Mercer Island’s struggle with lack of inventory for sale has dealt a crushing blow to sales—the number of homes sold were down 30% to a mere 45 in Q1. Two-thirds of those sales (29) were of homes priced above $1 million. Currently, Mercer Island currently has very few homes for sale below a million dollars—making it tough for the average home buyer to purchase on Mercer Island.
“Driven by strong buyer demand, the median sale price increased 11% over the first quarter of last year. Competing nearly on par with the frenzied real estate market of the hottest Seattle neighborhoods.”
The most affordable Mercer Island neighborhood in Q1 was surprisingly, First Hill, with an average 2110 sq. ft., 1956-built home selling for $829,000. Absent this quarter were any sales in the typically moderate Mercerdale-Lucas Hill neighborhoods. The highest-priced neighborhood the Eastside—again a jaw-dropper—driven by an unusually high-end waterfront sale.
That sale, a 2006 built, 5500 sq. ft. waterfront estate sited on a shy 1/3 acre at water’s edge—with 65 feet of east-facing waterfront and nearly every amenity imaginable—set a new bar on the East side of the Island, contending with a dominant West side when it comes to record high sale prices. The lowest-priced sale in Q1 was a vacant 1680 sq. ft. rambler on a spacious lot near the downtown core, built in 1957 and in need of a substantial amount of TLC.
The average cost per sq. ft. on the Island was $417 in the first quarter of 2015.
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Incredibly low inventory continues dominate the Seattle real estate scene with most home sellers benefiting from strong multiple-offer bidding wars—often with ten or more buyers in competition for the best homes.
“As happy as sellers are, the market has been brutal for buyers having to compete for every hot property that comes to market—often giving up valuable contingencies and safeguards just to get their foot in the door.”
The median sale price was up 12.7% over Q1 of last year with the same number of homes transacting as in the first quarter of this year as in the first quarter of last year—1475 to 1473 sales, if you’re counting.
The highest sale was a Vassos Demetriou designed 4110 sq. ft. Ballard home on Blue Ridge Drive with 180 degree views and sited on a rare ¾ acre lot. It was originally built in 1960 and exquisitely redone in 2004. The lowest sale was a 1941 Rainier Beach tear down sold at land value at $109,000.
The Ballard-Greenlake area had the most sales (319) in the first quarter, while Queen Anne-Magnolia boasted the largest homes at an average of 2298 sq. ft. The Madison Park-Capitol Hill neighborhoods weighed in with the highest average sale price at $787,861. Those looking for the most affordable home values would find them in the Lake Forest Park-Kenmore area with an average sale price of $434,357.
Interest rates fell in the first quarter to an average of 3.72% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
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The median residential sale price increased a modest 4.7% over last year’s first quarter across the Woodinville-Bellevue region that represents the Eastside.
“Price gain throughout this widespread market varied wildly, however, with homes closest to the core employment centers and those suffering most from lack of inventory for sale, garnering the biggest increases.”
Speaking of gains, the West Bellevue region led the pack with a median price jump of 47% over the first quarter of last year. Kirkland at 29% and South Bellevue at 20% followed suit. The outlying Juanita-Woodinville and Redmond-Carnation areas softened with median prices down a slight 1-3%.
At an average of $1.9 million, the priciest neighborhood on the Eastside continues to be West Bellevue, which is comprised of Hunts Point, Medina and the region of Bellevue lying West of I-405. The most affordable homes could be found in north King County in the Juanita-Woodinville area with an average sale price of $561,444.
Giving buyers a bit of a boost in buying power, interest rates fell to an average of 3.72% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the first quarter.
The highest sale in Q1 was a 5881 sq. ft., 2003 MacPherson-built Yarrow Point home on 100 ft. of private waterfront with unobstructed views of the lake and mountain/city skylines beyond at $6,145,000. The lowest sale was a tie between a flood-damaged 1926 Snoqualmie home on 1/5 acres, sold at land value, and a 1970-built bank-owned Skykomish cabin sans running water. Both properties transacted for $65,000, all cash.
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© Copyright 2015, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.