Market Reports July 8, 2021

How’s the Market? Q2 Real Estate Review

Buyers found no relief as our region’s extreme sellers’ market continued skyward. Strong home buyer demand simply outpaced the number of available properties for sale. Fierce competition drove prices up 15% in Seattle and a staggering 38% on the Eastside as compared to Q2 of 2020. While COVID played a factor in early 2020; all things considered, prices have increased substantially in the first half of 2021.

 

Home affordability, or unaffordability, is one of the most significant factors impacting our communities. Many first-time buyers, retirees, and moderate wage earners are finding the tri-county region of King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties simply out of reach…or find themselves settling for accommodations that are far less than expected. The Seattle area, much like other high-priced markets across the country, has become a region where only the affluent can afford to own real estate.

 

As we move into the summer, buyer fatigue, coupled with COVID reopening of recreation and vacation opportunities, may provide much needed dampening of buyer demand. Our market desperately needs more balance between buyers and sellers in the market.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s Median Sale Price increased by 15% to $895,000 (up from $780,000 in Q2 2020). North end neighborhoods in Shoreline (+37%), Lake Forest Park-Kenmore (+37%), and North Seattle (+18%) outperformed the average while South Seattle (+9%), West Seattle (+11%). and Central Seattle (+12%) lagged slightly behind.

 

There was a 74% increase in the number of Seattle homes sold in Q2 (3,404) compared to Q2 2020 (1,956)—much of which can be attributed to COVID-related factors. Central Seattle (+116%) and West Seattle (+90%) had the largest increases in number of homes sold.

 

86% of all Seattle homes, and 33% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above list, with the average of all homes sold at prices 6% more than list. Price increases were even more dramatic when homes sold in their first ten days on the market (76% of all listings) with an average sale price of 10% above list price. The most competitive neighborhoods were Kenmore-Lake Forest Park and North Seattle, with first 10-day sales averaging 15% and 13% above list price, respectively.

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Seattle Report

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside’s Median Sale Price was $1,320,355 in Q2, up 38% over Q2 2020 ($958,000). Buyer demand outpacing the supply of homes for sale was the biggest factor fueling this increase. Redmond, (+48%), Kirkland (+48%), and South Eastside (+45%) saw the largest gains, while West Bellevue (+7%) had the smallest year-over-year increase.

 

93% of all Eastside homes, and 68% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their list price. With 70% fewer homes for sale than in Q2 2020, the entire Eastside market remained ultra-competitive. The average of all homes sold was 9% above list price and homes sold within the first ten days went for an average of 13% above list price.

 

The Eastside market saw Months of Inventory (the number of months it would take to sell all homes currently for sale) remain at historical lows of between 0.3 and 0.4 months. Many Eastside communities have had only a handful of homes for sale at any one time.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Report

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Fewer than two dozen homes for sale on the Island at any given time has led to a continued ultra-competitive market with 90% of all homes sold at or above their listed price. Those sold in the first 10 days on market (77% of all sales) closed for an average of 13% above their list price. Homes on the market 11-30 days sold for an average of 1% above list and homes on the market longer than 30 days sold for an average of 4% below their list price.

 

Mercer Island Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condo demand surged in Q2 as single-family home markets became more competitive, and in some cases, unattainable.

 

Seattle condos saw a 7% increase (to $488,750) and Eastside condos saw a 5% increase (to $550,000) in Median Sale Price compared to Q2 2020. Fueled by new construction development, South Seattle saw a three-fold increase in the number of condos sold, while the number of West Bellevue condos sold was up nearly double.

 

61% of Seattle condos and 80% of Eastside condos sold at or above their listed price. Those that were sold in the first 10 days (48% of Seattle and 70% of Eastside sales) sold for an average of 2% and 5% above their list price, respectively.

 

Check out area-by-area details the full condo report.

 

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

Waterfront listings were swooped up by buyers nearly as quickly as they came to market, some for staggering margins. Lake Sammamish had a record 18 sales while the Eastside had 17, Seattle 14, and Mercer Island had 7. Many waterfront homes went under contract in mere days, with an average market time in the teens instead of months.

 

As an indicator of demand in the luxury segment, most homes sold above their list price—something that historically has rarely happened in this sector. Some of most competitive homes sold for outrageously more than their list price as affluent buyers opened their pocketbooks for the win.

 

This brief overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, illustrates the trends occurring in our region over time. This data is interesting and insightful, but can’t replace an in-depth waterfront analysis provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative, and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

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© Copyright 2021, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Market Reports April 12, 2021

How’s the Market? Q1 Real Estate Review…

An extreme sellers’ market, driven by too few homes for sale and incredibly low mortgage interest rates, led to the most aggressive multiple offer bidding wars we have experienced in our region. There are simply dozens of buyers for nearly every home that comes to market. To be competitive, most buyers did their home research prior to writing an offer, waived typical protective contingencies—including financing, appraisal, title, and inspection—and drained their savings and investment accounts to pay cash or fund discrepancies between the purchase price and appraised value.

 

The ability to secure a suitable home in a neighborhood of choice is a luxury not afforded to many buyers, regardless of assets. Indeed, the lack of inventory for sale and competitiveness of the market has kept many current homeowners from moving to a home that would better suit their needs or commute.

 

Home affordability, or unaffordability, is at crisis levels. Most homes are completely unaffordable to first-time buyers and moderate wage earners who are finding it increasingly difficult to work and live within King County. Snohomish and Pierce Counties are not far behind. While cities and counties are coming to the table to address this issue, the potential solutions will take years to implement and see relief.

 

Time will tell if For Sale inventory levels will increase as we move further into our peak spring season market.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s Median Sale Price increased by 7% to $800,000 (up from $750,000 a year ago in Q1 2020). Shoreline (+11%), Lake Forest Park-Kenmore (+11%), and South Seattle (+9%) outperformed the average while West Seattle (-2%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+4%) lagged.

 

There was a 39% increase in the number of Seattle homes sold in Q1 (2,271) compared to Q1 2020 (1,632)—much of which can be attributed to emerging COVID concerns in 2020 coupled with increased mobility in 2021. Queen Anne-Magnolia (+91%), West Seattle (+51%), and North Seattle (+47%) had the largest increases in number of homes sold, although all neighborhoods except Lake Forest Park-Kenmore saw double-digit increases in total sales.

 

75% of all Seattle homes, and 19% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. The most competitive Seattle markets were Kenmore-Lake Forest Park and North Seattle, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 111% and 110% of their listed price, compared to the 107% average for all Seattle neighborhoods combined.

