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.

Posted on October 16, 2020 at 11:46 am
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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.

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 11:21 am
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July 2020 Seattle Area Real Estate Report

Northwest MLS brokers report robust activity
amid low interest rates, tight inventory, changing lifestyles.

 

KIRKLAND, Washington (July 6, 2020) – Historically low interest rates and lifestyle changes are fueling housing activity around Washington state, according to Dean Rebhuhn, president of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville. Commenting on just-released June statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, he and other brokers say multiple offers are common “especially in the median price range.”

Brokers in the 23 counties that are part of Northwest MLS point to a shortage of homes as a key factor in the bidding wars. At the end of June, there was only 1.16 months of supply system-wide, which is the second lowest level in the past decade. (The lowest mark, at 1.12 months, was in December 2017.)

Not surprisingly, the supply/demand imbalance is causing prices to ratchet up. Median prices for last month’s 8,312 closed sales of single family homes and condos increased nearly 5.7% compared to a year ago, rising from $440,000 to $465,000. A comparison to May shows an increase of more than 3.3%.

In the four-county central Puget Sound area, year-over-year prices rose even more. Of these counties, King County had the smallest increase at nearly 5.9% (rising from $637,675 to $675,000). Pierce County prices jumped nearly 8.2%, from $372,500 to $403,000. Prices were up nearly 6.7% in Snohomish County and more than 7.7% in Kitsap County.

“What a difference a month makes,” exclaimed Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “What is abundantly clear is that the COVID-19 induced slowing in housing activity that we saw in May was not enough to freeze the Seattle housing market for very long,” he added.

Gardner described the month-over-month gains in pending sales, closed sales, and prices as “very significant” and indicators of a housing market that is “very robust.”

The new report from Northwest MLS shows last month’s volume of pending sales surged 15% from May (increasing from 10,389 to 11,916); closed sales jumped more than 39% (from 5,957 to 8,312), and month-over-month prices rose more than 3.3% (from $449,850 to $465,000).

Year-over-year comparisons show pending sales increased nearly 3%, closed sales dropped about 12.3% and prices increased 5.7%.

James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, noted the shortage of inventory is resulting in higher prices and rising demand “in places that are more rural and popular with older people trading down.” He named Jefferson County (Port Townsend), Kittitas County (Suncadia), and Chelan County (Wenatchee and Chelan) as examples. NWMLS figures show all three areas had some of the steepest price gains coupled with rapidly shrinking supply.

“Extraordinarily low month’s supply indicates that prices may have more room to move in areas popular with people trading down or seeking more space but still close to Seattle,” suggested Young. “Mason County and Thurston County come to mind, but interestingly, several Central Washington counties had strong year-over-year price growth including Kittitas (30%), Chelan (22%) and Grant (9.4%).” Young also noted the pre-pandemic migration patterns to outer suburbs or more rural areas appear to have
accelerated now that lockdowns have eased.

Some MLS representatives who commented on June’s numbers were encouraged by listing activity. NWMLS members added 10,709 new listings last month, lagging a year ago when brokers added 11,977 new listings, but improving on May’s total by 838 listings (up 3.5%).

Gardner called the number of homes for sale “perilously low,” but said, “The month-over-month jump in new listings was encouraging but it did not help overall inventory levels as they all sold too quickly!”

Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here: 

View the full market report

The report covers:

Seattle residential neighborhoods of West Seattle, South Seattle, Central Seattle, Queen Anne-Magnolia, Ballard-Green Lake, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and Kenmore-Lake Forest Park.

Eastside residential neighborhoods of South Eastside, Mercer Island, West Bellevue, East Bellevue, East Lake Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Renton Highlands.

Downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle condominiums.

 

 


 

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. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on July 10, 2020 at 9:09 am
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June 2020 Seattle Area Real Estate Report

Housing activity in Western Washington shows resiliency as buyers, sellers and brokers adjust to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

“The market has proved to be very resilient,” remarked Northwest Multiple Listing Service director Mike Larson upon reviewing the statistical report for May. “Buyers in Pierce County stepped on the gas last month after a brief, but significant, tap of the brakes in April,” added Larson, the president and designated broker at ALLEN Realtors in Lakewood.

