Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 •
Communications Manager


March 3, 2018

At its study session Feb. 26 the Lakewood City Council reviewed the city’s annual housing report, which provides data on new housing units built, remodels and additions, demolitions, pending residential projects and approved final plats.

The data shows what has been constructed and the amount and type of residential development anticipated to occur over the next 24 months.

This year the data was presented in a way that will allow for year-over-year analysis, allowing the council the ability to compare historical information.

Some highlights:

  • Number of new market rate single-family homes:  47
  • Number of single-family home demolitions:  26
  • Net new single-family homes in 2017 (47 – 26) = 21
  • Number of market rate residential additions/remodels:  537
  • Number of new affordable housing units:  0
  • Number of affordable residential additions/remodels:  13
  • Number of demolitions, all types:  53
  • Number of pending multi-family residential units:  566
  • New single-family residential lots created in 2017:  39
  • Number of single-family residential lots in the pipeline:  51

Regional housing trends:

  • Home sales within the Tacoma-Lakewood housing market area remain tight with an estimated vacancy rate of 1.4 percent. During the 12 months ending June 2017 new and existing home sales totaled 20,150, up almost 12 percent from the previous year. The average sale price increased 11 percent to $303,700.
  • Demand is estimated for 8,625 homes.
  • There are currently 1,500 homes under construction in the housing market area.
  • The overall rental market also remains tight with an estimated vacancy rate of 3 percent. Apartment market conditions are also tight, also with a nearly 3 percent vacancy rate as of March 2017. The average asking rent increased more than 8 percent to $1,070/month.
  • Demand is estimated at 6,600 new market-rate units.
  • There are currently 1,800 units under construction.

Lakewood analysis:

Lakewood is not keeping pace with the region’s housing demand. To meet current demand the city would need to permit 5,024 single- and multi-family units. Currently there are 657 units in the construction pipeline for Lakewood.

If current market conditions hold steady, the value of residential properties in the city will continue to rise. So too will rents.

Other items of note:

  • It is difficult to build new single-family housing in Lakewood given the already developed nature of the city.
  • Preliminary and short plat approvals are challenging. These projects tend to face opposition from surrounding property owners.
  • Roughly 42 percent of the single-family home demolitions that occurred in Lakewood in 2017 were a result of the city’s Dangerous Building Abatement Program.
  • Only two large apartment complexes have been built in Lakewood since incorporation 22 years ago: Lakewood Meadows (168 units) off 112th Street in 2001 and Echelon Apartments (254 units) off 88th ST CT SW in 2009.

Read the full report.