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Seattle Report

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside’s Median Sale Price was $1,300,000 in Q1, up 31% over Q1 2020 ($989,950). Movement of companies and households to the Eastside and the extreme lack of a supply of homes for sale were the biggest contributors to this increase. South of I-90 (+39%) saw the largest gains, while the higher-priced markets of Kirkland (+16%), Mercer Island (+17%), and West Bellevue (+22%) had the smallest year-over-year increases—although being well into the double-digits, they could hardly be considered small.

 

85% of all Eastside homes, and 59% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their list price. With 71% fewer homes for sale than in Q1 2020, the entire Eastside market remained ultra-competitive. East Bellevue sales topped the charts with an average sale price of 112% above list price for sales occurring in the first 10 days on the market.

 

The Eastside market saw Months of Inventory (the number of months it would take to sell all homes currently for sale) remain at historical lows of between .3 and .6 months. Despite the limited supply of homes for sale, there was a 25% increase in the number of Eastside homes sold in Q1 (1,413) compared to Q1 2020 (1,133)—much of which can be attributed to emerging COVID concerns in 2020 and in-migration to the Eastside.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Report

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Most notable on the Island was the continued lack of affordable housing options with no sales below $1 million, and only 10 sales below $1.5 million, in Q1. High end sales dominated the market with 30 of the Island’s 64 sales of homes priced $2 million and above. Mercer Island waterfront listings remained depleted with an average of 2 waterfront homes for sale at any given time and a mere 3 sales in all of Q1.

 

Q1 saw an average of only 17 homes available for sale—an unbelievable low for a typically burgeoning Q1 on the Island. This has led to a continued ultra-competitive market for the most desirable homes, especially those offering one-level living, a main floor owner’s suite or prime waterfront.

 

A staggering 81% of all homes sold at or above their listed price and those that sold in the first 10 days (75% of all sales) closed for an average of 110% of their listed price. That increase equated to sellers receiving an average of nearly $200,000 above their listed price at Island’s median sale price.

 

Mercer Island Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condos have remained an attractive and more affordable option for entry-level buyers who might otherwise rent. As single-family home markets become more competitive, condo ownership becomes a more compelling—and many times the only—option for those wishing to begin their homeownership journey.

 

While the number of single-family homes for sale has been on the decline regionally, Seattle condos experienced a 45% increase in the number of units for sale while Eastside condos saw 23% fewer units for sale compared to Q1 2020. Both Seattle (+18%) and the Eastside (+30%) saw an increase in the number of Q1 sales.

 

Seattle condos saw a 3% increase (to $476,000) and Eastside condos saw a 9% increase (to $535,000) in Median Sale Price compared to Q1 2020. Fueled by new construction townhome development, South Seattle posted a 56% increase in its Median Sale Price during that same period. On the Eastside, with townhomes providing a solid alternative to lacking single-family homes, Sammamish was a standout with a 16% increase over Q1 2020

 

51% of Seattle condos and 70% of Eastside condos sold at or above their listed price. Those that were sold in the first 10 days (35% of Seattle and 55% of Eastside sales) sold for an average of 103% of their listed price.

 

Check out area-by-area details the full condo report.

 

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

With a meager combined average of only 7 homes for sale (compared to 26 in Q1 2020) Mercer Island and Eastside waterfront headlines could only read that there was nearly nothing available for sale in Q1. The Seattle market was just above typical inventory levels (with an average of 12 homes for sale compared to 10 in Q1 2020) while Lake Sammamish maintained its two-year running low of 5 homes for sale.

 

While many waterfront homes went under contract in mere days, they did not see the dramatic price escalations in Q1 that the more affordable, non-waterfront market has experienced. In fact, only one sale closed at (a fraction of 1%) above its listed price. While 4 of the 14 Q1 sales closed at 100% of their listed price, a fair amount of price negotiation was far more common.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. It is interesting, and insightful, but in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2021, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Home Buyer Tips March 2, 2021

Should I Be a Homebuyer in this Market?

Fourteen offers, all contingencies waived, earnest money deposit released to seller on offer acceptance. This is the norm rather than the exception in our current market. Sound crazy? It is! And we’ve been here before. Today’s buyers are likely paying considerably above market values to “win” the war and snag a house that they can live with for the foreseeable future. So long as prices keep increasing and demand is insatiable, that gamble might pay off nicely.

But eventually, something has to give. We know this because market cycles are inevitable. They keep our economy healthy and in check. If for example, mortgage interest rates increase too quickly, home prices become too unaffordable, or local or national events significantly impact consumer confidence, the market can turn on a dime. When it does, someone always gets left holding the bag (or an unsaleable house) as the market shifts from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

You might be wondering why a real estate company is suggesting you think twice before making the plunge. The truth is, we’re in it for the long haul and we know informed buyers are the best buyers. If you are a home seller wondering if we just showed your cards, fear not—having an informed buyer who has done their homework means they’re more likely to follow through to closing (and less likely to seek retribution from you later because of unknown or undisclosed defects). Read on!

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You know yourself and your situation better than anyone else. You need to be financially comfortable with the monthly payment, down payment, and ongoing costs of home ownership (see Should I Rent or Buy a Home?).

You will also want to consider whether an unexpected relocation could be in your near future. Do you feel secure in your employment situation? Knowing you could comfortably stay put and ride out the storm of any downturn in the market protects you considerably compared to being in a must-sell predicament. If you feel unsure about your financial position or might be required to relocate in the next couple of years, now might not be the right time for you to buy.

Your broker will be able to recommend prominent local lenders, inspectors, and other necessary vendors. Do your homework to select the right lender for you and make formal loan application with them to obtain underwriting approval. Beyond just pre-approval, underwriting approval assures you that your loan will go through (unless your employment situation changes or there is an issue with the house itself). This is well worth the time and effort to accomplish. While you’re at it, research potential inspectors to determine who you think will do the best job and what their options for completing an inspection within a tight timeline are.

If cash offers or those with waived financing contingencies are commonplace in the area you are searching, explore alternatives for funding your purchase. In addition to getting pre-underwritten, can you temporarily borrow funds from a 401k, investment account, or line of credit to allow you to better compete with cash? Do you have other interim options that would allow you to get in the door and obtain a purchase mortgage loan post-purchase? There are many nuances to making this work, but it might just be worth investigating if it is right for you.

