into why people move here and how they find meaning and happiness in Tacoma.
On the Move to Tacoma Blog we have been writing about things to do in Tacoma, where to eat in Tacoma, hot button community topics, neighborhoods and more since 2015. There are hundreds of posts to help you find what you love in the City of Destiny. From posts about where to eat and drink to interviews with locals- the blog is a great place to keep up one what’s happening in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.
Want to learn more about the Tacoma real estate market?
How to Buy a House in Tacoma Right Now (Podcast)
2022 Tacoma Real Estate Market (Blog Post)
How to Buy a House in Tacoma (Video)
The Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Tacoma (Blog Post)
How to Move to Tacoma in 2022 (Blog Post)
Would you like to learn more about how you can move to Tacoma in 2022?
Here are some additional resources for checking out how to move to Tacoma: