Market Reports January 11, 2021

How Did Seattle Real Estate Fare in 2020?

Year in Review for Seattle/Eastside

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446   mercerisland@windermere.com

 

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

Waterfront December 11, 2020

Life on the Water’s Edge

Life on the Water’s Edge

Your Seattle waterfront resource…with definitions, maps, and quick links.

 

Waterfront terminology is ever elusive and nearly always subject to interpretation. We tracked down several Puget Sound and Washington State resources not only to help you know the lingo when it comes to waterfront speak, but to give you quick access tools to research waterfront to your heart’s content.

 

Waterfront Terminology

Bluff    Most beaches on Puget Sound are backed by bluffs. These bluffs can vary from spectacular, high eroding cliffs to low, vegetated banks. The erosion of bluffs is a significant source of sediment on many Puget Sound beaches. One way of classifying bluffs is by the amount of sediment they provide to local beaches as they erode. This is based on how fast they erode, how high they are, and how much sand and gravel they contain. In these maps, bluffs are assigned to the following categories: Exceptional Feeder Bluffs; Feeder Bluffs; Feeder Bluff – talus; and Transport Zones. This Department of Ecology Feeder Bluffs and Coastal Landforms Map is a great tool for identifying bluff categories.

Boathouse   A building designed for the storage of boats or watercraft to provide protection from the elements. The building of boathouses is generally prohibited under current environment regulations, but many grandfathered boathouses remain throughout the region.

Bulkhead   A solid or open pile wall of rock, concrete, steel or timber or other materials or a combination of these materials erected generally parallel to and near the ordinary high water mark for the purpose of protecting adjacent wetlands and uplands from waves or currents.

Dock or Pier   A raised walkway over water, often supported by widely spread pilings or pillars. Recent dock requirements encourage the use of decking structures and systems that encourage light and air flow to the water below.

Dock inspection   A structural and functional evaluation by an individual or company who specializes in dock construction and repair. This can involve an underwater dive evaluation when portions of the supporting structure is in question or unobservable from above.

High bank waterfront    Land that sits substantially above the natural water line, making the waterfront inaccessible without stairs or other structures, if at all.

Low bank waterfront   Land that sits just above the natural water line, often delineated with a bulkhead protecting the shoreline. Low and no bank waterfront abutting a navigable lake is often considered the most desirable waterfront in the Puget Sound region.

Medium bank waterfront   The most subjective of terms, this represents moderate bank land that is lower than high bank and higher than low bank waterfront.

Moorage    A place where a boat or ship are secured in the water. As it pertains to waterfront real estate, this is typically on a privately owned dock or boathouse.

Navigable water   “Navigability or navigable” means that a body of water is capable or susceptible of having been or being used for the transport of useful commerce. The state of Washington considers all bodies of water meandered by government surveyors as navigable unless otherwise declared by a court. See Who Owns the Water?

No bank waterfront   Land that graduates out to the natural water line without a bulkhead separating it from the shoreline. Often described as rolling waterfront, its spacious feel at lakeside is highly desirable.

Ordinary High Water    “Ordinary high water” means, for the purpose of asserting state ownership, the line of permanent upland vegetation along the shores of nontidal navigable waters. In the absence of vegetation, it is the line of mean high water.

Private Waterfront    Land abutting the water owned exclusively by an individual land parcel. Greater waterfront footage and amenities (beach/dock/moorage) create a more valuable parcel than one with limited waterfront footage or amenities.

Shared Waterfront    Land abutting the water owned in common (deeded) by owners of other often adjoining, land parcels. Fewer owner shares and deeded amenities (dock access/moorage) create a more valuable shared waterfront parcel than one with many owners or fewer amenities.

Shorelands    Land which is alternately covered and left dry by the rising and falling of the water level of a lake, river, or tidal area.

“First class shorelands” means the shores of a navigable lake or river belonging to the state not subject to tidal flow, lying between the line of ordinary high water and the line of navigability, or the inner harbor line where established and within or in front of the corporate limits of any city, or within two miles thereof upon either side (RCW 79.105.060(3)). These boundary descriptions represent the general rule; however exceptions do exist. To determine if the shorelands are within two miles of the corporate limits of a city, the distance is measured along the shoreline from the intersection of the corporate limit with the shoreline.