Consider your risk tolerance level. This is something only you can determine, and everyone will have a different baseline. If you’ve checked off the items suggested above and decided you are financially and emotionally ready to get in the ring, how do you protect yourself when buying a home in an extreme seller’s market? Read on for things you can do to put yourself in the best possible position when buying a home—even in an ultra-competitive market. In this article, we will focus on critical aspects of the home itself and the home-specific research you should do before submitting an offer.

 

ASPECTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GET INTERESTED

Here are four attributes, beyond the number of bedrooms and baths, that you should have your eye on. Many buyers overlook undesirable aspects of a home when there are few choices, however “Grade A” properties will have the highest resale potential even in a future buyer’s market.

Home (building) quality: Well-built homes with “good bones” will outlast mediocre quality homes (and their components and systems) any day of the week. Determining quality is somewhat subjective. You will notice it in well-designed details, cabinetry and components that stand out from the competition. If the home has had renovations, do they match or exceed the quality of the original structure? Granted, affordability will impact quality, but it is critical to size up any home you are considering so that you’re comparing apples to apples. You don’t pay the latest iPhone price for a no name brand phone, and the same applies here. If you purchase a fair quality home at the going rate of higher quality homes, you are likely overpaying.

Immediate to-dos and deferred maintenance: Different than quality, a home’s upkeep requirements include the to-do list of items that need to be done to maintain its integrity. A home that has been well maintained over its life typically is a better investment than one that hasn’t. The true cost of deferred maintenance often adds up to more than the cost of the repairs themselves. Don’t forget to factor in the reduced life span of other components—like replacement of damaged wood beneath peeling paint or mold remediation in a damp basement caused by a clogged foundation drain. Also consider that if you know the furnace, roof, and exterior haven’t been properly maintained, what else also hasn’t been maintained that you don’t know about? Be careful to look past any “fluff” that may have been quickly done to prep the home for sale. See the Home-Specific Due Diligence below on how you can assess this before writing your offer. This article on Assessing the Real Cost of a Fixer is also a great resource.

Setting: The saying “location, location, location” didn’t get its fame from nowhere. A home with an ideal setting on its lot and in the neighborhood—away from busy roads and utility poles/boxes, with adequate privacy, good topography, best positioned to capture views if available, and not adjacent to undesirable elements—will have more value than a less-ideally situated home. Builders do this with lot premiums in new developments. When deciding what to pay for a property it is critical that you evaluate these aspects and any others relevant to a specific neighborhood to determine the +/- effect on value as compared to other recent sales.

Floor plan: How a home lives—flow from room to room, size of rooms, open/closed-off spaces, and below ground vs. above ground living—are every bit as important as the total home square footage. You can change a lot of things about a home, but it is more difficult to change a bad floor plan. Ensure that the floor plan is one that will work for you for the foreseeable future. That might mean more available bedrooms than you currently need, the structural ability to easily expand, or one-level living to allow you to age in place. When you are deciding a home’s potential value, consider the future relevancy of the floor plan for your lifestyle.

 

HOME-SPECIFIC RESEARCH

A great home hits the market and buyers are already lined up make an offer. It looks like an “A” property or something close. The clock is ticking, and you don’t want to lose out (again). Rather than getting caught up in the frenzy, take a deep breath, keep your wits about you and get to work. There is so much intel you and your broker can gather to ensure that the home you are considering won’t turn into your worst nightmare. Time is of the essence, so this is something you will want to do expeditiously.

Property photos and info: Of course, everyone looks at the home photos as soon as a new listing hits the market. Consider pulling them up on a big display and looking closely at things like room flow; condition of windows, floors, and major components like the roof and exterior; floor plan; proximity of neighboring properties; sun exposure; and topography. There is so much you can see when you are specifically looking for it. Don’t forget to check the description for key requirements that you can’t live without. Closer scrutiny of the info available before you go further will help you avoid wasted time.

Online research: Check out online maps of the street, neighborhood, and surrounds. Are there major roads or freeways, high voltage power lines, adverse topography, or other concerns that might affect your decision? Are there parks or other amenities that make this home more compelling? Is it located in an area with good cell coverage and high-speed internet? Even in our tech-oriented world, you’d be surprised how many pockets of inadequate coverage exist in our region. You can research this info, public records, and more using the Research tab on our website. This is a great first step in researching a home before you even jump in your car.

Property history: A simple search of the home address will bring up the listing and sale history on broker search websites. Your buyer broker can also access detailed listing, sale, and transfer history going back two decades or more. Use this information to better understand the property’s past. Was it recently sold as a fixer? Previously a foreclosure? Is it a flip? Those don’t necessarily eliminate a property, but they do add the need for another level of scrutiny. Do the previous photos or descriptions indicate non-permitted remodeling or otherwise warrant concern? What recent listings and sales have occurred in the vicinity? Do they support this home’s value? This will help you get a better picture of any home you are considering.

Seller disclosures and seller-procured inspections: With few exceptions, home sellers have had to disclose known defects and issues for more than three decades now via a Real Property Transfer Disclosure Statement aka Form 17. This document is typically uploaded to the listing and accessible to your buyer broker. Like everything you have done to this point, a close review of this disclosure lets you know more about this home. See Seller Property Disclosure: What You Need to Know Before You Buy.

Given the many components that make up a structure, every home will have some disclosed issues. If there are none, that should be a red flag itself. If the seller hired an inspector to conduct a pre-inspection, it will be noted in the disclosure and the inspection should be made available for your review. You are looking for a better understanding of past issues, resolutions, current issues, and ongoing concerns that might require further research.

Visiting the home: You’ve done your homework, and everything looks good so far. Take a drive by the home and neighborhood while you are waiting for your showing appointment to visit the home in person. While you are in the home, assuming it checks your boxes and you want to move forward, take a few minutes to take closer notice of typical problem areas. Here is a great guide on How to Spot Big Issues Before You Pay for a Home Inspection.

Buyer pre-inspections: A home inspection offers invaluable information on not only the current condition, but also on ongoing maintenance needs and items to be mindful of so they don’t become a bigger problem later. Unlike waiving most other contingencies in a purchase offer, where the worst that could happen is you lose your earnest money deposit, buying a home without an inspection could cost you tens or hundreds of thousands in unexpected repairs after closing. Here is a great home buyer book written by a local home inspector: The Confident House Hunter: A Home Inspector’s Tips for Finding Your Perfect House.

