Real Estate April 13, 2021

How’s the Market? Q1 Real Estate Review…

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

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

 

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

 

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

 

Seattle Recap

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

Seattle Report

 

↑ Back to top


EASTSIDE

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

 

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

 

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

 

Eastside Recap

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

Eastside Report

 

↑ Back to top


MERCER ISLAND

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

 

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

 

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

 

Mercer Island Recap

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

Mercer Island Report

↑ Back to top


CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Condo Report

↑ Back to top


WATERFRONT

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

 

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

 

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

 

↑ Back to top


 

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

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

Living & Trends March 10, 2021

The Four Phases of Remodeling

As with anything in life, a remodeling project can come with its ups and downs. Certain phases seem to go a mile a minute, while others feel like they’ve lasted a lifetime and a half, all while it looks as though nothing is being completed. Fear not—this is pretty typical. And, while every project is different, a good portion of renovations have four major phases, what I’m calling the Honeymoon, the Midproject Crisis, the Renewal of Vows and the Happily Ever After…

 

 

Phase 1: The Honeymoon Stage

 

After weeks of searching for a remodeler in your area, calling references and working toward an agreeable price, you say, “I do,” sign the contract, finalize the design and begin work in two weeks. There’s a little nervousness in the air, but as you enter the Honeymoon phase, the mood is mainly one of excitement.

 

Demolition Begins

Normally one of the quickest moving stages of a remodel, demolition makes it look as if a lot of work is being done practically overnight. Cabinetry is removed, walls are torn down, appliances are taken away and, in a matter of days or weeks (depending on the size of your project), you’re staring at a blank canvas.

After that, any necessary framing and structural work will begin. Framing usually isn’t as exciting or fast-paced as demolition, but still, there is visible progress almost daily. At this point, you and your partner are walking on air. The rate of work is astounding, and you’re still very excited (although maybe a little less nervous now) about the entire project.

 

Speed Bumps Ahead!

Like a delayed flight on a real honeymoon trip, there are obstacles that can slow down this phase, specifically during demo:

  • Discovery of toxic materials like lead or asbestos
  • Building permit delays
  • Unexpected structural elements (like pipes) revealed during demolition

Don’t panic. These delays happen often, and it’s worth accounting for and accepting these hurdles before you even begin to think about renovating.

 

Rolling With the Punches

Here are a few tips to help your honeymoon run more smoothly:

  • Embrace change. Really. Give change a huge hug. Get to know it on a personal level. Because no matter what room you’re touching (whether it’s the kitchen or a teensy guest bath), it’s likely that you use that room daily. The sooner you accept that this room (major or not) will be unavailable for a period of time, the sooner you’ll be able to adapt your daily routines to fit around it.
  • Love your microwave. This applies to kitchen remodels specifically. As soon as demo is done, your primary cooking and eating area will be gone. Before your project starts, find an untouched room in your home to create a mini kitchen that will include necessities such as a microwave, toaster oven and coffee pot. Think of it as the mini kitchen you had in your dorm or apartment in college and revel in the nostalgia.
  • Don’t worry too much. I know this sounds hard—OK, really hard, especially for control freaks like me—but trusting your building professionals to know what they’re doing (even if you do come across one of the aforementioned speed bumps) will really help you keep your head on straight. And if you do have questions or concerns…
  • Communicate! I cannot stress it enough. Talk with your contractor, talk with your
    significant other—talk, talk, talk. Ask questions, bring up budgetary concerns, muse over paint colors. Whatever is on your mind, getting it out of your head and into the air is beneficial for everyone involved (especially you).

 


 

Phase 2: The Midproject Crisis

 

Similar to a Midlife Crisis, the Midproject Crisis is full of sobering questions: What’s my contractor doing? Are we still moving forward as planned? Was this really all worth it? And of course: What is the meaning of life? Fear not: Progress is still occurring, even if it’s not as obvious as demolition was.