“Second class shorelands” means the shores of a navigable lake or river belonging to the state, not subject to tidal flow, lying between the line of ordinary high water and the line of navigability, and more than two miles from the corporate limits of any city (RCW 79.105.060(17)). These boundary definitions represent the general rule; however, exceptions do exist. To determine if shorelands are more than two miles from the corporate limits of a city, the distance is measured along the shoreline from the intersection of the corporate limit with the shoreline.

(Public) Tidelands   Land belonging to and held in public trust by the state for the citizens of the state, which are not devoted to or reserved for a particular use by law. Typically, the portion of land below the ordinary high water mark and the navigable water. Tidelines have been an area of great controversy in Washington State. Considered public domain through the Public Trust Doctrine. The Public Trust Doctrine does not allow the public to trespass over privately-owned uplands to access the tidelands. It does, however, protect public use of navigable water bodies below the ordinary high water mark.

“First class tidelands” means the shores of navigable tidal waters belonging to the state lying within or in front of the corporate limits of any city, or within one mile thereof upon either side and between the line of ordinary high tide and the inner harbor line; and within two miles of the corporate limits on either side and between the line of ordinary high tide and the line of extreme low tide (RCW 79.105.060(4)). In general, the line of ordinary high tide is the landward boundary. The line of extreme low tide, or the inner harbor line where established, is the waterward boundary. To determine if the tidelands are within two miles of the corporate limits of a city, the distance is measured along the shoreline from the intersection of the corporate limit with the shoreline.

“Second class tidelands” means the shores of navigable tidal waters belonging to the state, lying outside of and more than two miles from the corporate limits of any city and between the line of ordinary high tide and the line of extreme low tide (RCW 79.105.060(18)). In general, the line of ordinary high tide is the landward boundary. The line of extreme low tide is the waterward boundary. To determine if the tidelands are more than two miles from the corporate limits of a city, the distance is measured along the shoreline from the intersection of the corporate limit with the shoreline. Excerpt from the Department of Ecology Public Trust Doctrine.

 

Waterfront Footage   The linear feet that span the water’s edge of a land parcel.

Watershed   A watershed is the land area draining to a nearby river or lake, or sound.

 

MAPS

 

King County iMap

iMap Parcel Lookup Instructions (PDF)

Washington DNR Natural Hazards Geological Maps

Washington Geographic Information Portal Map

Department of Ecology Feeder Bluffs and Coastal Landforms Map

Department of Ecology Wetlands Inventory Map

NOAA Puget Sound Water Depth Chart

 

 

RESOURCES

King County   

King County currently has about 1200 documented residential docks and 58 private boat ramps (see shoreline land use facts). A permit is required to build, modify, alter the land abutting a shoreline.

King County Shoreline Management Fact Sheets and Links

King County Shoreline Permit Submittal Requirements (PDF)

King County Bulkhead Shoreline Requirements (PDF)  

Shoreline Site Plan Requirements (PDF)

King County Shoreline Property Owner Resources

King County Lake Services and Information

Puget Sound Shoreline Stewardship Guidebook

King County Water and Shorelines Glossary

 

Washington State

Washington State (RCW) Aquatic Land legal definitions

DFW – Your Marine Waterfront (PDF)

DNR – Puget Sound and Coastal Geology

DNR – Puget Lowland Geological Province

Dept of Ecology – Mapping Bluffs and Beaches of Puget Sound (PDF)

WSU Guide for Shoreline Living (PDF)

UW Puget Sound Fact Book (PDF)

 

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA – Puget Sound

Shoreline and Wetland Tools and Resources

King County watershed overview map

Cedar River – Lake Washington Watershed (Lake Washington waterfront properties)

Central Puget Sound Watershed (North/West Seattle waterfront on Puget Sound)

Green-Duwamish River Watershed (South Seattle waterfront properties on Puget Sound)

Sammamish Watershed (Lake Sammamish waterfront properties)

 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA Portal

ERMA visualization map of Puget Sound

Bluffs, landforms and habitat classifications

 

The Watershed Company (site evaluation contractor) Articles

A home buyer’s guide to property with critical areas

Shoreline planning and permitting

Enhance your shoreline

 

We hope this provides an outstanding starting point in your waterfront journey. In addition to this specific research, don’t forget to evaluate all the typical aspects of your potential new home and neighborhood. We’ve compiled links to research tools from schools and geological hazards to market reports and census data.

