YEAR END 2016 REVIEWS:
WATERFRONT ANNUAL REPORT:
Click to view the year end waterfront report for Mercer Island, Seattle and the Greater Eastside. Published January 2017
CONDO ANNUAL REPORT:
Click to view the year end condo report for Mercer Island, Seattle and the Greater Eastside. Published January 2017
Mercer Island’s real estate market was greatly compromised by a severe shortage of moderately affordable homes for sale. 230 of the 289 homes sold in 2016 were priced above $1,000,000—and 56 of those were priced above $2,000,000. Inventory tightened as the year progressed and the Island ended the second half with only a handful of homes for sale that were below the $2 million mark. The few homes priced below the $1 million price point were snatched up at aggressive prices while many homes in higher price segments sat out the dance on the sidelines.
The median sale price of single-family homes on the Island increased by 10.0% in 2016. The average cost per square foot kept pace evenly, increasing 10.1% to $497. Many buyers looking to own on Mercer Island in affordable price ranges have turned to the very modest supply of condominiums for sale—with most condos having sold in mere days at an average of 2% above their listing price.
It is unsettling to see so few moderately affordable homes for sale on the Island and the dynamics of the market may change the Island community. We expect to see a continued strong seller’s market in 2017.
The Seattle real estate market saw the median sale price of single-family homes increase by 12.7% in 2016. The average cost per square foot of Seattle homes increased 13.4% to $353. Five years into a strong seller’s market, with demand unabated, it appears we will see much of the same in 2017.
There were 8,766 Seattle homes sold in 2016. Of those sales, 2,527 sold below $500,000 and 1,078 had a sale price above $1,000,000. The median home sale price in Seattle was $620,000. After beginning the year very low, interest rates rose briskly to 4.25% in the last weeks of 2016. The annual average for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.65% in 2016.
The median sale price of single-family homes on the Eastside increased by 13.7% in 2016. Lagging, the average cost per square foot increased 10.4% to $332. Five years into a strong seller’s market, with the expanding Bellevue skyline and the wealth of jobs that come with it, we expect to see much of the same in 2017.
There were 8,220 Eastside homes sold in 2016. Of those sales, 1,137 sold below $500,000 and 2,054 had a sale price above $1,000,000. The median home sale price on the Eastside was $753,500.
Seattle-Eastside waterfront velocity slowed slightly in 2016—likely an extension of the oversupply of inventory that has plagued the $2,000,000 and above market. Highly desirable properties have continued to transact at handsome prices. But, those that require significant imagination, time and expense or present fundamental challenges (topography, access, exposure, quality of waterfront, etc.) have languished on the market for months.
Evolving from years past, more waterfront buyers today are attracted to not only homes with the right location and logistics, but those that are in exquisite turn-key condition. To be sure, there is still a tear down/rebuild-renovate market, but with the uncertainties of far-reaching waterfront codes and regulatory restrictions and an emerging ‘have it now’ mindset, we are seeing greater demand from buyers who want waterfront homes ready to move in to and now.
The highest waterfront sale in the region, at $9,751,880, was a Westside Mercer Island 9,750 square-foot contemporary just south of the I-90 bridge on 250 feet of level waterfront. Nearly tied with that sale was a 9,762 square-foot Laurelhurst traditional on 180 feet of level waterfront.
This report contains information on condo sales by neighborhood for the entire Seattle-Eastside region. The data includes average sale prices; typical size, bedroom count and age of condo buildings in each area; the number of units sold annually; and the average cost per square foot. While every condo building is unique unto itself, looking at overall prices within a region can show general growth trends.
Seattle area condos saw the annual median sale price increase by 13.3% over 2015, while Eastside condos rose 16.0%. Both regions experienced stronger appreciation in condos than in single-family homes—an early indicator that affordability is becoming a factor for local home buyers and evidence that millennials have entered the market in force. Downtown Seattle-Belltown had the most sales volume in the Greater Seattle-Eastside region with 933 units sold in 2016. An extreme shortage of condos available indicates 2017 will remain a strong seller’s market for Seattle-Eastside region condos.
Looking for a newer condo? You’re most likely to find one in Downtown Seattle-Belltown or East Lake Sammamish. Want the largest 2-bedroom condo you can find? With an average of 1,420 square feet, West Bellevue would be your best bet. The most affordable condos, with 2 bedroom units selling for around $250,000, can be found in the Lake Forest Park-Kenmore and Richland-Shoreline neighborhoods. At the other end of the spectrum, Downtown Seattle-Belltown condos sell, on average, for more than 4 times that amount with an average sale price in 2016 of $1,053,000.
© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.