Struggling home buyers bouncing back into cooling Puget Sound market

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TACOMA -  When you are looking to buy a home you learn that timing is everything.

When Carrie Davis and her boyfriend first started looking for a home in Tacoma more than 9 months ago they did not expect the fierce competition.

“This is terrifying we are never going to be able to buy a house because it skyrocketed,” Davis said.

The burn out got to them.

“We decided to table it,” Davis said.

But timing is finally now on their side.

“We knew it was a nice pocket and we had to take advantage of it,” Davis said.

The market has cooled off in the Seattle metro area where there are slightly more homes on the market and less multiple bids to compete with.

“Having more inventory has been nice,” Windermere Adobe realtor Stephanie Spiro said.

Spiro recently just sold a Central Tacoma home in 9 days just under the asking price. Spiro says that would have been unheard of just 6 months ago.

“It’s one of my first listings that’s gone less than asking in a long time,” Spiro said.

Spiro projects prices are 5% to 10% lower now than they were a year ago in many parts of Tacoma.

Experts say the atmosphere is more friendly to buyers but Windermere economist Matthew Gardner is stopping short of calling it a buyer’s market.

Area wide we are at about 2 months of inventory but balanced market is usually around 4 months of supply. Gardner predicts inventory will continue to climb into next year creating even more of a balanced market.

The recent downturn was just enough for Davis to bounce back into the market.

“North Tacoma Proctor district is pretty hot,” Davis said.

By the end of the month she will be moving into the hot neighborhood closing on a 2,600 square foot home. Davis says she paid the asking price for just under $420,000.

Davis says the frustrations were worth it because the home she bought for that price would have been a lot more if she had purchased earlier.

“I get to live in a nice and old character neighborhood,” Davis said.

She’s grateful to get in now because when you look at the latest population projections it’s startling.

The Puget Sound Regional Council says about 900,000 extra people will be moving into the Seattle metro area by the year 2030. The counties included are King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap.

So the question is where is everyone going to live?

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