Let’s be honest, pre-inspections are hard to get scheduled right now. Sellers and listing brokers are just trying to get everyone in the door to see the home and blocking out a big chunk of time for a pre-inspection is often a challenge. With a little planning and coordination, here are some potential solutions to this challenge if scheduling an inspection during normal hours is not possible: see if the seller will allow a two-hour inspection at 7 am before the day’s showings; ask about conducting an inspection during a time when someone else is already inspecting (assuming all parties can properly distance and are okay with this); if all else fails, ask your inspector if they would consider reviewing any seller pre-inspection to help you assess its completeness.

In a less competitive environment, you might be able to simply include an inspection contingency with your offer. Also, don’t forget about wells and septic tanks. They’re kind of essential to you actually living in the home and having a non-performing well of a failed septic system is a bigger dilemma than you might imagine.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

You’ve done what you need to do to investigate the property as thoroughly as possible and you want to proceed. Now is the time to determine if this is a “have to have” or “nice to have” home based on others that you’ve seen and strategize your offer accordingly. You might decide to waive typical contingencies and release all or part of your earnest money to the seller to make your offer more competitive. While there is no doubt a degree of risk in doing this, if you’ve done your due diligence ahead of time, this can be a compelling approach that doesn’t cost you any more at the closing table.

Of course, it is essential to have a competent real estate broker who can help you navigate these waters, determine the value (as compared to similar properties), history (permits, prior sales, etc.), and activity (other offers, pre-inspections, expressions of interest) of potential properties you are interested in. This helps you go in armed with the information to make sound decisions with a clear offer strategy that will help you win far more effectively than the typical guesswork that goes in too many offers written without this guidance.

Working with a reputable broker also makes for a more reputable offer. Any seller is looking for the assurance that their sale will close on time and as agreed. Most sellers feel more comfortable accepting an offer when there is good communication, a solid realtor, and a knowledgeable buyer behind it.

Lastly, be prepared for the adventure. There will be joy, surprise, heartbreak, anger, frustration, and bliss along the way. If you go in knowing it will be a challenge, you’ll be much better prepared for the market we are currently faced with.

Still have questions? Contact one of our knowledgeable brokers for assistance with how to purchase, sell, or determine the value of any property you are considering.


Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2021 Windermere Mercer Island.

Market Reports January 11, 2021

How Did Seattle Real Estate Fare in 2020?

Our local real estate market overcame all odds in the surreal and tumultuous year laid at our doorstep. Despite many economic woes, home sellers were the big winners in 2020 as too few homes for sale could not keep up with increased buyer demand, leading to the most aggressive multiple offer bidding wars we have seen in decades—and likely ever.

 

Ridiculously low mortgage interest rates—below 3% for much of the year—were the primary factor motivating buyers to purchase as monthly mortgage payments looked increasingly attractive compared to rent. Our new work-from-home environment was also a contributing factor as the desire to improve one’s current living situation became paramount to many who were now spending most of their waking hours at home.

 

The Seattle and Eastside markets operated very independently from each other as prominent tech companies announced significant expansion or relocation in Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland and Seattle struggled with civil unrest and new employer taxation concerns.

 

Driven by buyer demand, both regions did see an increase in Median Sale Price with the Eastside up 10% and Seattle up 6% over 2019. With multiple offer bidding wars being the norm rather than the exception, 60% of all Seattle homes and 62% of all Eastside homes sold went under contract in the first 10 days on the market at an average of 104% of their listed price in both Seattle the Eastside.

 

While consumer confidence continues to be challenged by local and national events—including COVID, unemployment, racial inequality, and our political environment—the desire to secure the best home environment possible, coupled with record low mortgage interest rates, continues to fuel local buyer demand. For many, COVID has changed perceptions of what is important. More buyers are reaching for their dream home or a second home in lieu of travel and other purchases.

 

Home affordability is quickly becoming one of the most prominent emerging concerns. Most homes are now unaffordable to first-time buyers and moderate wage earners who are finding it increasingly difficult to work in higher cost communities. Expect this issue to be at the center of any housing market discussion in years to come.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s Median Sale Price increased by 6% to $785,000 over $740,000 in 2019. North Seattle (+8%), South Seattle (+7%), and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+7%) outperformed the average while Central Seattle (+2%) and West Seattle (+4%) lagged.

 

Most notable for the year was a 15% increase in the number of Seattle homes sold in 2020 (9,632) compared to 2019 (8,362). Central Seattle (+25%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+21%) had the largest increase in homes sold. Lake Forest Park-Kenmore saw a decrease in the number of sales (-2%).

 

69% of all Seattle homes, and 16% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. The most competitive Seattle markets were Kenmore-Lake Forest Park and North Seattle, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 105% of their listed price.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 2014-built, 5612 square foot Washington Park waterfront home for just shy of $14.3 million and the lowest was a 1979-built, 162 square foot approved floating home in a leased slip on Lake Union (Ballard-Green Lake) for $134,000.

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside’s Median Sale Price was $1,021,000 in 2020, up 10% over 2019 ($930,000) with the most significant gains in the second half of the year. East Bellevue (+12%) and the Eastside south of I-90 (+11%) outperformed the average while Mercer Island (+3%) and Redmond (+3%) had the smallest year-over-year increases.

 

69% of all Eastside homes, and 34% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their list price. The entire Eastside market remained ultra-competitive throughout the year with East Bellevue sales topping the charts with an average sale price 106% above list price.

 

The Eastside market saw Months of Inventory (the number of months it would take to sell all homes currently for sale) drop well below 1 month for most of the year and end the year with the coffers nearly empty. Despite the limited supply of homes for sale, the total number of homes sold increased slightly by 5% to 7,641.

 

The highest sale was a record-setting $60 million, 2012-built Hunts Point estate with 356 feet of waterfront and the lowest sale was a 1924-built Skykomish cabin for $130,000.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

An astounding 123, of the Island’s 332 sales in 2020, were of homes priced above $2 million. There were only 11 sales below $1 million. Mercer Island waterfront listings were virtually all but depleted in the second half of the year as buyers snapped up their dream lifestyle opportunities.

 

As the year came to an end, there were only 9 homes for sale Island-wide—a new historic low for Mercer Island three times over. This shortage of available homes on the market has led to an extremely competitive market for the most desirable homes, especially those offering one-level living, a main floor owner’s suite or prime waterfront.

 

58% of all homes, and 16% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $11.2 million, Forest Avenue waterfront home on the Westside with 178 feet of waterfront. The lowest sale was a $815,000 West Mercer rambler sold at land value.

