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Tacoma housing market continues to heat up as Amazon pushes buyers south

Tacoma's housing market is one of the most competitive ones in the entire nation. (John Lloyd, Flickr Creative Commons)

Back in July, Pierce County was declared the “darling” of the Puget Sound housing market. Now, that label is backed up by a recent report from Redfin, ranking Tacoma the fourth most competitive city for home buyers in the entire country.

Pierce County becoming ‘darling’ of Puget Sound housing market

Tacoma finds itself ranked behind only a pair of Virginia cities in Alexandria and Arlington, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just after Tacoma in fifth is Oakland.

Since last summer, “only Oakland and Tacoma have retained their positions in the top five most-competitive markets,” the report notes.

There are a myriad of factors that have pushed Puget Sound home buyers south into Pierce County. Most notably, though, is the Amazon effect.

“Ordinary homebuyers have gotten fed up with home prices in Seattle, largely because most people aren’t able to compete with highly paid tech workers and executives at companies like Amazon,” Redfin agent Ellen Campion said back in May.

Similarly, Amazon’s upcoming HQ2 in Virginia has been a driving factor behind increasingly more competitive housing markets in both Alexandria and Arlington.

“The Amazon HQ2 effect has become a permanent factor in the Arlington and Alexandria housing markets,” said Redfin listing agent Marcia Burgos-Stone.

Back in Tacoma, we’ve seen a similar trend take hold.

Before the summer months, roughly half of all homes in Tacoma were selling within two weeks. Little has slowed down since then, with median prices in Pierce County for residential homes growing 6 percent year-over-year in July.

Former Seattleites braving commute for nation’s hottest housing market

That comes as median prices in King County have dipped almost 3 percent in that same period.

“The secret is out about Pierce County,” Allen Realtors President Mike Larson agreed in a recent news release. “You can buy twice the house for about half the price. You just have to be willing to deal with the traffic if you work north or south of here.”

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