 

Despite the economic downturn and disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Northwest MLS member-brokers reported impressive improvement from April to May on some key indicators. The volume of new listings, including single family homes and condominiums, rose 29.2% and pending sales jumped more than 44% systemwide. Not surprisingly, year-over-year comparisons showed sharp declines. The number of new listings fell nearly 33%, total active listings plummeted nearly 36%, pending sales declined 13.5%, and closed sales dropped about 35%. Prices remained in positive territory, rising about 2.3% from a year ago.

 

“The resiliency of the market is amazing,” remarked Dean Rebhuhn, owner of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville. “I didn’t think I would miss open houses until they could not happen,” he said, referring to limitations on in-person interactions. “The pandemic may be causing buyers to move farther out, wanting to get some space and a useable yard.” Amenities such as parks and trails are also important in current homebuying decisions, he added.

 

Brokers and homebuyers alike seem to be adjusting to restrictions imposed on the real estate industry because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The local real estate market is hot, but it looks different than it traditionally does,” remarked J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The constraint on available inventory makes it feel like we’re running out of homes to sell.”

 

Brokers added 9,871 new listings to the MLS database during May, which compares to 14,689 for the same period a year ago. At month-end the selection included 10,357 active listings; that volume was 5,766 fewer than the year ago total of 16,133. Stated another way, at the end of May there was 1.74 months of supply across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS. Inventory levels ranged from 1.1 months of supply in Thurston County to more than 8 months in San Juan County. Within the four-county Puget Sound region, supply ranged from 1.2 months in Pierce County to 1.74 months in King County.

 

Scott said buyers are “eagerly waiting for each home to come on the market with increased focus on homes in the more affordable and mid-price ranges.”

 

“Anything under $1 million is selling quickly, and most new listings coming to market are going pending in just a few days,” stated Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain. Multiple offers seem to be in play on homes in median price ranges. “We don’t think we’ll see a balancing of the market in the short term until more sellers decide to list their homes and until new construction accelerates to meet demand.” He noted activity was showing steady improvement in each passing week and month. “The stories I hear continue to be filled with improving outlooks and activity so we’re cautiously optimistic about what summer will bring.”

 

Larson agreed, saying “Multiple offers and waived inspections are common as we head into the prime selling season. Underwriting requirements have tightened a bit, but rates are still very low.”

 

Commenting on Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order in effect since March and the more recent “Safe Start Proclamation,” Northwest MLS director John Deely said the challenge was met with new processes and tools to help comply with social distancing and other protocols. “Brokers jumped in with both feet to produce and use a new live streamed open house feature released by the MLS in late April,” added Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle. “Buyers could also use virtual tours to view homes, recorded virtual tours, videos, 3-D tours, drone photos and interactive floor plans,” he added. Appointments to show properties under the limitations of a broker and one or two others (depending on the county where the property is located) “were booked solid from dawn to dusk in many areas,” according to Deely. “Multiple offers and a competitive environment prevailed through the month of May. We found many sellers accelerated their plans to sell upon hearing the forecast for an extended “stay home” order. Many buyers were impacted by layoffs or furlough and had to put their home purchase plans on hold for now.”

 

The NWMLS report shows 10,389 pending sales during May, improving on April’s total of 7,207 (up 44%), but down about 13.5% from the year-ago total of 12,006. NWMLS members completed 5,957 transactions during May, a slight improvement from April’s total of 5,866. When compared to a year ago, however, the number of closed sales, at 9,153, marked a decline of about 35%.

 

The median price on last month’s closed sales was $449,950 across the NWMLS coverage area. That compares to the year-ago figure of $440,000 an increase of about 2.3%. Five of the 23 counties in the report had year-over-year price drops: Ferry (-30%), King (-2.8%), Kittitas (-2.95%), Pacific (-12.8%), and San Juan (-17.8%). The biggest increases were in Okanogan County (30.3%) and Grays Harbor County (15.7%).

 

“I don’t think anyone should be surprised that home prices in King County took a ‘breather’ in May,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “Clearly COVID-19 was the cause for this drop, but I’m confident this is a temporary situation that will be reversed as King County starts to reopen, and fresher inventory comes to market.” The robust increase in listings between April and May combined with pervasively low mortgage rates “tells me prices will resume their upward trend in the coming months,” he added.

 

Leach said when Kitsap County moved into Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, the Kitsap Department of Community Development processed over 400 permits, which he believes “is just the tip of the iceberg as builders rush to meet consumer demand. Builders are now seeing folks who commuted to work looking to purchase homes with an extra den or office as they anticipate the “work from home” aspect is here to stay.”

