Weekly Real Estate Activity Report for Seattle, Eastside and Mercer Island: 10/17/14

Originally posted on Weekly Property Report:

Lower interest rates this week have prompted a small flurry of buyer activity. If only we had more homes on the market to sell… The lack of great choice in available inventory has definitely been a challenge in 2014. More homes for sale on the Eastside has offered some relief in that region but Seattle and Mercer Island still struggle with record low inventory.

Greater Seattle

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Mercer Island

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Greater Eastside

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3rd Quarter 2014 Reports Released for Mercer Island, Seattle and the Eastside

Originally posted on Weekly Property Report:

Mercer Island

Mercer Island is challenged by the smallest number of homes on the market for sale in years. Lack of choice has prompted many buyers to sit on the fence and wait for more suitable choices.

As of the date of this report, only 14 homes were listed for sale below one million dollars—the lowest number in the nearly two decades we have been keeping track. The net result was 8% fewer sales in the third quarter than during the same quarter last year. More inventory will be essential to creating a balanced market.

In spite of the low inventory, buyers have been cautious of paying too much. The average sale price was up only a modest 2% year-over-year while the median sale price fell 9%. This reflects more sales in the lower price ranges than during the same time last year.

Condominiums have benefitted tremendously in the past…

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4th Annual Spooktacular Trick-or-Treating Event

Cat Carved in Jack-O'-Lantern

Halloween is fast approaching, so get those costumes ready and prepare yourself for the sugar rush! This year, Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce is holding their 4th annual trick-or-treating event for the little ones from 3-5 pm on October 31st. Last year, 68 businesses participated between the south and north ends of Mercer Island. Check their website this week for the updated list and map of businesses participating this year. Be sure to stop by Windermere MI, we love seeing everyone’s costumes! (and of course there will be candy galore)

Open Houses: Saturday, October 18th and Sunday, October 19th, 2014

YTN Night of the living dead 2014Ghouls and Goblins, are you getting ready for Halloween? If you are in search of some spooktacular fun for the weekend, start right here on Mercer Island. Youth Theatre Northwest will be staging their first performance of Night of the Living Dead this evening at Luther Burbank Park. The zombie hoard will shamble on stage at 8pm and 9:30pm each performance evening. The play is interactive and outdoors – dress for the weather and make sure you wear your running shoes! The zombies just might invite you to be a special guest at their dinner theatre…(this play is designed for those age 9+, tickets are $15 each)

Bastyr University is hosting their annual Halloween festivities starting this weekend. For those who are 8 and under, the fun begins with trick-or-treating in the campus garden from 5 to 6:45 p.m. (cost is $5 per child). Directly after is the Children’s Carnival from 5:30 to 9 p.m. For those aged 9+, Haunted Trails is open from 7 to 11 p.m. each Friday and Saturday night ($20 per person or $25 for FASTPASS). Haunted Trails will include:

  • Haunted Woods
  • Hades Labyrinth
  • Circus of Horrors
  • Cemetery Hill
  • Mummy’s Tomb
  • Mad Hatter’s shop with food and drinks

All proceeds will benefit Bastyr’s student study-abroad programs.

Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo is hosting their annual Zoo Boo event from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. It you attend Zoo Boo in costume, you will get $3 off admission! The Zoo Areas will be decorated for the season, the kids can participate in a variety of special events and watch Halloween-themed animal enrichment activities all weekend. In addition, kids can trick-or-treat their way around the zoo!

Sold By Windermere Spooky Halloween zombie hoards and haunted abodes have not frightened Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island brokers from hosting open houses this weekend! Several of our brokers are hosting opens here on the island, around Seattle and Bellevue. We’d love for you to stop by to say hello and preview the home. Check out the details below, by city.

Have a fun, boo-tiful weekend getting ready for Halloween!

