Rental Market Hot in Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington, one of the newer additions to Utopia’s property management service areas, is proving to be a hotspot for renters this year. This port city sits along the Puget Sound in northwest Washington, just 32 miles southwest of Seattle. As of 2020, the population was 219,346, making Tacoma the third largest city in the state. Nicknamed the “City of Destiny”, Tacoma was originally chosen to be the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the 19th century due to its proximity to the bay. The city remains the largest port in Washington and an international point of trade on the West Coast. With an economic foundation built on paper manufacturing and oil refining, Tacoma’s major employers now include the military, finance and insurance, healthcare, aerospace, and education. The city’s top employer is the Joint Base Lewis-McChord military base with over 54,000 employees.
Reports from rental listing services indicate that Tacoma is in the top 10 for most competitive rental markets in the nation. The city’s growth could be partly due to its proximity to the booming city of Seattle, although Tacoma’s rental market is proving to be even hotter than its neighboring city. By the end of 2021, vacant apartments had an average of 24 prospective renters each, and remained on the market for only 23 days. Given an occupancy rate of 97.3%, this isn’t exactly surprising. Options are limited for those looking to rent in Tacoma, so vacant properties will go fast. Median renter credit score is also a statistic often used to measure competition in a rental market; Tacoma’s median credit score was 644, just above the national average of 640. The average monthly rent in Tacoma this year is $1,425 for a 1-bedroom, $1,745 for a 2-bedroom, $2,180 for a 3-bedroom, and $2,498 for 4 or more bedrooms.
The housing market in Tacoma also remains competitive, with houses selling on average for as much as 5% above asking price, and only stay on the market for about a week. The average home sale price in Tacoma is $460,000, a 16.5% increase from last year. If you have property in Tacoma, selling may seem like an attractive option, but maintaining a rental property might still be your best bet. Understanding the local market and city prospects is the first step to making decisions about your property.
Tacoma draws in visitors and residents alike with its mixture of bustling city life and abundance of nature. Just like all of our favorite Northwest cities, Tacoma has a number of nearby parks and nature preserves. Point Defiance Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, offering access to historic structures like the Pagoda, as well as Fort Nisqually, Owen Beach, and the Point Defiance zoo and aquarium. Other notable parks include Wapato Park, Titlow Beach, Wright Park, and Frost Park, which often holds local sidewalk chalk art contests. The city also boasts a number of museums and cultural attractions, including the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, America’s Car Museum, and Washington State History Museum. The Tacoma Film Festival takes place every year at the Grand Cinema, and the downtown area holds many weekly farmers’ markets, as well as part of the Daffodil Parade, taking place every April.
These are the most popular neighborhoods for renters in Tacoma:
- North End
- Northeast Tacoma
- West End
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