Market Monday’s: Mercer Island

Aerial view of Mercer Island, the large island surrounded by Lake Washington. The smaller forested peninsula jutting into the lake from the Seattle mainland is Seward Park.

Mercer Island, with a population of about 23,000 people is a beautiful island city located on the southern tip of Lake Washington with Seattle located to its west and Bellevue to the east.

Who (which demographic) lives on Mercer Island?

“Urban Power Families” – High-income couples with children.Six-figure salaried couples with children who live an upscale life in a metro center. Highly educated professionals working in finance, medical, and high-tech fields.

“Corporate Climbers” – High-income, high-expense urban singles.Urban singles with an up-and-coming income, but with higher-than-average living costs. Most have college educations and are employed in mid-management professions.

“Suburban Retirees” – Seniors over 65 who live in the suburbs.These seniors are living out their retirement years in suburbia. Most own their homes, and some have college degrees.

“Suburban Elite” – Suburban super-rich couples with children.Middle-aged married couples with a luxurious lifestyle in the suburbs. More than 15% have a family income of $200,000 or more. The majority have a college or graduate school degree, and most own their homes.

“Multi-lingual Urbanites” – Urban dwellers who speak more than one language.Some have a high school or college education, and they work in a variety of occupations. Moderate to upper-scale earning potential.

Mercer Island has 71 active listings as of October 20, 2014 ranging from $250,000- $26.8 million! The median listing price is $2.1 million.  In the last 90 days, 87 residential homes and condos have been sold between $169,000-$7.5 million with a median sale price of $995,000.  Currently, Mercer Island has 2.4 months supply of inventory based on sold homes in the last 90 days.  However, only 15 homes were listed below one million dollars, the lowest number in nearly TWO DECADES! More inventory will be essential to creating a balanced market.

Buyers are also cautious of paying too much, the average sale price was up a modest 2% year-over-year while median sale price fell almost 9%.  This reflects more sales in the lower price range than during the same time last year.  The condo market, however, has seen a 47% increase in sale price when compared to 3rd quarter of 2013.  Perhaps we are seeing more “Corporate Climbers” moving into the area, seeing that the commute to Seattle and Bellevue are a breeze.

The graph above demonstrates the number of homes for sale/sold and pending monthly over the past year.

Months of inventory is down slightly for the month of October, however, like I mentioned earlier, many of the homes currently on the market are well above the $1 million mark and have been sitting on the market for significantly longer than the lower priced homes or condos.  Mercer Island is a beautiful place to live and no doubt a desirable location which consequently results in a smaller pool of buyers with the financial ability and lifestyle preferences Mercer Island provides!

Market Monday’s: Kirkland Single Family Homes

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Happy Monday! Fall has definitely made its way here, leaves are dropping, rain is sprinkling and the housing market? Well, it’s still trucking right along here in Kirkland. The photo above is from our Sunday night run out Carillon Point in Kirkland, fall here can be quite lovely! The change in seasons typically brings a slight drop in real estate activity, this year however, is proving to be different.  As we adjust to the “new normal” as far as the real estate market goes, if there is one, foreign investors are still driving the market and the economy as well as job growth continues to grow at a healthy pace.

As of September 29th, 2014 there are 160 single family homes for sale in Kirkland, Washington.  The range of list price for these homes range from $265K-$2.2 Million with a median list price of $940K.  When we take a look at the 216 homes that have been sold in the last 90 days, the sale price ranges from $307K-7.5 Million with a median sale price of $750K.  An interesting aspect of this data is that the median “days on market” for the active listings is 80 days, while the median “days on market” for the sold and pending properties is only 17 days.  Why such a big difference? Well, first of all, some of these homes could have been taken off the market and relisted with the intention of creating buzz around the homes again…similar to a grand reopening, a way to invite the backlog of buyers to explore again.  However, what is more likely is that many of the homes that have been on the market for longer are either not priced correctly OR have passed the “sweet spot” for buyer interest.  Currently, Kirkland is at 2.2 months supply of inventory, which is still significantly below what we would call a normal or “healthy” supply, so when I talk about homes sitting on the market, it’s really not long at all when looking at the bigger picture.

We are beginning to see some price drops happening across the board, which I will be talking about in a post later this week.  I will also be talking about how you can add value to your home with simple exterior and interior projects if you are thinking about selling your home, so stay tuned!

Kirkland is still seeing an almost 100% list/sale price, demonstrating the demand for the area.

August 2014 saw 2.3 months of inventory and we are hovering around 2.2 for the month of September as well.  A normal supply is 6 months, we are still operating in a sellers market or an under supply.