Q1 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q1 Market Snapshot: Seattle & The Eastside

 

As we are fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that the Q1 stats you see are based on pre-coronavirus closed sales activity and therefore largely untouched by our current market reality.

 

While Q1 serves as a pre-coronavirus benchmark, Q2 and Q3 will more accurately show the impacts of the (necessary) stay home order and resulting economic fallout. Our region stands to rebound more quickly than many US markets due to its pre-coronavirus strength.

 

Q1 saw a continued inventory shortage, although many homes were just queuing up to come on the market prior to the outbreak. Mortgage interest rates hit new lows in March (down about 1% from a year ago) bringing the typical monthly payment down significantly. For reference, a 1% change in interest rate equates to about a 10% change in buying power (i.e. an $800,000 home at 3.4% costs about the same per month as a $720,000 home at 4.4% interest).

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

There were 11.2% more Seattle home sales in Q1 2020 (1,632) compared to Q1 2019 (1,468). Seattle’s median sale price increased by an average of 3.4% in 2019 to $750,000. Lake Forest Park (+8.0%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+7.0%) were the area’s top performers. The Central Seattle was down 6.9% over Q1 2019, much of which can be attributed to fewer luxury market sales and a higher percentage of smaller homes transacting during that period.

 

In Q1, 68.0% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 13.7% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 41 from 50 in Q1 of the year prior.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 1930-built Lake Forest Park waterfront home for $5,000,000 and the lowest was a 1955-built 2-bedroom Skyway home for $215,000.

 

Seattle Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

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EASTSIDE

In Q1, 64.6% of Eastside homes, and 28.6% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The Eastside median sale price was $989,500 in Q1, up 6.8% over Q1 2019. South Eastside (+18.1%) and Kirkland (+14.1%) performed best, while Woodinville saw a 2.5% decrease in its median sale price. The highest sale was an $11.5 million Medina waterfront home and the lowest sale was a 1960’s Lake Margaret area cottage.

 

Eastside Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island has seen a record shortage of homes on the market in Q1 with the lack of homes for sale dominating conversations between buyers and their brokers. There were 56 home sales in the first quarter, with only 6 homes sold below $1 million and 19 with sale prices above $2 million.

 

In Q1, 48.2% of all homes, and 12.5% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.8 million waterfront home on the north-eastern tip of the Island. The lowest was a $815,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Seattle’s condo median sale price was the same in Q1 2020 as in Q 1 2019 ($460,000) with 605 units transacting. The North Seattle (+28.3%) and Richmond Beach-Shoreline (+18.4%) outperformed the region while West Seattle condos were down 5.0% over Q1 of the prior year. In Q1, 53.7% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 3.1% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 6.5% to $490,000. Woodinville (+21.4%) and Redmond (+17.2%) condos outpaced those in surrounding cities while East Bellevue condos sold for 23.2% less than in Q1 2019. There were 528 units sold on the Eastside this quarter.

 

In Q1, 67.4% of all Eastside condos, and 4.2% of those 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.

 

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WATERFRONT

The pace of waterfront transactions has been slowing over the past few quarters, driven in large part by fewer international buyers in the market. Even so, Q1 was markedly off for waterfront sales. The Eastside had 3 private waterfront home sales. Seattle had 8, Mercer Island had 2, and Lake Sammamish had no sales in the first three months on 2020.

 

The highest private waterfront sale in Q1 was on Lake Washington in Medina at $11.5 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a $1.5 million Beach Drive West Seattle home with 22 feet of waterfront on Puget Sound. Note this report includes privately-owned, rather than shared, waterfront transactions only.

 

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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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on April 14, 2020 at 1:28 pm
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Economic Insights from Matthew Gardner

How will the coronavirus impact the housing market?

 

As we all hunker down through these challenging times, it is comforting to remember that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

A voice of calm and reason in this time of uncertainty has been our Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. While he is expecting an economic slowdown accompanied by a temporary 15-20% reduction in the number of homes sold, he believes the housing market will bounce back once we find our new normal.

Click here to watch his latest videos, or scroll down for some key takeaways…

 

 


 

The US economy will contract sharply but should perk up by Q4.

We’re in for a rough few quarters as the economy enters a recession. Just how rough—and how long—is still under debate. What economists do agree on is that the 4th quarter is looking remarkably positive…assuming we get through the COVID-19 crisis and the economy can resume somewhat normal activity before the fall.

 

 


Housing prices will likely remain stable.

Seattle home prices should remain steady—or even rise slowly as we come out of the recession—for a few reasons:

  1. DIVERSE INDUSTRIES IN OUR AREA which allow us to better weather the economic storm.
  2. SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING as one third of local home owners have 50% or greater equity in their homes.
  3. STRONG DEMAND with more buyers than homes available, as well as rock-bottom interest rates.

 

 


This will be different than 2008…

We’re experiencing a health crisis, not a housing crisis.

  1. WE’LL SEE A PAUSE, NOT A COLLAPSE. Unlike last time, the housing market was strong going into this crisis and should rebound quickly. Why? Because this recession will be due to specific external factors rather than any fundamental problem with the housing market.
  2. FORECLOSURES WILL BE FEWER with most lenders offering relief to homeowners in distress due to temporary employment issues. Unlike 2008’s mortgage crisis caused by lax lending standards and low down payments, today’s home owners are better qualified and have more equity in their homes.

 

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island


Posted on April 7, 2020 at 4:24 pm
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Should I Move or Remodel?

Remodel or Move?

 

There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Cost vs. value is a big consideration—check out the chart below or click here to view Remodeling Magazine’s full 2019 Cost vs. Value Report showing the cost and resale value of 21 projects in the Seattle area.

 

Cost vs. Value Chart for Common Remodeling Projects

 

Here are some things to consider when making your decision…

FIVE REASONS TO MOVE:

1. Your current location just isn’t working.

Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.

2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.

Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.

3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.

If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.

4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.

This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.

5. You don’t like remodeling.

Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of loosing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, countertop, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.

FIVE REASONS TO REMODEL:

1. You love your neighborhood.

You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.

2. You like your current home’s floor plan.

The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.

3. You’ve got a great yard.

Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.

4. You can get exactly the home you want.

Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.

5. It may make better financial sense.

In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Text originally posted on Windermere.com. Remodeling data © 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.


Posted on February 7, 2019 at 5:01 pm
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