While you’re there, you can also look up neighborhood info, including crime reporting, local government resources, parks and recreation, and school boundaries.

Of course, nothing tops having an experienced broker to guide you through the process. They’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of homes and can help you identify the solid finds from the duds with gorgeous looking veneer.

Choosing the right broker can save you thousands on your home purchase. Whether through local market knowledge and pricing analysis allowing you to make a smarter offer, recommendations and resources to thoroughly conduct your due diligence and avoid costly mistakes, or savvy contract negotiation to help you get the terms you need, having a Windermere broker on your side is one advantage you can’t afford to sacrifice.

 

 

 


 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2019. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Market Reports October 16, 2020

Q3 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q3 Market Update for Seattle/Eastside

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446   mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Buyer TipsCOVID-19Seller TipsTrends August 31, 2020

Home Buying Trends Emerging from COVID-19

How COVID-19 is Affecting Buying Trends

Coronavirus has made many of us rethink what is important to us…and our homes are no exception. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the top feature desired by buyers is now a home office (or even more than one). 22% of buyers are less concerned about their commute, which means homes in affordable areas outside the city are now in high demand.  Some buyers are considering second homes in rural areas. Outdoor space is also trending with more buyers wanting a yard for veggies and exercise. Here are some insights from a recent nationwide survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)…

This chart shows which features are more important to buyers due to COVID-19, based on a recent survey of buyer's agents.

 

We’re also seeing the family unit become more important. While smaller urban homes were once in top demand, we’re now seeing a boost in multi-generational living with buyers seeking larger suburban homes that have space for everyone. Additionally, recent surveys show that more buyers—especially young buyers in their twenties—are moving to live closer to family and friends.

 

Another big trend? Pets! We’re seeing a surge in households that want a pet, and a 2020 NAR survey revealed that 43% of households say they’d be willing to move to accommodate their pet.  This is another reason yards and even acreage are now trending among buyers.  Pet fever could potentially lessen the demand for condos with strict pet policies—in the same survey, 68% of REALTORS® said that community animal policies influenced their clients’ decision to rent/buy in a particular community.

 


 

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

Source: REALTOR Magazine, National Association of REALTORS.
© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Market Reports July 13, 2020

Q2 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q2 Market Update: Seattle & the Eastside

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446   mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Buyer TipsCOVID-19Seller TipsTrends May 1, 2020

How to Buy and Sell Safely in the New Normal

 

While buying and selling real estate was recently deemed essential in Washington State, the landscape looks very different than it did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Real estate offices remain closed to the public with agents working remotely and hosting virtual client meetings.  Important safety regulations prohibit in-person open houses and limit the number of people who can tour a home or attend an inspection. Social distancing will remain at the forefront as we wait for a vaccine or treatment to become widely available.

So how do you buy or sell a home safely in this new environment? Thanks to modern technology, there is a lot we can do to help you through the process while minimizing the risk to you and the community. Here are some tips for buyers and sellers on how to do it right…

 



 