Typically, once demolition and framing is finished (the Honeymoon Phase) and before sheetrock is put up, mechanicals will begin. (This probably is referred to as “mechanical rough-in” or “mechanical rough” by your contractor.) Mechanicals refer to the guts of the house: electrical; plumbing; and heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC). Like our own guts, most of the work done during mechanicals occurs behind the scenes:

  • Electrical: The groundwork for all new light fixtures, outlets, switches and appliances will be done during this phase. New wiring will be run in the walls and ceilings, electrical boxes will be installed for future fixtures, and electrical panels may be upgraded so they can handle heavier loads (this is especially prevalent in remodels where appliances are added). At this point, electricians are making sure that everything that will need power will have access to it and meet your municipality’s building code.
  • Plumbing: As with electrical, plumbing rough-in ensures that all plumbing fixtures, appliances and other water features will be supplied with water, gas (if your house uses natural gas) or both. So pipes may be moved or installed in new places, shower pans (the things that make sure the water stays in the shower) are installed and inspected, and gas lines may be moved, extended or even put in.
  • HVAC: Unlike electrical and plumbing, HVAC is the only mechanical where nearly all the work is completed during the rough-in stage. Pathways for new vents (for bath exhaust fans or kitchen vent hoods) are determined and vents are installed, air conditioning units may be replaced, and air return vents are located in appropriate positions.

More Bumps

It’s around this time that I’ve often seen homeowners concerned about progress. Yes, plumbers are there, but where are the new sinks? Why isn’t there a single light fixture installed yet? Is the HVAC guy even working, or is he just taking a nap in the attic?

The other contributing factor to the crisis is the fact that any speed bumps that crop up during this phase take a bit more time to resolve. Overall, the placement of existing framing is the biggest obstacle in mechanical rough-ins.

Another obstacle is the condition of existing mechanicals. Any wiring, plumbing or venting that is found to be damaged, dangerous or just not up to par with your municipality’s building code will likely need to be remedied.

If your job is permitted, inspections for mechanicals will occur during this stage. City building inspectors are well known for being thorough. If you don’t have everything just right (which ultimately is good, because they’re looking out for your safety), they will not hesitate to make your contractor fix the issue before any work can continue.

Communication is key to getting through the Midproject Crisis. I know it may be tempting to ask for advice from neighbors and friends, but in the end, the person with the most knowledge about your project is your building professional. See if you can get on your contractor’s schedule for a recurring biweekly meeting. It will help make the Midproject Crisis less of a crisis and more of an extended honeymoon.

 


 

Phase 3: The Renewal of Vows

 

Yay, you’re halfway there! After weeks (or months) of being in a state of disarray, everything you’d hoped and dreamed about is coming true and you’re feeling ready to say “I do” to your contractor all over again. This is what your contractor will probably refer to this as the “finish out” or “trim out” phase—finishing and beautifying what was started in the first couple of months. Here’s what happens:

  • Sheetrock. Holes made during rough-in will be patched, new Sheetrock will be put up at any new walls or ceilings, and texture will be applied to make your walls look like walls again.
  • Trim carpentry. There are a few different types of trim that may be installed at this phase: baseboard (which runs along the joint where the bottom of a wall meets the floor), door and window casing (which is installed around the perimeters of doors and windows) and crown molding (which is run along the joint where the top of a wall meets the ceiling). Trim is purely optional — some more contemporary designs forgo it entirely — but it is meant to create a finished, unified look.
  • Cabinetry. The installation of cabinetry is usually around the time when I see a little glimmer come back into a homeowner’s eyes. This is when the kitchen starts looking more like a kitchen, but it’s also when you can visualize how your other storage pieces, such as built-ins and bathroom cabinets, will change the function of your home.
  • Electrical and plumbing trim. This is the other big “wow” that comes with the finish-out phase. A master bathroom can start to look completed when tile and cabinetry is installed, but throw in a freestanding tub and a shower full of rain heads, handheld fixtures and a steam unit, and suddenly you’re not looking at a mostly done, unidentifiable space—you’re looking at your master bathroom. The same goes for electrical items like decorative light fixtures or appliances. Seeing new stainless steel (or whatever your preferred finish is) appliances being brought into and installed in your kitchen make most people go starry-eyed and drool a little. No judgment here—I’ve done the same.
  • HVAC trim. I mentioned in the last installment that most HVAC work is done during the rough-in stage, so what is left? Essentially, all that needs to be done is the installation of vent covers and thermostats and maybe a little tweaking of the air-conditioning system. Nothing too exciting, but it should be noted nonetheless.
  • Miscellaneous. Like I said, there is a lot that can be going on during the trim-out stage. Flooring—such as carpet, wood, tile or laminate—will be installed. (Flooring installers are known for insisting that they be the absolute last people to work on a house). Tile will go up in showers and as backsplashes. Countertops will go in. Priming and painting of walls, ceilings, trim and cabinetry will be completed. A little landscaping may even be done.

