People moving to the Tacoma area are often interested in the difference between Thurston County and Pierce County. For this article Marguerite interviewed Thurston County resident and real estate agent Jana to talk about the differences between the two counties. TLDR: They’re pretty similar! The biggest difference is size.

What are the biggest differences between Thurston County and Pierce County?

The biggest difference up front is that Thurston is quite a bit smaller and more rural than Pierce.  According to Jana this just means a little bit of a slower pace of life compared to Pierce County. Pierce County has about three times as many people and is about three times as large as Thurston. Thurston County has a population of about 300,000 people and an area of 775 square miles. Pierce County has a population just under 1,000,000 and an area of 1,800 square miles. Both counties have large rural areas where the population is more spread out.

What is the difference in home prices between Thurston County and Pierce County?

Home prices in Pierce County are consistently slightly higher than in Thurston County. You can see the median sales price change month over month for the past 5 years in the graph above. The median home price for Pierce County right now is $509,000 and the median home price in Thurston C0unty is $490,000.

How long does it take to commute from Thurston County to Pierce County during peak commute times?

Lacey to Downtown Tacoma – 30-45 minutes

Olympia to Downtown Tacoma – 35-50 minutes

Olympia to Seattle – 1 hour to 1.5 hours

Downtown Tacoma to JBLM – 30-40 minutes

South Hill to JBLM – 30-40 minutes

You can also get from Olympia to Tacoma and Seattle by Amtrak Train. The Amtrak Train runs 5 times per day from Olympia and takes 38 minutes to get to Tacoma. It’s an hour and a half from Olympia to Seattle. Information on bus routes from Thurston County to King and Pierce Counties can be found on Sound Transits website. 

Is there a difference between the kinds of homes available in Thurston County and Pierce County?

The homes in Pierce County and Thurston County are very similar. Like Tacoma, Olympia has neighborhoods with older and historic homes. People looking for newer construction will be out into the county. Communities like Lacey and Dupont have many planned communities with new construction. In Pierce County cities like Bonney Lake, South Hill, Gig Harbor, and Tahale have more planned communities and newer construction.

Additional resources for people looking to buy a house in Pierce County:

How to Choose the Best Tacoma Real Estate Agent (For you!)

The Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Pierce County

The Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Tacoma

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House in Tacoma?

In addition to the resources above this website also has this clickable neighborhood map and neighborhood guide that includes median home price by neighborhood if you’d like to explore Tacoma and Pierce County!
Here is a link to the Podcast if you’d like to learn more about Tacoma culture.

Get An Agent Referral from a Local Realtor

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. 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.

Pierce County real estate agent Marguerite Martin smiling with her arms crossed. Text over photo reads: Thinking of moving to Pierce County? We have guides to over 50 neighborhoods in Tacoma and across Pierce County. Check out home prices, videos, pictures, and what the neighbors are saying. Click here to check out the neighborhood guide.