TIPS FOR BUYERS

  • Do your homework before you tour a home in person.  Take a virtual online tour, research the neighborhood and ask your agent to delve into the property and title history.  If a virtual tour isn’t available, your agent can give you a preview via FaceTime or Skype while walking through the home.
  • Get pre-qualified.  Knowing your exact budget in advance will help you save time and avoid any non-essential showings.
  • Schedule a 1-hour showing window.  When you think you’ve found “the one” and are ready to tour it in-person, have your agent book a full hour so that you are less likely to run into other buyers.  This will also allow time for each person to see the home since there is currently a limit of just 2 people in the home at once, including the agent.
  • Meet your agent at the home.  Instead of carpooling, drive separately and then wait in your car until your agent confirms that the home is empty and ready to tour.  Condos may have special rules for showings and you’ll also want to take separate elevator trips if you’re touring a high-rise.
  • Play it safe during the tour.  Wear a mask, wash/sanitize your hands when you enter and leave, limit touching of surfaces, and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from your agent at all times.  Assume you might be recorded by the homeowner and observed by neighbors.
  • Meet virtually with your agent.  When it’s time to write an offer, your agent can use any number of video conferencing apps to share documents with you and discuss them in real time.  You can then sign and authenticate all contracts electronically via a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Don’t skip a professional home inspection.  Due to the difficulties around seeing the home in person, it is more important than ever to make sure you know of any underlying issues it may have.  The 2-person rule still applies at inspections so your agent will likely request the seller’s permission for you to be in the home alone with the inspector while the agent waits in the car.  You’ll also need to make sure you and your inspector comply with all social distancing and safety rules.



 

TIPS FOR SELLERS

  • Give your listing agent a virtual tour.  Rather than meeting in person, utilize an app like FaceTime or Skype to virtually walk your agent through your home using your smart phone.  Hold meetings virtually whenever possible and sign documents electronically through a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Move out first if at all possible.  This makes it practical for buyers to comfortably view your home while following the current 2-person limit for home occupancy during showings.  It also protects you from any potential exposure—especially important if you are in at at-risk age group and/or have health problems.
  • Time the market with expert advice.  Talk to an agent you can trust who follows the ins and outs of regulations from the Governor’s office and also has access to showing data and activity reports that can help you determine the best time to sell.
  • Look your best online.  Make sure your agent will coordinate truly stellar home preparation, staging and photography. Consider having a professional video tour and interactive floor plans as well.
  • Have your agent hold a virtual open house. Live-streaming a virtual tour from inside the home is a great way for your agent to reach buyers and answer their questions in real time.  Virtual open houses are also now promoted on virtually all home search websites and apps.
  • Prepare diligently for in-person showings.  Be sure that you or your agent provides hand sanitizer, single-use booties and masks along with a sign detailing the safety guidelines you would like visitors to follow while in your home.  Open interior doors and turn on lights ahead of time to minimize touching.  Disinfect high-use surfaces after each showing.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Market Reports April 13, 2020

Q1 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q1 Market Snapshot: Seattle & The Eastside

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446   mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

COVID-19Market Reports April 6, 2020

Economic Insights from Matthew Gardner

How will the coronavirus impact the housing market?

 

Concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect your home value or ability to move in the future?  As we all hunker down through these challenging times, a voice of insight and reason has been our Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.  He is expecting a sharp economic slowdown accompanied by a 15-20% reduction in the number of homes sold in 2020—BUT he also believes the housing market will bounce back once we find our new normal.

Click here to watch his latest videos, or scroll down for some key takeaways…

 

 


 

The US economy will contract sharply but should perk up by Q4. 

We’re in for a rough few quarters as the economy enters a recession.  Just how rough—and how long—is still under debate.  What economists do agree on is that the 4th quarter is looking remarkably positive…assuming we get through the COVID-19 crisis and the economy can resume somewhat normal activity before the fall.

 

 


Housing prices will likely remain stable. 

Seattle home prices should remain steady—or even rise slowly as we come out of the recession—for a few reasons:

  1. DIVERSE INDUSTRIES IN OUR AREA which allow us to better weather the economic storm.
  2. SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING as one third of local home owners have 50% or greater equity in their homes.
  3. STRONG DEMAND with more buyers than homes available, as well as rock-bottom interest rates.

 

 


This will be different than 2008…

We’re experiencing a health crisis—not a housing crisis caused by systemic lending problems like we saw in the Great Recession.

  1. WE’LL SEE A PAUSE, NOT A COLLAPSE. Unlike last time, the housing market was strong going into this crisis and should rebound quickly. Why? Because this recession will be due to specific external factors rather than any fundamental problem with the housing market.
  2. FORECLOSURES WILL BE FEWER with most lenders offering relief to homeowners in distress due to temporary employment issues. Unlike 2008’s mortgage crisis caused by lax lending standards and low down payments, today’s home owners are better qualified and have more equity in their homes.