I’ve harped repeatedly about how communication is key, and this still rings true during the Renewal of Vows stage. But patience is also important.

As you see new things being carried in and installed, it can be so tempting to begin moving back into your new space or using your new kitchen. But your contractor may still need some time and space to work.

There are last-minute items that will ultimately guarantee your satisfaction that need to be taken care of before you and your family can begin enjoying your new remodel. So hang in there, and your patience will be rewarded.

 


 

Phase 4: Happily Ever After

 

During this Happily Ever After stage, finally, the work is done! At last, there are no more nail guns and saws and vacuums making noise in your house. After months of destruction and disarray, it’s time to move back in and enjoy your home, sweet home, for the rest of your days (or at least until you sell it or remodel again). And though most of this phase is just you at last having the chance to enjoy the fruit of your general contractor’s labor, there are a few odds and ends that your contractor will be taking care of to make sure your Happily Ever After really lasts forever:

  • Cleaning. This probably will happen before you move back into your home (or at least it should). Since day one of demolition, dust and debris have been thrown into the air and, much to your contractor’s chagrin, have crept into other places in the house that weren’t touched in the remodel. Now’s the time to do an all-inclusive clean. No, the cleaners won’t do your laundry for you, but they’ll do just about everything else, from polishing the floors to dusting the ceiling fans. The end-of-project clean is like a cleansing spa day for your home.
  • Final walk-through. The last walk-through ensures that you are completely satisfied with everything—and I mean everything—in your home. This is where you will have the chance to sit down and bring up all the odds and ends that you feel need to be addressed. This can be anything from “this faucet isn’t on straight” to “there’s a scratch on the new fridge” to “my shower isn’t draining correctly.” Contractors may vary on when they hold a final walk-through, but in my experience, it’s scheduled after the homeowners move back in and have a chance to use the new space. Your contractor should’ve caught just about everything during his or her own informal walk-throughs throughout the remodel, but sometimes there are items that just don’t come to the surface until a house is lived in.
  • Warranty begins. Most builders and remodelers have a warranty for their projects. The length and amount of coverage can vary, of course, but what remains constant is the promise to stand behind their work for any unforeseen circumstances that arise and need addressing. (Side note: If you’re looking at contractors right now, ask them about their warranty. This can be very telling of how they conduct their business. The more that contractors are willing to warrant their work—or the longer the warranty—the more effort they will put into getting the job done right the first time.) For some contractors, the warranty formally begins after the final walk-through is hosted and the last payment is received. After that, some will stand behind any light fixtures that fizzle, appliances that break, tiles that come loose—you name it. In an ideal world, everything would work right the first time, and it would work right forever. In our world, however, there are bad manufacturing batches and recalls and oversights that may need to be taken care of. Fear not. If you have selected the right remodeler, these issues will be handled.

What else is involved in the Happily Ever After? Absolutely nothing. Take a deep breath in, let it out, look around your new place and smile, knowing that it’s all yours, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do you part. You get the picture.

 


©2021 Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island. Adapted from an article series originally published on Windermere.com.

