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TACOMA, WA-Builders need not back away from Downtown development any more. A recent housing research report revealing there is, in fact, a housing shortage, should put their minds at rest.

Suzanne Britsch, president of Real Vision Research in Bothell, WA, says her recently released report contains information builders often require before pumping millions of dollars into a project.

For instance, the report points out that based on active real estate listings and average market time for sales, Downtown has a three-month supply of available single-family housing and condos.

“The trend has been to not build at all in Downtown Tacoma,” Britsch says. “But builders need to know that we determined there definitely is a market for housing in Downtown Tacoma for a lot of different socio-economic levels.”

Other facts contained in the report include:

* There are 1,442 Downtown multifamily dwellings now in the permit process. That’s an annual average of 288 units over the next five years.

* The total demand for all of Tacoma is 800 to 1,200 new dwelling units per year for the next five years. The report suggests Downtown should aim to capture one-half of that market, or 400 to 600 units per year

After opening a Tacoma branch of the University of Washington, putting in new parks, cleaning up neighborhoods and attracting high-tech and financial businesses, Britsch says city leaders asked for the report in an effort to determine what could be done to create more Downtown residential development.

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