May 2019 Real Estate Market Update

June 11, 2019 | by Erin Sirianni

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In our April monthly market update, we observed that there was an unusually low number of sales (only 16) for what should be a stronger month in real estate on Mercer Island. So we were encouraged to see more than double the number of sales in May, with 38 closed sales at the end of the month. Pending sales were also up with 50 homes under contract by the end of month, and May brought a selection of 63 new listings for buyers to consider as well. You can review the trends in our charts below, along with an overview the month’s market stats.

But the most important information we wanted to share this month is in regard to the new Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) rate, which will go into effect in January 2020 now that the Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law. It will implement a new tiered system that will give homeowners a tax cut on the first $500,000 of their home value, will keep the current tax rate on the next $1 million of value, and then will increase it sharply after $1.5 million.

 

While the vast majority (about 93%) of homeowners in King County will appreciate lower taxes when they sell a property starting in 2020, sellers of properties with values higher than $1.56 million will pay more, and possibly much more in the case of multi-million dollar home sales. Mercer Island’s median sale price in Q1 2019 was $1,530,750, indicating that approximately half of Mercer Island home sales will be taxed a higher rate when the rates go into effect.

You can read our complete overview of the 2020 REET rate changes on our Sirianni Group website, including an excise tax quick reference sheet detailing the rate increase amounts by price. If you have any questions about the new rates, please feel free to contact us.  

Mercer Island new listings, pending sales, homes for sale, and homes sold for the past 15 months (single-family homes – does not include condos)*


*Trendgraphix data may vary from other data provided in this monthly market update. For example, while a listing may appear to be a “new listing” to Trendgraphix, it may have been canceled and re-entered into the MLS as a strategy to repopulate IDX feeds. Additionally, town homes are occasionally listed as both a single-family home and as a condominium home. We filter for these types of “new” listings and duplicate listings.

 

Mercer Island absorption rate based on homes sold for the past 15 months (single-family homes)*


The absorption rate indicates how quickly homes are selling. It is calculated by taking the number of properties sold divided by the number of properties for sale (as a percentage). In a buyer’s market, the absorption rate is 16.67% or lower. In a balanced market, the absorption rate range is from 16.67% to 33.33%, and in a seller’s market, the absorption rate is 33.33% and above.

 

May 2019 Real Estate Market Stats

Single-Family Residential Market

  • 63 new listings
  • 50 pending properties
  • 38 sold properties
  • Median sale price:  $1,800,000
  • Average sale price:  $2,112,692
  • Lowest sale price:  $990,000
  • Highest sale price:  $7,900,000

Mercer Island Condo Market

  • 10 new listings
  • 4 pending properties
  • 4 sold properties
  • Lowest sale price: $392,000
  • Highest sale price:  $1,299,000

Mercer Island Single-Family Home Sales – May 2019

Here’s our monthly report with data for all single-family home sales on Mercer Island. If you’re curious about a recent sale in your neighborhood, you can learn the details with a quick glance at the report below or by clicking on the map for sale details.