Living & Trends February 9, 2021

2021 Home Trends

Ready for a fresh start in 2021? With home still the place to be, refreshing your indoor and outdoor living spaces can make a big difference in your everyday life. The stresses and challenges of 2020 have influenced the trends of 2021 with a turn toward comfort, nostalgia and independent spaces to work and play…

 

#1: Dedicated Personal Spaces


Sick of working at your dining room table? Desperate for a peaceful spot to exercise? You’re not alone! That’s why home offices and other clearly delineated, private spaces have become more important than ever.
Even if you’re short on space, creative solutions such as turning your closet into a “cloffice” or installing folding room dividers can help you carve out space to study, Zoom or keep fit in peace.


 

#2: Plants & Indoor Gardens


While the houseplant trend predates the pandemic, quarantine has intensified its popularity as people yearn to bring the outdoors in. You can try out your green thumb—and improve your air quality—by using real plants as decor (try Bloomscape’s predicted winner, Ficus altissima). Just make sure you pick the right specimens for your level of natural light. Some folks are even installing special lighting for their own indoor herb or veggie gardens.

Looking for something low-maintenance? Convincing faux versions are widely available, offer more flexibility and still add a fresh look.


 

#3: Wood & Rattan Accents


Dovetailing off the houseplant trend, natural materials are one of the years biggest trends—from wood-grain kitchen cabinets and countertops to rattan furniture and lighting fixtures. Natural wood-grain shelving and paneling are also increasing in prominence.


 

#4: Nostalgic Furniture & Palettes


In the wake of 2020’s frightening new unknowns, people are seeking comfort with familiar throw-backs from simpler times. The funky mauve, emerald green and burnt orange of decades past are making a comeback along with paneled walls, ’80s curvy furniture and ’90s traditionalism. Retro art and accent pieces continue to be popular.


 

#5: Next-Level Outdoor Areas

As winter contributes to our year-long cabin fever, more households are dreaming of bigger and better outdoor spaces. Park-like playgrounds, zip lines and DIY climbing walls are making an appearance in backyards. Safer al fresco entertaining spaces are also in demand with outdoor kitchens, dining areas and fire pits all on the rise.


 

Need an easy refresh? Try adding throw pillows, blankets or artwork in hues from Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2021 color palette.

 


 

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 2021, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Real Estate January 12, 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!

 

↑ Back to top


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!

 

↑ Back to top


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!

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


 

 

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.

Community November 3, 2020

Give Back This Season

Local Charities That Would LOVE Your Help

 

In his poem, When Giving Is All We Have, Alberto Álvaro Ríos wrote,

“We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.”

With need especially keen this year during the pandemic, many of us are looking for ways to be “the helpers” for others. Below are some of our favorite Seattle-area organizations who are in need of time, resources, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving. Together we can make the holidays a little brighter for everyone!

 


 

YOUTH CARE: Homeless Youth Off the Streets Preparing for Life

Each night in King County, almost 1,100 unaccompanied youth and young adults experience homelessness on any given night, and around 70% of these youth sleep outside because of lack of shelter or housing. Why? A national study found that over 90% of homeless youth reported family conflict and 1/4 suffered from abuse and neglect before they reached the streets. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. Lend a hand by participating in the Survival Needs Drive, delivering a warm meal, donating cash or most needed items, hosting a virtual fundraiser, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.

http://youthcare.org/
(206) 694-4500
2500 NE 54th Street, Seattle

 


Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Washington. They partner with 375 food pantries, meal programs, and high-need schools across the state to provide nutritious food and promote good health for those in need. You can help by hosting a virtual food drive, making a cash donation, or volunteering (children age 9 and up can volunteer with you!).

http://www.northwestharvest.org/
1 (800) 722-6924
SODO Community Market Food Bank: 1915 4th Ave S, Seattle
Kent Warehouse: 22220 68th Ave S, Kent

 


http://www.marysplaceseattle.org/

Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. You can help by participating in their giving tree tag program now through December 11th. You can also volunteer your time, donate wishlist items, or share your used clothing, blankets, and coats.

http://www.marysplaceseattle.org
(206) 621-8474
Donation Center in SODO: 9 South Nevada St, Seattle
Mary’s Place at the Regrade: 720 Blanchard St, Seattle

