Pierce County, WA home sales trends-Do the Math


Housing Market Trends Puget Sound Region

Last week an article appeared in The News Tribune titled “Home Sales on Decline in Pierce County”.  Although a cursory look at statistics would suggest that to be true, an understanding of the Real Estate market in Pierce County demonstrates the headline to be far from true.

Mr. Boone stated that sales were off 4.3% compared to last year.  The reality is that nearly 28% of that year’s pending sales were reported in the first quarter of 2010.  The previous 5 year normal was 24% of annual sales are reported in the first quarter.  The cause of the increase was a consequence of the tax credits, which literally borrowed buyers from later in the year; buyers who hastened their decision to buy and as a result there were more sales earlier in the year than is typical.  The consequential 4.3% reduction was miniscule when viewed through an annual sales perspective and in light of the tax credits.

If the sales activity in 2011 follows a more normal path and the new sales reported in 2011 through March is equal to the typical 24% of the total year’s sales, we are postured for the best year since 2006!  

Take a look at the math… There were 3125 single-family pending home sales reported by the NWMLS in the first 3 months of 2011.  If that represents 24% of the anticipated sales for 2011 it would suggest that over 13,000 homes will sell in 2011… That’s an increase of over 10% in sales activity compared to 2010 – Now that’s a measurable change and with no false support by tax credits!
The Good News:  Pierce County is postured for the best Real Estate market since 2006.

For answers to all your real estate needs, consult the experts at Coldwell Banker Bain.


Bob Call
is the Principal Managing Broker for the South Sound Region. Bob’s office is in the Tacoma Branch of CB Bain on Bridgeport Way.

About Bob Call

Robert M. Call, RB, CRS, GRI
Principal Managing Broker, CB Bain South Sound Region

First licensed in 1973, Bob has been a salesman, a managing broker, a broker owner, a fee appraiser and a property manager.

Bob is a past president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors (1996) and the Tacoma Multiple Listing Service (1992). In 1993 and in the year 2000 the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors acknowledged him as the "Realtor of the Year". Professionally Bob is accredited as a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and a Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI). In addition, he is a certified DRS Mediation officer.

  • Mike Grady

    Thanks for the analysis Bob. We are seeing similar trends throughout the entire Puget Sound region: when comparing 2011 to 2010 the strength of the un-assisted (no tax credit) market is remarkable.

    • Bob Call

      It was a fun study. I’m looking forward to comparing the closed sales in Q2 2010 v. Q2 2011

  • http://twitter.com/debra11 Debra Trappen

    Thank you for sharing the GOOD NEWS, Bob! Excellent analysis.

  • Kathy Falk

    Thanks Bob! Good stuff!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Bob: For sharing the GOOD NEWS !

  • Patmaddock

    Current production compared to this time in 2010 – superior
    Current production compared to this time in 2009 – superior
    Current production compared to this time in 2008 – superior
    Current production compared to this time in 2007 – comparable

    Saddle up, people.
    The horse is trotting.
    The barn door’s open.
    Does anyone see a gallup ahead?
    Are you ready for it?!?

    • Jennifer Kaul

      Yes! I’m up for a healthy lope, sustainable and not the uncontrolable stampede that resulted in sooo many injuries!

    • Bob Call

      Thanks, Pat. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, but the stats really indicate recovery. In fact, my article was centered around the tax credits of last year, however I didn’t even discuss the impact of short sales. Although short sales are still impacting our market, the percentage of short sales has decreased and additionally, the close-rate on short sales has improved. So, when you recognize that new open sales in 2011 is only marginally behind the “tax credit supported” first quarter of 2010 and that a larger proportion of 2011 open sales will close, I really expect Q2, and all of 2011 will show marked improvement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TeamTruelove Debra Truelove

    Thank you for the wonderful article and the great news! Deb

    • Bob Call


  • Ruthdemille

    Well done Bob I am applauding here!

    • Bob Call

      Thank you very much… I’m blushing!

  • Cheryl Temple

    Thanks, Pat, for the analogy. THAT one I get!