Bellevue
$648,000 l 705044 l 10610 NE 9th Place #609 l Seamus Pelan l Saturday, October 18th, 1-4pm

$900,000 l 704177 l 10610 NE 9th Place #1607 l Julie Wilson l Saturday, October 18th, 1-4pm

Burien
$342,500 l 692412 l 16248 8th Ave SW l Molly Neary l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

Mercer Island

$980,000 l 708399 l 8612 SE 78th Ave SE l Cynthia Schoonmaker l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4 pm
$989,900 l 673580 l 3970 96th Ave SE l James Laurie l Saturday, October 18th, 1-4pm

$1,085,000 l 685279 l 6140 90th Ave SE l Kathryn Lerner l Saturday, October 18th, 1-4pm; Sunday, October 19th, 2:30-4:30pm

$1,195,000 l 681269 l 6270 W Mercer Wy l James Laurie l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

$1,499,999 l 681646 l 7710 Westwood Lane l Erin Ewing l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

$1,669,500 l 698380 l 8452 N Mercer Wy l Donovan Realty Group l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

Seattle
$342,000 l 707921 l 14340 22nd Ave NE l Jay Agoado l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

Shoreline
$374,500 l 702061 l 19920 Fremont Ave N l Andrew Jackson l Sunday, October 19th, 1-4pm

The Mercer Island open house is ready to print directly from this blog post! Click here to access the .pdf version. This week’s open houses include several one level living options, shared waterfront, lovely panoramic lake vista views and homes where you can embrace the waterfront lifestyle!

Open House List_Page_1

Mercer Island Farmer’s Market: 10/11

lilpumpkin-graphicsfairy007

Happy Homecoming weekend, Islanders! This weekend also marks the last farmer’s market of the regular season, so head down on Sunday to check it out before it’s gone until summer! There is one special harvest market on the 23rd of November before Thanksgiving, so mark your calendars!

This Sunday at the market the usual food trucks and vendors will be there, so stock up on fall veggies that are in season. Visit the MIFM website here for a list of vendors, events, recipes and more! Happy Fall everyone!

Dine Local Campaign On Mercer Island: October 2014

DineLocal.jpgOctober 2014 will feature the “Dine Local” Campaign here on Mercer Island. Due to the recent boil water advisory, local businesses took a financial hit from unplanned closures. You can help these businesses, an important part of the downtown core and Southend shopping community, that do so much to enhance the livability of the city of Mercer Island. The city suggested the following 5 ways you can help during the “Dine Local” Campaign:

1)Dine Out and Take a Friend
Our restaurants and food establishments need help now to recover from the Boil-Water Advisory losses they experienced.

2) Buy Gift Certificates
Buy early for the holidays or to use later. Cash flow will help businesses get back on their feet.

3) Tips Really Help
Please be generous to waitstaff: many were out of work too.

4) Try a New Restaurant and Write a Review
Enjoy your old favorite, but take this opportunity to discover a new restaurant, then write an online review to give an added boost.

5) Spread The Word – Organize a “Dine Out Day”
Dine out days organized by schools, service organizations, clubs, churches, work groups, etc., can keep much-needed foot traffic going to our Mercer Island restaurants.

Real Estate Professionals, you can also participate in the “Dine Local” campaign by utilizing island restaurants for your open houses and broker’s tour. You can bring platters from local restaurants for visitors to snack on, give away gift certificates and share information about your favorite island establishments with potential buyers.

The MI Weekly e-newsletter shared that if you save your receipt from a meal at a Mercer Island restaurant during the Dine Local Campaign, you can present it at the Mercer Island Thrift Shop for 25% off one entire purchase. Click here to read the details in MI Weekly.

Thank you for supporting Mercer Island businesses!