 


 

Hopelink

Hopelink provides critical services to homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities on north and east King County. You can help by donating food or grocery gift cards to their food bank, or making a cash donation to support their “Lend a Hoping Hand” holiday giving campaign.

https://www.hopelink.org/
(425) 869-6000
8990 154th Ave NE, Redmond

 


 

Treehouse

 

Did you know less than 50% of Washington state youth in foster care graduate from high school? Treehouse seeks to level the playing field by providing academic and other essential support foster kids need to graduate at the same rate as their peers, with a plan for their future. You can help by hosting a holiday drive, purchasing items on their holiday wish list, volunteering, or donating.

https://www.treehouseforkids.org/
(206) 767-7000
2100 24th Avenue S./Suite 200

 


 

 

With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 120 local agencies to distribute 42,000 meals of quality, nutritional food per week and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight. With volunteering limited this year due to COVID, your cash contribution would be most appreciated.

https://www.emergencyfeeding.org/
(425) 277-0300
851 Houser Way N, Suite A, Renton

 


Eastside Baby Corner

 

Eastside Baby Corner was founded by a local pediatric nurse concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice who began life without basic essentials like adequate food, clothing, beds, or safety equipment. Today Eastside Baby Corner’s locations in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, car seats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by donating goods or cash, shopping off their wish list, volunteering or organizing a drive.

Eastside Baby Corner:
http://babycorner.org

(425) 865-0234
1510 NW Maple St, Issaquah

 


Toys for Tots

Last year, King County Toys for Tots donated 85,169 toys to 61,092 local children in need. Consider helping out this year by making a cash donation, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.

https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org
Coordinator: GySgt Edward Chapman, 760-405-3203

**2020 toy donation locations and times to be announced**

 


Food Lifeline

Every year, nearly 40% of our country’s food ends up in landfills, while millions go hungry. Food Lifeline attempts to solve both problems by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants. They then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington–providing the equivalent of 116,000 meals every day for hungry children, adults and seniors. You can help by volunteering (opportunities are available for kids as young as 6, too!), donating funds or hosting a food drive.

https://foodlifeline.org/
(206) 545-6600
815 S 96th St, Seattle

 


See the source image

Wellspring helps low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County address issues such as mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Each year they help thousands of children and families break cycles of instability, homelessness, and adversity to achieve positive, permanent change. You can help by donating to their Giving Together holiday campaign or getting your children involved in the Kids Helping Kids youth philanthropy program.

http://wellspringfs.org/
(206) 826-3050
1900 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle

 


 

Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation

 

Founded and run by a group of philanthropic women over 100 years ago, Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. You can help their patients by donating a new toy or gift card, volunteering, contributing funds, or supporting one of its guilds (such as the Project Kids Cancer Cure Guild).

http://www.seattlechildrens.org
(206) 987-2000
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

 


 

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

Real Estate October 20, 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!

 

↑ Back to top


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!

 

↑ Back to top


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!

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


 

 

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.

Real Estate September 1, 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.

Real Estate August 3, 2020

Interest rates make a BIG difference when you buy…

How Interest Rates Impact Your Buying Power

 

You probably know that interest rates affect your monthly mortgage payments, but most of us aren’t aware of just how big an impact they really have on a home loan. Each 1% change in interest rate equates to roughly a 10% change in buying power. This means you can qualify for a much more expensive home when rates are low, whereas higher rates mean you qualify for less home—even though you still pay the same monthly payment.

 

This first chart shows how much house you can buy for a set monthly payment. If you have $4,000 a month to budget for a house payment (before taxes and insurance), you could purchase a $949,000 house at today’s historically low 3% mortgage rate. If rates went up to 4%, the same monthly payment would only get you an $838,000 home. Your buying power diminishes considerably with each bump up in rates.

 

What you can afford based on the current interest rate..

 

Scrolling down, this second chart shows how interest rates impact monthly payments. If you’re purchasing a $950,000 house at today’s 3% interest rate, you’ll be paying $530 less every month than if you’d bought that same house when rates were 4%. That adds up quick…$6,360 in one year alone! This explains why so many renters are eagerly looking to buy right now, and why homeowners are refinancing at record rates.

