News Headlines

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tacoma Condos

There’s been plenty of news in The Tacoma News Tribune regarding condo prices and how the market is full of high end units and is rather lacking in units offered at low to mid-level prices. Unfortunately, I think this is a concern. In order to really have a vibrant city, all types of people with varying levels of income have to be included. It becomes difficult to have a city full of artists, musicians and creative professionals if the city can only accommodate those people who make above average salaries. Not everyone is going to make six figure incomes. In a weird sense, I think the market will ultimately help solve the problem when developers realize that there is an underserved market and that money can be made by creating housing in a category other than “luxury” or “premium”. And really, how many people can really afford those units? And are these people looking at moving to Tacoma right now (or in the next twelve months)? I’m not quite convinced that Tacoma will be able to steal away these types from surrounding cities by simply offering expensive condos with views of the bay. At least not yet, anyways. I think the glut of the expensive units will continue. What Tacoma can do is offer homes to middle and upper middle class families and professionals. This seems like a battle that Tacoma can win. Seattle and Bellevue are expensive cities and housing is no exception. With the Sounder in place, Tacoma can become poised to offer an alternative to working families and professionals who cannot afford to live further north. With our urban feel, mass transit options, and proximity to the Sound, Tacoma can offer a viable alternative to those looking to live in an urban setting and still be able to afford a lifestyle that they desire. I think it’s good to set our sights high, but I also think that the condo developers are all setting their sights just slightly too high for where we are right now.


angela said...

Same problem was happening her in Vegas. Plenty of super high end condos (Queensridge, Trump, etc) starting prices were $600s for a studio mind you. Now it seems some new constructions with really nice layouts are being priced starting $280s. Which is great, because like you said, not everyone can afford a $600 condo. I'd pay $600 for a house but for a studio? And that must be subsidized by a pretty big income. So it's nice to see these developers bringing in a great product while keeping it reasonable for the masses.

Peter said...

I agree. And who wants a city full of business execs only?

arrielle_p said...

Good thought with this one.. Very interesting and is so true! Keep it up.

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