 

Mercer Island Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Housing affordability due to ultra-low interest rates and lifestyle choices sculpted condominium ownership in 2020. Condos offered an attractive and often more affordable option for entry-level buyers who might otherwise rent. Alternatively, many buyers who might previously have chosen a condo living environment found the idea of a single-family home (if they could snag one) more compelling.

 

The concept that real estate is local applied more to condos this year than ever before. Condo stats in both Seattle and Eastside neighborhoods varied from one to the next so significantly that looking at the overview stats is almost meaningless. As a result, we’ve delved into the community details as much as possible in our market summary below.

 

NUMBER FOR SALE – While the number of single-family homes for sale has been on the decline, several condo markets experienced substantial year-over-year increases. The number of units for sale in West Bellevue (+55%), Mercer Island (+55%), Sammamish (+48%), Central Seattle (+45%), Redmond (+41%), West Seattle (+38%), and Downtown Seattle (+32%) were all up markedly over 2019. The third quarter of 2020 was the most active quarter in number of sales for every region except Bellevue and Kirkland—which had the most activity in the fourth quarter.

 

NUMBER SOLD – Downtown Seattle (+47%) and West Bellevue (+45%) both saw record increases in the number of units sold compared to 2019. While some of rise in sales can be attributed to COVID-motivated movement away from dense housing environments and urban flight, much of it was due to the final completion and closing of new construction units. South Seattle (+29%), Mercer Island (+28%), Ballard-Green Lake (+25%), and Kirkland (+23%) also saw noteworthy increases in their year-over-year numbers.

 

MEDIAN SALE PRICE – West Bellevue saw a 42% increase in year-over-year Median Sale Price, mostly influenced by the completion of the Bosa 188 project. Kirkland (+17%), Redmond (+16%), Woodinville (+16%) also saw significant Median Sale Price increases in 2020 while Downtown Seattle was the only area to see no increase from 2019.

 

% OF ASKING PRICE – 57% of Seattle condos and 65% of Eastside condos sold at or above their listed price. 38% of Seattle condos and 55% of Eastside condos sold in the first 10 days on the market for an average of 101% and 102% of their asking price, respectively. Downtown Seattle’s lack of appreciation in 2020 made it relatively more affordable and resulted in 61% of all listings selling at or above their list price.

 

Check out area-by-area details the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

Fifteen waterfront sales topped the $10 million benchmark in 2020 as the local waterfront home market came alive amid international trends focusing on home and lifestyle. A shortage of supply in available homes for sale dominated the waterfront scene, which typically has a glut of inventory for sale, resulting in the scooping up of nearly everything on the market by the year’s end.

 

The Eastside had 46 waterfront sales, including a record-setting $60 million 2012-built Hunt’s Point estate with 356 feet of coveted waterfront. The Eastside ended the year with just 10 waterfront homes for sale from Kenmore to Kennydale.

 

Mercer Island had a good year with 31 waterfront sales in 2020 and ended the year with only 2 waterfront homes for sale, both on the east side of the Island. The highest sale was an $11.2 million Forest Avenue abode with 9,790 square feet on 178 feet of west side waterfront.

 

Lake Sammamish also enjoyed 31 waterfront sales of its own during the year. The highest sale was of an 11,750 square foot 2006-built home on the west side of the lake for $6.4 million. There were just 3 waterfront homes for sale on Lake Sammamish at year end.

 

We saw much the same story in Seattle with 43 waterfront sales in 2020 and only 8 homes for sale at the end of the year. The highest Seattle sale was a $14.3 million Washington Park home sited on 60 feet of Lake Washington waterfront.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. It is interesting, and insightful, but in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a knowledgeable broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2021 Windermere Mercer Island.

Market Reports October 16, 2020

Q3 2020 Reports: Market Update

The volume of Q3 transactions made up for Q2’s fewer sales and then some. Truth be told, the market could have absorbed twice the number of transactions, if only there were more homes on the market to sell. Too few homes for sale is the defining character of the Q3 Seattle region real estate market as evidenced by multiple offer bidding wars being the norm rather than the exception. Nearly 66% of all homes sold went under contract in the first 10 days on the market at an average of 103% of their listed price in Seattle and 105% of that price on the Eastside.

 

As predicted by Windermere’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, the second half of 2020 is indeed shaping up to be the brightest spot in our local economy. While consumer confidence continues to be challenged by local and national events—including COVID, unemployment, racial inequality, and uncertainty around the presidential election—the desire to secure the best home environment possible coupled with ridiculously low mortgage interest rates continue to fuel local buyer demand.

 

In addition to typical real estate activity, new and changing home needs (especially for those working virtually with children) have driven many to question the adequacy of their current living situation. This has added to the already significant buyer demand we are experiencing. For many, COVID has changed their perception of what is important. More buyers are reaching for their dream home or a second home in lieu of world travel and luxury goods.

 

As demand drives up local home prices further, affordability is quickly becoming one of the most prominent emerging concerns. Currently only a sliver of homes are considered affordable to first time buyers at their projected median income. Teachers, first responders, and critical infrastructure workers that keep our region going are finding it increasingly difficult to work in higher cost communities. Will our children be able to buy a home in the Seattle region? Not unless something changes to create lower cost housing options. One does not need a crystal ball to see that this problem will get worse when mortgage interest rates increase closer to their norms. Expect this issue to be at the center of any housing market discussion in years to come.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s median sale price increased by 3% (to $800,000) over Q2 ($780,000) and by 7% over Q3 2019 ($749,000). Neighborhoods to the north experienced the largest increase in median sale price with Kenmore-Lake Forest Park (+10%) and Shoreline-Richmond Beach (+8%) over Q2. In addition, Queen Anne-Magnolia, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and South Seattle all saw double-digit increases over Q3 of 2019.

 

71% of Seattle homes (all price points), and 18% of homes priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. The most competitive Seattle markets were Kenmore-Lake Forest Park and North Seattle, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 107% and 106% of their listed price, respectively.

 

There were 50% more Seattle home sales in Q3 (2,929) than in Q2 (1,956) and 29% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (2,279).

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 2014-built, 6400 square foot Laurelhurst (North Seattle) waterfront home for just shy of $11.5 million and the lowest was a 1982-built, 240 square foot approved floating home in a leased slip on Lake Union (Ballard-Green Lake) for $187,500.