 

Grady also commented on the slight price drop in King County, saying he believes it’s a reflection of reduced activity in the luxury home market ($2+ million), which disproportionately impacts over price averages. “This may be a reflection of a ‘wait and see’ attitude or just the uncertain times we’re in.” Northwest MLS statistics for King County show a correlation of declining sales in the luxury market and the impact of COVID-19.

 

Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here: 

View the full market report

The report covers:

Seattle residential neighborhoods of West Seattle, South Seattle, Central Seattle, Queen Anne-Magnolia, Ballard-Green Lake, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and Kenmore-Lake Forest Park.

Eastside residential neighborhoods of South Eastside, Mercer Island, West Bellevue, East Bellevue, East Lake Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Renton Highlands.

Downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle condominiums.

 

 


 

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. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on June 9, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Monthly Reports | Tagged , , , , ,

May 2020 Seattle Area Real Estate Report

Western Washington housing market adjusting to new ways of operating.

Residential real estate activity around Western Washington reflected expected declines during April with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll. A new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows year-over-year (YOY) drops system-wide in new listings, pending sales and closed sales, but prices increased nearly 6.4%.

“With the first full month of post-COVID-19 data in hand, it’s clear the Puget Sound housing market has been hit but not knocked out,” stated Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardener. “The normally active spring market is significantly slower than normal due to COVID-19, but it has not come to a halt,” he observed, adding, “In my opinion, it is responding to the current circumstances exactly as expected.”

In comparing April to March in the tri-county area (King, Pierce and Snohomish counties), economist Gardner noted the total number of active listings rose (up 14,8%), but new listings dropped (down 25.5%), which he said suggests sellers may be waiting until the shelter-in-place order is over. In the same area, home prices were essentially flat, which Gardner said, “This tells me that sellers are having realistic expectations about value and buyers, hoping for deep discounts, are not finding them.”

In King County, prices rose 4% from a year ago, from $625,000 to $650,000. Snohomish County prices were up nearly 6% and Pierce County joined Kitsap with a double-digit gain; prices there increased from $355,000 to $397,750 for a 12% gain.
System-wide, prices were up about 6.4%, rising from the year-ago figure of $424,950 to last month’s figure of $452,030. Year-to-date prices are up nearly 9.3% compared to twelve months ago.

“With peripheral areas still showing price increases higher than the Seattle area core, April’s figures highlight the trend of migration to outer suburban areas, along freeway corridors,” suggested James Young, director at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER). He also believes the figures illustrate “a continued preference for lower density areas given the likely persistence of distancing measures in the future. The virus has refocused many potential buyers, especially for those owning high-density properties in Seattle and elsewhere, on more space and less density. It makes social distancing easier!”

Young expects the trend of households moving to outer counties will likely accelerate in the coming weeks. “Older households in Seattle and other urban centers will be attracted to lower density areas because it is easier to maintain social distance while possibly gaining more space at a lower price point. As long as older householders in urban areas are able to sell, other counties will continue to see increased prices,” he stated.
Changes in lending practices could influence activity according to some market watchers, including Young. “The biggest factors in mortgage markets are first-time buyers, who may not qualify under new criteria, and jumbo markets,” he remarked.

“Buyers are relying more and more on technology and tools to allow for virtual open houses and viewings. Social distancing, face masks, showings by appointment only and only two people in a home at a time with one of them being the broker are the new norm,” stated Wilson. Like WCRER’s Young, he
said he could imagine homeowners wanting to change their living conditions to accommodate for more room or more outdoor space. “This could well cause a shift in what buyers are looking for in the future.”

Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here.

View the full market report

The report covers:

Seattle residential neighborhoods of West Seattle, South Seattle, Central Seattle, Queen Anne-Magnolia, Ballard-Green Lake, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and Kenmore-Lake Forest Park.

Eastside residential neighborhoods of South Eastside, Mercer Island, West Bellevue, East Bellevue, East Lake Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Renton Highlands.

Downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle condominiums.

 

 


 

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. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on May 11, 2020 at 1:33 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Monthly Reports | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Posted on May 1, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Buyer Tips, COVID-19, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 2020 Seattle Area Real Estate Report

Northwest MLS report for March shows initial disruptions from coronavirus pandemic.

