A strong local employment sector, very low mortgage interest rates, and the most balanced market we’ve seen in two decades each contributed to increased sales velocity in 2019.
While the number of homes for sale increased overall in 2019 as compared to 2018, the higher rate of sales throughout the year resulted in nearly a third fewer homes on the market at year-end in 2019 than at the end of 2018. The inventory of homes available to purchase in 2020 will be a dominating factor in the local real estate market in the coming year.
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Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront
There were 9.6% more Seattle home sales in 2019 (a total of 8,362), bringing Seattle back to its typical annual sales velocity following an off year in 2018. Seattle’s median sale price softened by 3.9% in 2019, with the Central Seattle region performing best (-1.6%) and the Ballard-Green Lake region down the most (-4.6%). In the north end of Seattle, Lake Forest Park-Kenmore and Richmond Beach-Shoreline showed the strongest five-year growth trend at 47.1% and 45.5% respectively.
In 2019, 53.9% of all Seattle homes sold at or above their listed price. The average number of days to sell jumped notably to 36 from 22 the year prior, indicating movement towards a more balanced market. The upper price segments of the market were far less competitive with just 10.4% of homes sold above one million dollars transacting at or above their list price.
The highest Seattle home sale was in Washington Park (Central Seattle) for $13,750,000 and the lowest was a Lake Union houseboat for $80,000.
Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.
On the Eastside, neighborhoods central to core employment hubs continue to see older, more affordable housing stock replaced with new and more expensive development. On the periphery, reasonably priced homes are highly competitive as homebuyers and investors alike scramble for homes that offer greater appreciation potential.
Development in East Bellevue, particularly surrounding the Spring District, is predicted to significantly drive prices upward in the coming years as employment centers expand and light rail service to Seattle begins.
In 2019, 49.7% of all homes, and 18.8% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.
Median sale prices in Eastside cities fared better than those in Seattle, with the overall Eastside median sale price down 1.0% from 2018. Kirkland performed best on the Eastside with a median sale price gain of 3.8% to $1,350,000. Looking at the five-year trend, Kirkland came in on top with a 67.1% increase in its median sale price over the past five years, followed by Juanita-Woodinville-Duvall at 48.0%, and East Bellevue at 44.5%.
Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!
Mercer Island, central to the Seattle-Eastside region, held the middle ground with prices softening slightly—not as much as in Seattle, but more than on the Eastside.
A total of 299 homes changed hands in 2019 according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $10,050,000 waterfront home on the North End. The lowest was a $685,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.
In 2019, 39.8% of all homes, and 12.7% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.
Well-priced homes in move-in ready condition, with good lighting and access, and with functional floor plans, command the most attention from market-savvy buyers hoping to make a good investment in the place they will call home.
The Seattle and Eastside condo markets could not be more different. Seattle has seen the number of available units increase significantly while the Eastside has suffered from a lack of inventory.
Seattle’s overall condo median sale price declined by 9.3% in 2019 to $458,500. The Ballard-Green Lake market was down the most (-16.4%) while Lake Forest Park-Kenmore was the only market not in the red (up 3.3%). In 2019, 45.9% of all Seattle condos, and 2.9% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.
On the Eastside, the median sale price was down 2.4% overall to $469,000. The communities south of I-90 did quite well with a 9.0% increase over 2018. Redmond fared worst with a 15.3% decline in its median sale price. In 2019, 49.3% of all Eastside condos, and 2.7% of condos 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.
The Eastside had 42 private waterfront home sales in 2019. Seattle had 41, Mercer Island had 20, and Lake Sammamish had 31 sales during the same period.
The highest Eastside—and regional—private waterfront sale of 2019 was on Hunts Point for $37,500,000. The highest 2019 sales in the surrounding areas include a Washington Park (Seattle) home at $13,750.000, a north end Mercer Island property at $10,050,000, and a $5,750,000 home on the west side of Lake Sammamish.
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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© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.