The biggest news on Mercer Island has been the near absence of available homes priced under one million dollars—yes, $1,000,000. Those few that come to market are often snatched up by home builders looking for future new home sites. Sadly, Mercer Island is becoming less and less affordable as time goes on. Fewer high-end sales have balanced the small number of lower-priced home sales, leaving the average sale price deceptively, well, average, when what has truly occurred is a run up of sales prices at price points below $1.3 million.
“The average sale price on the Island increased 12.9% in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year and the average cost per home square foot came in at 9.2% above that of last year.”
The most affordable Mercer Island neighborhood in Q3 was the Mercerdale-Lucas Hill area with an average 2403 sq. ft., 1961-built home selling for a median price of $907,000. The priciest neighborhoods were the Westside with a median sale price of $1,935,000 for a 4202 sq. ft., 1985 built home; and the Eastside with a median price of $1,617,500 for a 3868 sq. ft., 1975 built home.
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The Seattle-Metro market has continued to barrel along full speed ahead, leaving many eager home buyers in its wake. With homes selling for ridiculous amounts of money—well above asking prices—and successful buyers often waiving nearly every contingency and releasing their earnest money deposit to show their good faith, it’s no doubt this ride needs to slow to a much safer, and more sustainable, pace. But that won’t be enough unless we see more inventory available in the market. Anything short of that is analogous to taking a G3 coaster ride without a safety harness.
“The Seattle-Metro median sale price of single-family homes was up 11.6% over Q3 of last year with 2,408 homes transacting in the second quarter. The average list price to sale price ratio was 103% (or 3% above the listed price) throughout the metro area.”
The Madison Park-Capitol Hill area had the highest average cost per home sq. ft., $418, while the Lake Forest Park-Kenmore area was most affordable at $241 per sq. ft. See the full report for the average size, monthly cost, days on market, and median and average sale prices for each area.
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One can’t help but notice all of the cranes in the sky bringing new development to the Eastside. And with new buildings comes a growing need for residents seeking to live close to their work and recreation hubs. The Eastside’s transformation has been felt on nearly every level and is driving prices, and traffic, to all new highs. The combo package of road congestion and a bulging Eastside job epicenter will continue to bring more residents into the region that previously may have opted for a Seattle address.
“The median residential home sale price increased 11.1% over Q3 ‘14 across the Woodinville-Bellevue region that represents the Eastside. Price gains were not equal throughout this very diverse region however. Kirkland had the strongest year-over-year gain with a 17.6% increase in median sale price, followed by West Bellevue at 15.2%, and Mercer Island at 12.9%.”
With an average sale price of $1.8 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) followed by Mercer Island at $1.2 million. The most affordable homes on the Eastside are found in north King County in the Juanita-Woodinville area with an average sale price of $535,000.
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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.