Like many sectors of the economy, residential real estate is experiencing disruption and uncertainty just when the vigorous spring market was ramping up. Not surprisingly, the March activity report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers 23 counties across Washington state, was mixed as guidelines affecting how brokers conduct business evolved.

Housing activity around Western Washington in March showed the volume of new listings added during the month surpassed February’s total, as did both pending and closed sales. Year-over-year prices increased. However, commenting on the latest report, Northwest MLS brokers emphasized the numbers do not yet reflect the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on local real estate.

Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner described the numbers for March as “essentially irrelevant given the fact that the economy went into freefall during the month.” He also noted that for a period, real estate was not considered to be an essential service, which he said “suggests that April’s numbers will also not be an accurate representation of the market.”

“As our real estate industry has adapted to the evolving waves rippling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the response from the agents in my office has been to go slow,” stated NWMLS board chairman Robb Wasser, branch manager at Windermere Real Estate/East in Bellevue. “While we have been given the latitude necessary to help clients in pending transactions get to the finish line, the recent revision from the Governor’s Office allowing agents to show homes has been met with significant caution and care within my office,” he added. Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here.

Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here.

View the full market report

The report covers:

Seattle residential neighborhoods of West Seattle, South Seattle, Central Seattle, Queen Anne-Magnolia, Ballard-Green Lake, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and Kenmore-Lake Forest Park.

Eastside residential neighborhoods of South Eastside, Mercer Island, West Bellevue, East Bellevue, East Lake Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Renton Highlands.

Downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle condominiums.

 

 


 

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. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on April 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Monthly Reports | Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Posted on April 13, 2020 at 7:08 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Market Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 11:33 am
Jennifer Craven | Category: COVID-19, Market Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 2020 Seattle Area Real Estate Report

NWMLS brokers report brisk activity, noting “too early to tell” if coronavirus will soften sales.

Northwest MLS representatives who commented on last month’s activity reported little impact so far from the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.

“It’s still too early to tell if the broadening effects of the coronavirus will sideline buyers,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “What we do know is that news of the virus led equity markets sharply lower and this caused mortgage rates to drop significantly. Therefore, the question is whether buyers will put their search on hold until the virus has abated, or if they will decide to move forward so they don’t miss out on near historic low mortgage rates,” he added.

David Maider, broker/owner at Windermere Real Estate/M2 in Everett, agreed with Gardner. “It remains to be seen if the coronavirus scare will have any impact at all on the local real estate market other than to lower interest rates,” he stated.

Member-brokers added 7,786 new listings to the MLS database during February. That was a jump of nearly 25% from the same month a year ago when record snow hindered activity. Compared to January, last month’s inventory improved by 1,269 listings for a gain of nearly 19.5%.

February’s new listings (7,786) were the highest since October, but they fell short of matching demand. Brokers reported 8,355 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) for a YOY gain of more than 21%. Inventory remained tight. At month end, there were 7,655 active listings in the 23 counties included in the MLS report. That was a 32% drop from the year ago total of 11,275. All but two counties (San Juan and Douglas) reported declines. Thurston County had the largest year-over-year drop, at 45.7%, followed by Snohomish (down 42%) and King (down 40.7%).

There is only 1.45 months of supply area-wide, according to Northwest MLS data. It is even more sparse in the four-county Puget Sound region where there is barely over a month’s supply (1.1 months). Snohomish and Thurston counties had the distinction of having the sparsest inventory, with both areas reporting less than a month (0.93) of supply.

“The Snohomish County housing market continued on a torrent pace during February,” said NWMLS director David Maider. Low inventory, a return to historically low interest rates, and plenty of buyer demand are stimulating the activity, according to Maider, owner/broker at Windermere Real Estate M2 in Everett. In many cases, sellers are receiving multiple offers exceeding the asking price, he added.

Read the entire NWMLS Press Release here.

View the full market report

The report covers:

Seattle residential neighborhoods of West Seattle, South Seattle, Central Seattle, Queen Anne-Magnolia, Ballard-Green Lake, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and Kenmore-Lake Forest Park.

Eastside residential neighborhoods of South Eastside, Mercer Island, West Bellevue, East Bellevue, East Lake Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Renton Highlands.

Downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle condominiums.

 

 


 

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. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on March 6, 2020 at 2:54 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Monthly Reports | Tagged , , , , ,