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside median sale price broke the million-dollar barrier, coming in at $1,025,100 in Q3, up 7% over Q2 ($958,000) and 11% over Q3 2019 ($925,000). Kirkland-Bridle Trails (+18%) and the Eastside South of I-90 (+10%) performed best over Q2. while Eastside South, East Bellevue, West Bellevue, and East Lake Sammamish all saw double-digit increases over Q3 2019.

 

67% of Eastside homes, and 32% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The most competitive Eastside markets were East Bellevue, Mercer Island and Redmond-Carnation, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 105%, 104% and 104% of their listed price, respectively.

 

There were 56% more Eastside home sales in Q3 (2,448) than in Q2 (1,570) and 19% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (2,055).

 

The highest sale was a $23.5 million 1908-built Hunts Point estate on 1.59 acres sold off-market and the lowest sale was a 1960-built Stossel Creek fixer without documented well or septic on 4.79 acres in Duvall for $235,000.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Of Mercer Island’s 113 Q3 sales, all but two were for over $1 million and 41 were above $2 million. There were 14 sales above $3 million in Q3, compared to only 4 in Q2.

 

As the quarter came to an end, there were only 35 homes for sale compared to 75 in Q3 2019. This shortage of available homes on the market has led to an extremely competitive market for the most desirable homes, especially those offering one-level living or a main floor owner’s suite.

 

58% of all homes, and 16% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The highest Mercer Island sale was a $10.2 million, Faben Point waterfront home. The lowest sale was a $925,000 North End fixer sold at land value.

 

Mercer Island Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

The number of Seattle condos for sale has increased markedly, and while the pace of sales is up, it is nonetheless struggling to keep up with the volume of condos coming to market. Condos fared well overall with a median sale price up by 5% (to $479,925) over Q2 ($455,000) and by 9% over Q3 2019 ($438,500). Condos in Shoreline-Richmond Beach, Queen Anne-Magnolia, and South Seattle experienced double-digit increases in median sale price while the Downtown-Belltown median sale price was 6% lower than Q2.

 

54% of Seattle condos (all price points), and 4% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. 48% sold in the first 10 days on the market. There were 68% more Seattle condo sales in Q3 (784) than in Q2 (468) and 11% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (706).

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was down 5% to $499,950 in Q3 following a record setting Q2 ($525,000), but up 6% over Q3 2019 ($471,000). Condos in Kirkland-Bridle Trails (+13%) and West Bellevue (+11%) saw increases in median sale price while the Eastside South of I-90 (-15%) and East Bellevue (-17%) saw declines from Q2.

 

60% of Eastside condos (all price points), and 3% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. 49% sold in the first 10 days on the market. There were 72% more Eastside condo sales in Q3 (755) than in Q2 (440) and 17% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (643).

 

Check out area-by-area details the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

Waterfront rebounded in a big way in Q3 with record setting sales velocity. The Eastside had more sales this quarter (18) than the last three prior quarters combined. The supply of inventory fell to 3 months (from an average of 10 months of supply) with only 16 waterfront homes for sale at quarter end. Lake Sammamish posted 14 sales after a sleepy prior four quarters with a combined total of 14 sales. For sale inventory is in step with the Eastside at 3 months of supply (from an average of 5 months of supply).

 

Mercer Island saw 12 waterfront sales in Q3, a sharp increase from its average of five sales per quarter. With only 8 waterfront homes on the market, Mercer Island’s available inventory fell from an average 12 months to just 2 months of supply. Seattle posted 12 sales, maintaining its typical pace of sales. There were 17 waterfront homes for sale at the end of Q3 and Seattle’s for sale inventory remained a steady 4 months of supply.

 

The highest sale was a $23.5 million 1908-built Hunts Point estate on 1.59 acres sold off-market with 138 feet of premium Lake Washington waterfront. The most affordable was a $1.1 million Holmes Point home built in 1928 with 36 feet of waterfront on the lake.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2020 Windermere Mercer Island.

Market Reports July 13, 2020

Q2 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q2 was a story of resilience for the Seattle market. It began with our region fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but ended with a strong seller’s market and historic low interest rates. Buyers have returned in droves to battle for the limited supply of homes for sale. With a shortage of listings due both to economic/health concerns and sellers who can’t find anywhere to go, we could double our current supply of homes for sale and still fall short of demand.

 

Our region’s typical peak season was delayed with April feeling more like February and picking up momentum through the end of June. Possibly motivated as much by the changing home requirements of our newly revised lifestyles as it is by the opportunity to snag a coveted mortgage interest rate (a 1% change in interest rate equates to a 10% change in buying power), buyers are eager to find a place to call home.

 

Residential home prices are generally up throughout the region in Q2 while condominium prices are mixed depending on the building amenities and how well they have addressed COVID-19 concerns.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s median sale price increased by 3% in Q2 to $780,000. Queen Anne-Magnolia (+8%) and South Seattle (+7%) were top performers in the Seattle region while the Richmond Beach-Shoreline area was down 1% compared to Q2 2019.

 

68% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 15% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 20 from 27 in Q2 of the year prior. There were 21% fewer Seattle home sales in Q2 2020 (1,956) compared to Q2 2019 (2,479) due to a shortage of homes for sale.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 2008-built Laurelhurst (North Seattle) waterfront home for $10,500,000 and the lowest was a 1979-built 1-bedroom approved floating home in a leased slip on Lake Union for $134,000..

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside median sale price was $958,000 in Q2, up 1% over Q2 2019. West Bellevue (+10%) and East Bellevue (+8%) performed best, while Mercer Island saw an 11% decrease in its median sale price with fewer luxury sales.

 

65% of Eastside homes, and 26% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The average number of days to sell decreased to 24 from 36 in Q2 of the year prior. There were 33% fewer Eastside home sales in Q2 2020 (1,570) compared to Q2 2019 (2,334) due to fewer homes available for sale.

 

The highest sale was a $11.75 million 2004-built Evergreen Point shared waterfront home on just over an acre and the lowest sale was a 1924 Skykomish cabin on Old Cascade Hwy.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

There was not a single Mercer Island home sale below $1 M in Q2. The bulk of Island sales were in the $1.2 M to $2 M price point (40 of 63 sales) and there were only four sales above $3 M.

 

The Island’s record shortage of homes for sale in Q2 continues to create a bottleneck of buyer activity with multiple offers common in the $1.2 M to $2 M segment of the market. Buyers are winning the competition by pre-inspecting and waiving typical contingencies more so than drastically escalating offer prices.

 

52% of all homes, and 8% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.185 million, 2002-built Eastside waterfront home. Two “as-is” mid-island homes tied for the lowest sale of at $1,000,000.