NWMLS October 2014 Press Release: Home Sales Stay Strong But Prices Approaching “Affordability Ceiling” …

MC900432680 The October 2014 Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) press release shared the strength of our local market as it moves forward briskly this fall. September’s numbers for pending sales and new listings were very closely matched, so the inventory supply did not grow. A balanced market contains approximately four-to-six months worth of inventory. King County currently has about 2.3 months of inventory, while Snohomish County is close to 2.8 months and Kitsap County there is about 4.1 months. For the local housing market overall, there is approximately 3.7 months of supply. It was noted that buyers in our housing market are incredibly savvy. Sellers are advised to price their homes to match current market conditions for the best outcome. Overpriced homes, and homes in disrepair or located in less desirable neighborhoods, are languishing as buyers move on to better priced, better maintained houses. The recent Microsoft and Boeing lay-offs, while noteworthy, have not made a huge impact in real estate in the Puget Sound area. The local economy is robust and projected to stay that way for quite some time. Luxury home sales made quite a splash in Greater Seattle in recent days, especially for homes prices $2 Million and above. A couple of contributing factors were mentioned: the number of high-paying, executive level professionals relocating here, plus international buyers, especially from China, have influenced the stiff competition in certain segments of the luxury home market. The outlook for 2015 is looking rosy, but interest rates will be something to watch as we near the New Year.

Below are excerpts of the October press release. To read the whole press release, please click here.

Pending sales of homes around Western Washington surged more than 13 percent in September compared to a year ago, and listing activity picked up slightly, fueling both broker optimism and words of advice for sellers.

Along with increases in the number of mutually accepted offers, the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows year-over-year gains in the number of closed sales (up 4.6 percent) and prices (up 2.5 percent). Inventory for its service area, which encompasses 21 counties in Western and Central Washington, declined slightly (just under 1.2 percent).

Northwest MLS members reported 8,875 pending sales during September to outpace the year-ago total of 7,839 pendings. The volume tapered off about 5 percent from the August figure of 9,342 mutually accepted offers. All but one of the 21 counties served by the MLS reported year-over-year increases.

The number of closed sales for September also rose, climbing from 6,711 a year ago to 7,020 for a 4.6 percent increase. Prices on those sales were up 2.5 percent.
The median price on last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $285,000, which compares to the year-ago figure of $278,000. Five counties reported double-digit increases (Grant, Jefferson, Kittitas, Lewis, and San Juan). King County prices jumped 9.1 percent from twelve months ago, rising from $384,925 to $420,000.

The median price for September’s single family home sales (excluding condos) rose more than 2.2 percent, increasing from $291,000 a year ago to $297,500. In King County, the surge was 9.5 percent.

OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, noted luxury home sales in the Greater Seattle area have been very strong, with agents reporting stiff competition in certain segments of the market, especially for homes over $2 million. “I attribute this to Seattle’s economic boom, which is attracting an increasing number of high-paying, executive level professionals and international interest,” he remarked. Despite keen interest in high-end homes, overpriced homes will not draw offers [and overpricing may affect market time and any offer the sellers might receive.]

Brokers added 8,878 new listings to inventory (359 more than a year ago), but offers were made on nearly the same number of homes (8,875), so supply remains tight in many areas. At month end, Northwest MLS members reported 25,717 active listings, slightly fewer than twelve months ago when inventory totaled 26,014 listings for a decline of nearly 1.2 percent.

Supply (months of inventory) remained below the four-to-six month level that many industry experts say reflects a balanced market. For the market overall, MLS figures show about 3.7 months of inventory. In King County, there is only about 2.3 months of inventory, and in Snohomish County it’s slightly more than 2.8 months.

Northwest MLS representatives also commented on the impact of international buyers, recent layoffs and new construction on housing activity— [buyers from China] are making “very significant purchases of prime properties,” with particular interest in homes east of Seattle. [It's expected that] the international connection between the Northwest and Far East will continue to grow… [it's believed the] widely reported increase in interest from Chinese buyers is partly the result of the Vancouver B.C. market being so expensive. Parents who are purchasing homes for the kids are another segment contributing to the uptick in sales. MLS officials seem unconcerned about recent layoffs announced by Microsoft, Boeing and other local employers. The 4th quarter is expected to end strong, in spite of recent lay-offs. [It was] noted [there are] reports of employers having difficulty filling several high-paying tech industry jobs. (In July, the CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association said about 5,000 computer science positions are currently unfilled in the state.)

[Sales are expected to remain strong as we enter the Fall, and market conditions are shaping up nicely for a brisk opening to 2015.]

NWMLS 4 county chart_10 6 2014

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.