October 2017 Real Estate Market Update

November 12, 2017 | by Erin Sirianni

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Here we are, already approaching the holidays and the beginning of a new year. Fall often marks another busy real estate season, and October was no exception. We saw a swell of new listings last month that brought inventory to its highest level in a year with 72 single-family homes available for sale at the end of the month. Many of those listings are swiftly going under contract as today we’re down to 54 active listings.

Regionally, home prices continue to climb, and in Seattle, the median price of a single-family home increased by 17.6% compared to a year ago, according to the latest report from The Seattle Times.

The Times also reported a record median home price for West Bellevue of $2.6 million (making Mercer Island seem like a bargain!), along with slightly more tempered regional analysis:

While West Bellevue was on fire last month, the Eastside as a whole cooled a bit, with prices across the region up 10 percent — which was actually the slowest in two years.

On Mercer Island, the median price of homes sold in October was $1,385,000, up 9% from one year prior. While the seasonal slowdown is evident as fewer homes are being listed, active buyers are still facing tough competition on the most desirable properties that come available. As just one example, an East Mercer view home listed in October brought 8 offers and sold to a cash buyer at more than 25% over list price.

Creative measures are key in this market, and we helped clients get under contract on an off-market Mercer Island home last month. This is the second transaction we’ve coordinated this year with a homeowner seeking to sell their home “for sale by owner.” (If you’re open to an off-market sale of your home, we may have another great buyer for you.)

Along with two closings in October, we are helping our clients successfully navigate this fast-paced market, and if we can help you (or anyone you know), please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

An Overview of Mercer Island’s Single-Family Residential Market

In October, there were 38 new listings on Mercer Island, including one east-side waterfront home.  The number of listings marks a significant increase over the number of new listings in September, when there were only 29. Listings are also up over 25% year-over-year. By comparison, there were only 27 new listings in October 2016.

The number of sales was exactly the same month-over-month. Both October and September marked 23 sales. Sales decreased year-over-year, as there were 27 sales in October 2016.

A quick note about median and average sale price – The Mercer Island monthly sales data set is small, and we provide the median and average sale prices from one year ago as an interesting comparison. However, waterfront or luxury sales can skew the average and median monthly sale prices to the high side. To get a more accurate sense of appreciation on Mercer Island, we suggest that you look at quarterly and annual Mercer Island market reports.

A Snapshot of the Current Inventory

As of today, Mercer Island has 54 active listings available, and inventory will likely continue to dip through November and December as new listings slow, and buyers remain active. (As a side note, buyers who purchase in November and December tend to get the best deals.)

Inventory continues to be low in entry and mid-level prices, marking a strong sellers’ market in these segments. Buyers may find a more balanced market with more room to negotiate on homes priced between $1.75 million and $2.5 million.  With 50% of inventory priced above $2 million, the luxury segment is a buyers’ market, often with more negotiating room and time for strategy and decision-making as these homes tend to sell more slowly.

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, townhomes 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.

October 2017 Real Estate Market Stats

Single-Family Residential Market (All)

  • 38 new listings
  • 23 sold homes
  • Average price:  $1,676,633
  • Median price:  $1,385,000
  • Lowest price:  $750,000
  • Highest price:  $4,675,000

Non-Waterfront Homes

  • 37 new listings
  • 23 sold homes

Waterfront Homes

  • 1 new listings (Eastside)
  • 0 sold homes

Mercer Island Condo Market

  • 4 new listings
  • 7 sold listings
  • Lowest price: $430,000
  • Highest price: $1,295,000

Mercer Island “Nosy Neighbor Report” – October 2017

Here’s our new monthly “nosy neighbor” report with data for all single-family home sales on Mercer Island (not including unlisted sales). If you’re curious about a recent sale in your neighborhood, you can learn the details with a quick glance at this report:

Click image above to open full-size PDF.

Current Mercer Island Listings

By Home Type / Location

  • Mercer Island Condos
  • Single-Family Residential Homes (All)
  • New Construction Homes
  • Waterfront Homes
  • Search by Neighborhood

By Price

  • $1 million or less
  • $1 million to $1.5 million
  • $1.5 million to $2 million
  • $2 million to $2.5 million
  • $2.5 million to $3 million
  • $3 million to $4 million
  • $4 million to $5 million
  • $5 million or more

If you are in need of real estate services, we would love to help. Get in touch today. Check out all of our recent sales here, visit our Listings Portfolio here, and read our testimonials here.

Charlie Sirianni, JD, ABR
Managing Broker
Windermere Mercer Island
Call: 206-992-6151
Email: [email protected]

Erin Sirianni
My MI Founder & Editor / Residential Broker
Windermere Mercer Island
Call: 206-992-5272
Email: [email protected]