 

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condo sales have been more impacted by COVID-19 concerns than most residential homes. Condo buildings with individual outside access and those with stellar cleanliness policies tended to be more desirable than buildings that did not clearly address exposure concerns.

 

The Seattle median condo sale price was down 6% to $455,000 in Q2 as compared to Q2 2019 ($483,500). There were only 468 sales for the quarter vs. 764 sales in the same quarter last year. Downtown-Belltown condos (+6%) outperformed the region while Richmond Beach & Shoreline condos were down 20% over Q2 of the prior year (fewer higher end sales). 55% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 4% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 9% to $525,000 (from $460,000 in Q2 2019). East Bellevue (+21%) and Redmond (+19%) condos far outpaced gains seen in surrounding cities. A total of 440 units sold on the Eastside this quarter. 65% of all Eastside condos, and 6% of those priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

Sales of waterfront homes in Q2 with exclusive (not shared) access to the water picked up some momentum after a sleepy Q1 but remain far below typical norms. Seattle had 12 private waterfront home sales while Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish each had 5 sales and the Eastside had 4 sales.

 

Six (23%) of the 26 total sales closed at higher than their listing price, including one West of Market sale that went for $2 M above its listed price. Three sales (12%) closed right at their listed price and 17 (65%) closed below their listed price. Homes sold above their listed price sold in an average of 27 days for 11% higher than list. Homes sold below their listed price sold in an average of 125 days for 6% less than their listed price.

 

The highest Q2 private waterfront sale was in Laurelhurst at $10.5 million with 145 feet of Lake Washington waterfront. The most affordable was a $1.6 million West Lake Sammamish home with 50 feet of waterfront on the lake.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2020 Windermere Mercer Island.

Market Reports April 13, 2020

Q1 2020 Reports: Market Update

As we are fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that the Q1 stats you see are based on pre-coronavirus closed sales activity and therefore largely untouched by our current market reality.

 

While Q1 serves as a pre-coronavirus benchmark, Q2 and Q3 will more accurately show the impacts of the (necessary) stay home order and resulting economic fallout. Our region stands to rebound more quickly than many US markets due to its pre-coronavirus strength.

 

Q1 saw a continued inventory shortage, although many homes were just queuing up to come on the market prior to the outbreak. Mortgage interest rates hit new lows in March (down about 1% from a year ago) bringing the typical monthly payment down significantly. For reference, a 1% change in interest rate equates to about a 10% change in buying power (i.e. an $800,000 home at 3.4% costs about the same per month as a $720,000 home at 4.4% interest).

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle  |  Eastside  |  Mercer Island  |  Condos  |  Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

There were 11.2% more Seattle home sales in Q1 2020 (1,632) compared to Q1 2019 (1,468). Seattle’s median sale price increased by an average of 3.4% in 2019 to $750,000. Lake Forest Park (+8.0%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+7.0%) were the area’s top performers. The Central Seattle was down 6.9% over Q1 2019, much of which can be attributed to fewer luxury market sales and a higher percentage of smaller homes transacting during that period.

 

In Q1, 68.0% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 13.7% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 41 from 50 in Q1 of the year prior.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 1930-built Lake Forest Park waterfront home for $5,000,000 and the lowest was a 1955-built 2-bedroom Skyway home for $215,000.

 

Seattle Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

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EASTSIDE

In Q1, 64.6% of Eastside homes, and 28.6% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The Eastside median sale price was $989,500 in Q1, up 6.8% over Q1 2019. South Eastside (+18.1%) and Kirkland (+14.1%) performed best, while Woodinville saw a 2.5% decrease in its median sale price. The highest sale was an $11.5 million Medina waterfront home and the lowest sale was a 1960’s Lake Margaret area cottage.

 

Eastside Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island has seen a record shortage of homes on the market in Q1 with the lack of homes for sale dominating conversations between buyers and their brokers. There were 56 home sales in the first quarter, with only 6 homes sold below $1 million and 19 with sale prices above $2 million.

 

In Q1, 48.2% of all homes, and 12.5% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.8 million waterfront home on the north-eastern tip of the Island. The lowest was a $815,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Seattle’s condo median sale price was the same in Q1 2020 as in Q 1 2019 ($460,000) with 605 units transacting. The North Seattle (+28.3%) and Richmond Beach-Shoreline (+18.4%) outperformed the region while West Seattle condos were down 5.0% over Q1 of the prior year. In Q1, 53.7% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 3.1% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 6.5% to $490,000. Woodinville (+21.4%) and Redmond (+17.2%) condos outpaced those in surrounding cities while East Bellevue condos sold for 23.2% less than in Q1 2019. There were 528 units sold on the Eastside this quarter.

 

In Q1, 67.4% of all Eastside condos, and 4.2% of those priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

The pace of waterfront transactions has been slowing over the past few quarters, driven in large part by fewer international buyers in the market. Even so, Q1 was markedly off for waterfront sales. The Eastside had 3 private waterfront home sales. Seattle had 8, Mercer Island had 2, and Lake Sammamish had no sales in the first three months on 2020.

 

The highest private waterfront sale in Q1 was on Lake Washington in Medina at $11.5 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a $1.5 million Beach Drive West Seattle home with 22 feet of waterfront on Puget Sound. Note this report includes privately-owned, rather than shared, waterfront transactions only.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2020 Windermere Mercer Island.

Home Buyer Tips March 10, 2020

Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

It’s important to remember that the purchase or rental of a home is a lifestyle choice as much as it is an investment. It is not just a commodity to negotiate, but also the place you’ll come home to each day and make your own. Yes, it is important to buy wisely and stay within your means. It is equally as important to do what is right for you and your lifestyle now. If you know you’ll be staying in the same place for years to come, you have much more latitude than you would if you might need to relocate in the next couple of years.

As you evaluate your options, you’ll want to consider things like initial out-of-pocket expenses, monthly expenses, maintenance and upkeep costs, tax deductions, and appreciation.

Initial out-of-pocket expenses.

In a home purchase, this is the down payment & closing costs. Depending on the loan program and purchaser’s credit rating, a typical down payment is 5-20% of the purchase price with closing costs (loan, title and escrow fees) adding another 2-3% on top of that. Putting 20% or more down allows you to avoid the added cost of mortgage insurance. If you need to put less down, you can remove the mortgage insurance later when you have 20% or more in equity.

In a rental, this is typically first month’s rent plus security deposit.

BUY:  A $500,000 home with 10% down would cost $65,000 ($50,000 down and $15,000 in closing costs) in initial out-of-pocket expenses.