 

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Buyer Tips March 17, 2020

Assessing the Real Cost of a Fixer

What's the Real Cost of a Fixer?

 

It can be very compelling to find a home in a neighborhood you like that is bargain priced. But how do you know if it will be a good investment? The only certainty in a fixer project is that there will be a substantial amount of uncertainty and risk. There can be significant rewards too, which is why the call of a fixer is so loud for opportunistic buyers.

Here are a few guidelines to determine how much how much to offer and whether a fixer is the right house for you.

 

Step 1: Determine the initial scope of work

Make a list of the most obvious items to be addressed. Decide which items are within your skill set to accomplish yourself and which ones need to be contracted out. Spend some time calling contractors and researching each item to get a ballpark idea of the cost to complete—either the raw materials expense to DIY or the contractor’s price to do it for you. Calculate in an additional 20% for unexpected issues and cost overruns. Add these to a spreadsheet along with the time each project should take. Keep in mind this is an initial evaluation intended to be done before you invest too much time and money into negotiation or inspections.

It’s well worth spending a few minutes talking to the city or county building department to verify which work requires a permit and what the cost and process is before proceeding. Don’t forget to calculate in the cost of obtaining permits for electrical, plumbing, major remodel, or structural changes into your total budget. Getting permits can be time-consuming but doing work without a permit will ultimately create bigger problems when you go to sell because lenders and buyers will want verification the work was permitted and completed properly.

 

Step 2: Do a reality check

Do you have the readily available cash or an approved line of credit to fund this project plus any cost overruns? Do you have the skills and patience to manage or complete the renovation work? Are you able to fit the work itself or the oversight of contractors into your current life schedule without compromising your life values? Will the time and money you invest be worth it in the end product? Are you willing to live in a construction zone while work is being completed?

Don’t skip this step! The answer to these questions will be different for everyone. Some people take on a project because it pencils out without fully evaluating what the impact on their lifestyle will be. A savvy fixer buyer will go in with full awareness of what they are taking on and the project will be much smoother as a result.

 

Step 3: Determine your offer price and strategy (and max purchase price)  

This is where your broker can be an invaluable resource. They can assess a home’s as-is market value and also its potential finished value. Calculating in the costs you identified in step one—including the 20% for unexpected issues and cost overruns—will give you an idea of your max purchase price. Don’t forget to consider expenses like the cost of living elsewhere during renovations, the inconvenience of living through a remodel, and the value of your time invested.

From there, your broker can evaluate market activity and present options for offer strategies, including an initial offer price. Your offer should always include an inspection and sewer scope or septic contingency unless you’ve completed them before making an offer. Here are additional contingencies you may want to include to protect you in your purchase.

 

Step 4: Don’t skimp on the inspection

Assuming you’ve decided that you and your pocketbook are up for the challenge, the next step is to hire the best inspector you can find to make a thorough assessment of the home. If there is obvious deferred maintenance you can see, there are likely to also be many other issues you can’t see. A good inspector will identify those and provide insight into the overall structural condition of the home. Well-built homes with “good bones” make much better rehab projects than homes of mediocre quality.

Don’t forget to scope the sewer line or evaluate the septic system. Both are potentially big-ticket items that don’t add any visible value to your finished product. If you are in an area that may have had oil heating at one time, also confirm there are no underground oil tanks remaining.

If major structural issues are identified or there are indications of problems that cannot be fully investigated, think seriously about proceeding without getting permission to have a structural engineer or general contractor investigate further.

 

Final thoughts

By thoroughly completing your due diligence, you can mitigate much of the risk associated with purchasing a fixer. Having remodeling skills or connections to outstanding contractors is critical. Lastly, if this is your first-time renovating a home, purchasing a home that is simply tired and dated rather than having significant deferred maintenance or structural issues will help you keep your project in the black.

Still have questions? Contact one of our knowledgeable brokers for assistance with how to purchase or determine the value of a potential fixer.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Seller Tips February 28, 2020

The Right Timing Can Bring You Thousands More When You Sell

Timing the Market to Get More for Your Home

 

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 with Windermere Real Estate

 

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.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island