September 2016 Real Estate Market Update

October 10, 2016 | by Erin Sirianni

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The fall season is looking good on Mercer Island. The changing colors in our neighborhoods have me stopping in my tracks and taking pictures at every turn.

As the weather turns cooler and rainier, our market is beginning to change as well. Listings are beginning to slow before the holidays. In September, there were 33 new listings compared to 52 new listings in August.  However, the market continues absorb inventory at a steady rate.  There were 41 sold homes in September, just slightly down from 43 sold homes in the previous month.

Overall the September numbers show that Mercer Island continues to be a strong seller’s market, though we have a strong buyers’ market for homes priced over $2,000,000. That market makes up about two-thirds of our current inventory – about 55 homes, including 16 new construction homes and 20 waterfront homes.  With this surplus of inventory, buyers will often have more negotiating power when purchasing these homes.

Most of Mercer Island’s more affordable homes – even those requiring renovations – are still being snapped up by buyers, though we’re seeing fewer offer review dates, so buyers should consider acting fast if they love a new listing.

Mercer Island September 2016 Market Report

Fall colors in Parkwood - square

Fall colors in Parkwood

Overview of residential / condominium market:

  • 81 active listings (as of 10/9/16)
  • 33 new listings in September
  • 41 sold homes in September (September 2015: 26 sold homes)

Single-Family Residential Homes*

  • 24 new listings
  • 34 sold homes (August 2015: 21)
  • Average sales price:  $1,329,265
  • Median sales price:  $1,172,500
  • Lowest sales price:  $740,000
  • Highest sales price:  $2,550,000
  • Homes sold under $1 million: 7
  • Homes sold between $1 – 2 million:  24
  • Homes sold over $2 million:  3



Secret Garden entrance to a 1910 Victorian home, recently listed in East Seattle

Waterfront Homes on Mercer Island

  • 3 new listings (1 Westside; 2 Eastside)
  • 3 sold home (3 Eastside)
  • Lowest sales price: $3,140,000
  • Highest sales price: $5,800,000

Downtown Condos

  • 6 new listings
  • 3 sold listings
  • Lowest sales price:  $360,000
  • Highest sales price:  $423,000

Current Mercer Island Listings

Update on Mercer Island’s Residential Development Code Review

Earlier this week, I chatted with Alison VanGorp, Ombudsman and Administrative Services Manager with Mercer Island’s Development Services Group, about the City’s plans for review and revision to Mercer Island’s Residential Development Code.

The City is planning to move ahead with a revision to Mercer Island’s residential development code.  She said the revision is in response to growing community concerns that neighborhoods are changing on Mercer Island at a very fast pace.

However, unlike the City’s recent revision to the Town Center development code, this revision will take place without a development moratorium and a stakeholder group. The city has hired a new Planning Manager, Evan Maxim, to help facilitate the work with the Planning Commission, seeking input and discussion from the City Council, Mercer Island community members, as well as experts from the residential planning and building industry, to avoid unintended consequences from any revisions.

The Development Services group is also aiming to complete the review and revision in six to nine months, a much shorter time frame than the two years it took for the Town Center code revision.  However, similar to the Town Center revision process, the City is seeking a lot of public input, and is planning a Community Kick-Off Meeting on October 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center.

More details at:  The Mercer Island Reporter also recently published an article about the City’s timeline for the residential code review.

Notable Listings

Summerwell Homes has completed the model home in their 16-home community, in which three home sites are now reserved. A 1910 Victorian home and adjacent lot were listed (and are now pending) in Mercer Island’s East Seattle neighborhood.

What’s Ahead

We’re excited to share that we will have a new listing on Mercer Island this week.  Details coming soon!
The market will likely slow down around the holidays, but if you are thinking about buying and selling in early 2017, now is the time to start getting prepared.