 

Your monthly payment based on the current interest rate

 

Want to know how you can best take advantage of these historical low mortgage rates? Reach out to me for help evaluating whether it would make financial sense to refinance, buy, or sell while rates are low. I am always happy to be a resource!

 


 

 

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.

Real Estate July 15, 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!

 

↑ Back to top


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!

 

↑ Back to top


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 that 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!

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


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.

 

↑ Back to top


 

 

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.

Living & Trends June 8, 2020

Payback times for energy-efficient home upgrades

energy efficient, green, heat pump, LED, on-demand hot water, payback, PV, remodel, ROI, smart thermostat, solar panels, tankless water heater, upgrades

 

Thinking of going green? Today’s technology offers a whole host of ways to boost your home’s efficiency, reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills. Some upgrades can pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time, while others with large price tags might take decades to start paying back. The good news is that several studies have shown buyers are willing to pay a premium for green features—as much as 30% more for retrofitted green homes that become Energy Star or LEED-certified. This means that even if those fancy new features don’t pay you back right away in energy savings, you might still be able to recoup part of the cost when you sell your home. Below are the average payback times for some common items…just keep in mind that the actual payback time will depend on your initial costs and the amount of energy you typically use each month.

 

Solar Panels: 10 Years

 

According to EnergySage.com, the average cost for adding solar panels to your home in King County is about $13,850 for a typical 5kW system (a net cost of $10,249 after the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit for 2020). Based on the amount of energy they generate in our area, they usually pay for themselves in about 10.16 years. Furthermore, a study commissioned by the Department of Energy found that home buyers across multiple states and home types were willing to pay more for homes with solar panels (about $15,000 for homes with a 3.6kW system). This may help offset your costs should you need to sell your home before the payback period.


 

Tankless Hot Water: 12-20 Years

 

In addition to giving you endless hot water, tankless water heaters are also about 20% more energy efficient than traditional storage tanks and last about 10 years longer. However, their additional equipment and installation cost means it can take quite a while for your energy savings to cover that difference—12-20 years for electric models and 22.5-27.5 years for gas models. Their longer lifespan may ultimately help them pay off in the long run.


 

LED Bulbs: 5 Months

 

Looking for an easy investment with quick bang for your buck? LED bulbs may cost more, but the amount of electricity they save more than covers the cost. A 100W equivalent LED bulb costs about $6 to buy but uses only 13% the amount of energy of its incandescent counterpart. Used 4 hours a day, it also reduces CO2 emissions by a whopping 262.93 pounds per year. Depending on the number of bulbs you have and the frequency of their use, the dollar and carbon savings could really add up over time.


 

 

Our Seattle area’s temperate climate makes it a prime candidate for heat pump heating/cooling systems. Your actual savings and payback time will depend on the type of system you choose and the amount of energy you use. According to the US Department of Energy, an air source heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by about 50%, while the reduction range for a geothermal heat pump is anywhere from 30%-60%. If you’re also replacing an A/C unit, the savings will add up even faster. The average installed cost in 2020 is about $5,613 nationally but can vary quite a bit; it pays to do your research and make sure you’re choosing the right unit for your needs. Boosting your home’s overall efficiency first can also increase your savings by allowing you to choose a smaller, more affordable unit.


 

Smart Thermostat: 2 Years

 

A feature of most modern green homes, smart thermostats save energy by automatically turning off the heating and A/C when you leave and learning your schedule to comfortably boost efficiency. Nest estimates an average yearly energy savings of 10-15% or $131-$145 with its Learning Thermostat, which means it would pay back its $200-$250 price tag in under 2 years. The ecobee4 is pricier at $300-$400 but claims to save 23% on heating and cooling (or more if you use their free eco+ upgrade). With heating and cooling making up a large chunk of your household energy use, smart thermostats could potentially take a nice chunk out of your carbon footprint as well.

 


 

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