RENT: A $3,000 per month rental might cost $6,000 (first month’s rent and security deposit).

 

Monthly expenses.

In a home purchase, this is the mortgage payment (including property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and any mortgage insurance). In a rental, this is typically just the rent.

BUY:  A $500,000 home with 10% down works out to a $2,084 base mortgage payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Add around $500 in property taxes, $50 in homeowner’s insurance and $290 in mortgage insurance (if applicable) for a total of $2924 per month.

RENT: $3,000 per month.

One important consideration is that the base monthly payment in a purchase of a 30-year fixed mortgage does not increase (although the property taxes and homeowner’s insurance will). Rent will likely increase each year to keep pace with inflation. Over time, the amount paid in rent each month will typically become significantly more than the amount of a mortgage payment.

 

Maintenance and upkeep.

In a home purchase, you are responsible for everything from the roof to the foundation, plus the land, utilities and sewer lines. In a condo, you are individually responsible for the interior of your unit and collectively responsible for the entire structure and grounds. The cost of maintenance depends on the age of the home or condo, how well it was built and maintained, and its exposure to the elements. In a rental, the landlord pays for maintenance and upkeep.

BUY:  Plan for 1-2% of the home’s value per year in typical maintenance plus the cost of major components (roof, furnace/AC, paint, flooring, appliances, decks, etc.) based on their life span. These items are easily researchable via inspectors, contractor bids and even google searches.

RENT: Landlord pays for maintenance and upkeep.

 

Appreciation.

In a home purchase, your investment is leveraged. That means you gain appreciation based on the entire value of your home, not just the amount you put down. That’s like earning interest on $500,000 even though you only deposited $65,000 in the bank.

BUY:  A 4% appreciation rate is a good average to benchmark. Assuming a 4% rate of appreciation per year, our $500,000 home would gain $108,000 in value over five years.

RENT: The landlord gains the appreciation.

 

The bottom line.

There’s a lot more to consider than just the monthly outgo. A homeowner can maximize their investment by purchasing in a highly desirable area and completing timely maintenance and upgrades or they can waste away their equity by purchasing in a declining or over-built area and allowing their home to fall in disrepair.

Only you know you. Are you up for the pleasure, independence, headache, and heartache of owning your own home? Or would you prefer the comfort and ease of renting someone else’s home with no strings attached, even if it costs more over time? Building wealth through homeownership is an incredible opportunity—but it’s only worth it if you enjoy the ride.

Looking back at the numbers, here’s how a 5-year analysis might pencil out:

BUY:  Your $500,000 home costs about $65,000 in initial out-of-pocket expenses, about $180,000 in monthly payments, and $40,000 in maintenance and upkeep over 5 years for a grand total of $285,000. In our scenario, this is offset by $108,000 in appreciation for an estimated net cost of $177,000 over five years.

RENT: An initial $3,000 per month rental would cost $194,988 in rent payments over 5 years assuming a 4% rent increase each year (a good long-range, though very conservative, benchmark, given the double digit rent increases over the past several years).

So, there you have it. The decision to opt for home ownership is a lot more than a quick judgement call. To do it right, you have to consider all of its aspects—financial, emotional, and even physical and spiritual—and weigh those against your long-range goals and plans. By taking the time to do a thorough analysis of the numbers and an assessment of yourself, you’ll make the best decisions possible and avoid costly mistakes.

Still have questions? Contact one of our knowledgeable brokers for assistance with how to determine your best sale price based on both the average and median price trends.

 


Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2020 Windermere Mercer Island.

Home Seller Tips February 28, 2020

The Right Timing Can Bring You Thousands More When You Sell

Ever notice how one home on your street sells well above asking price with a line of buyers out the door and an identical home comes on a month later and sits on the market for two weeks before finally selling at a reduced price?  Every. Day. Counts.

It’s not always about the house. It’s also about timing the market well. In a world where potential buyers know how long you’ve been on the market down to the minute, being on the market a nanosecond longer than expected can be painful for any seller, financially and otherwise. Statistically, at mainstream price points, prices seem to peak around Day 7 and begin to slide downhill after Day 10.

 

How to time the market in a nutshell.

Avoid coming to market during major holiday weeks. Potential buyers take vacation too—and the fewer buyers out there looking in those precious early days, the lower the likelihood you’ll sell in the first 10 days. Look to come on the market a few days after typical vacations are over to allow buyers to re-engage in the search process. Avoid coming to market when a similar house in your neighborhood has just listed and not yet sold.

The laws of supply and demand would dictate that when supply appears abundant, demand diminishes—and the days tick on by. Even if you are by far the better house and at a better price, you might still be hurt by the curiosity around why everyone is selling now.

Avoid coming to market during bad weather or local events. Like coming on market right smack in the middle of graduation week, listing when everyone’s attention is on something other than home shopping is likely to miss the mark big time. Even if you were all set to list on a particular date, it might be better to take a deep breath and wait until the storm passes.

Do come to market when you notice an absence of great listings for sale in your price range and neighborhood. Buyers will likely feel that void too and be chomping at the bit for the next great home to come along. The chances of a perfect match between a solid buyer and a reasonable seller are best in this zone.

This is especially true if your home has challenges (outdated design, deferred maintenance, busy street, steep slope, etc.) that would make it difficult to compete with other homes out there. On the flip side of that coin, if your home is exceptional, you want to be on the market during peak season when buyers can size up your home to the competition and appreciate how much better your home is. Buyers will pay handsomely for turnkey quality when they can clearly see the difference. Come on when there is nothing else to compare to and your beautiful amenities might not see their full value potential.

The best days to come to market are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. This allows for showings and open houses on evenings and throughout the weekend. If you are doing an offer review date, the best day to review offers is Monday or Tuesday. This gives buyers ample time to see your home, conduct their due diligence, complete a home inspection and sewer scope, and get their financial documentation together—all before they prepare an offer.

Final thoughts.

Look at the holiday calendar and local school district calendars to guide you toward best weeks to come to market. Don’t forget to check in big political and sporting event dates too.

Decide whether your home will shine against the competition, or be the wallflower, and adjust your timing based on real-time competition.

Of course, an outstanding listing broker can help you choose the most favorable date to bring your home to market. They analyze the market consistently and know exactly what indicators to look for. Still have questions? Contact one of our knowledgeable brokers for assistance with determining the best market timing for your home.

 


Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research | Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2020 Windermere Mercer Island.