Q3 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

As Q3 comes to a close, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at their highest levels since April 2011—now averaging just above 4.7%. Even so, they are still far lower than their 30-year trendline. A 1% increase in mortgage interest rates decreases buying power by 10%. Or said differently, a 1% rate increase has the same net effect on monthly payment as a 10% increase in the sale price. That also means if prices fell 10% but rates went up 1% your payment would remain the same. This is a far bigger factor than most people consider.

 

Both first-time and move-up home buyers, with (finally!) more homes for sale to choose from and motivated by anticipated further rate hikes nipping at their heels, will feel the urgency to get moved and settled while they can still afford to do so.

 

Our market is likely to increasingly favor buyers as interest rates cause mortgage payments to increase uncomfortably beyond the affordability ceiling governed by personal income and wages. Properly-priced turn-key homes, and those in the most desirable settings, are still commanding very attractive prices and occasionally multiple offers. Everything else is seeing slowing appreciation and market softening. Strategic positioning, savvy marketing, and expert negotiation have never been so important as they are now.

 

Q3 Market Averages for Seattle

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle neighborhoods that were strongly bolstered by new construction and renovation saw the strongest sales activity, and not surprisingly, the greatest correlated price growth. Up 16.4% Q3 over Q3, the Queen Anne/Magnolia area led the charge, followed closely by Madison Park/Capitol Hill at 15.9%. Lake Forest Park/Kenmore at 13.2% and West Seattle at 12.5% also fared very well. Richmond Beach/Shoreline (6.2%), Ballard/Green Lake (4%), North Seattle (3.4%), and South Seattle (0.7%) saw notable price easing and contributed to rounding Seattle out to a modest 6.3% overall Q3 2017 to Q3 2018 median price increase.

Seattle Chart

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

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Sharp increases in the number of homes for sale coupled with fewer international buyer transactions has caused a few ripples in the Eastside real estate market.

Mercer Island shows the strongest Q3 over Q3 increase in median sale price (see explanation below) at 19.7%, followed by Woodinville at 12.3% and Redmond at 12.2%. Bringing up the mid-section was West Bellevue at 8.0%, East of Lake Sammamish at 7.8%. Lagging the Eastside median increase of 7.3% were Kirkland (6.9%), South Eastside (2.0%), and East Bellevue (1.8%).

Eastside Chart

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

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

The Q3 median sale price was 19.7% higher than that of Q3 2017. However, its crucial to note that Q3 of 2017 was an anomaly with many land-value sales transacting at the low end of the price spectrum. The effect was that the median sale price was 10.2% lower than Q1 of that same year. Far fewer moderately priced homes transacted in Q3 of this year.

There were 89 sales in Q3 2017 and of those sales 45 were of homes priced below $1.5 million. Compare that to Q3 of 2018 with 74 sales, of which only 28 were priced below $1.5 million. The differential of sales between the two years was almost entirely composed of entry-level and land value home sales.

To further prove this, we looked at comparable homes sold this year and last (an approach like that of the Case-Schiller index). All things being roughly equal, the median sale price of that subset of homes increased only 9.0% from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018. This number is far more in alignment with what we have truly experienced in our market.

Mercer Island Chart

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

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Significant new construction projects underway or announced have dampened sales of existing condos somewhat, especially where they will directly compete with the new buildings. Neighborhood safety is being weighted more carefully against urban hip now more than ever. In Seattle, median sale prices of existing condos in Downtown Seattle/Belltown (-0.4%), Queen Anne/Magnolia (-4.8%), and North Seattle (-8.0%) have all decreased while surrounding areas have seen very strong to moderate Q3-Q3 increases. This quarter’s top contenders were Richmond Beach-Shoreline (30.3%), Ballard-Green Lake (26%), and West Seattle (25%).

On the Eastside, all areas except South Bellevue (-9.3%) saw considerable increases in the Q3 median sale price. East Bellevue (37.1%), Redmond (19.1%), and Kirkland (17.6%) topped the charts.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

The Eastside has been a hotbed of waterfront closed sale activity with as many Q3 sales as Seattle, Mercer Island, and Lake Sammamish combined. The number of active private waterfront listings for sale on the Eastside is down compared to Q3 of both 2015 and 2016, while the listing levels of Seattle, Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish waterfront properties remain about the same.

With only two closed sales in Q3, Months of Inventory—the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes that sold—climbed dramatically on Mercer Island. Seattle, with four closed waterfront sales, saw a similar but more moderate increase. The Eastside and Lake Sammamish both experienced improvement in the Months of Inventory indicator.

The highest private waterfront Q3 sale was of a newer 6,570 square foot Hunts Point modern estate designed by Baylis Architects with 80 feet of no-bank waterfront on just over an acre of lush, private grounds for $18 million. The lowest sale was a 1,010 square feet westside Lake Sammamish 1958 beach house with 60 feet of waterfront on a shy ¼ acre lot with permitted approval for a new 5000 square foot home.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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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 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on October 9, 2018 at 4:22 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Football Schedules, Recipes, Tips & More…

 

Are you ready for some football? Scroll down for printable schedules, game-day recipes and awesome tailgating hacks…

 


 


 

Hosting friends for game day? We’ve got you covered with everything from easy snacks to bonafide Seattle-born favorites…

1. Easy Chicken Taquitos

So quick and delectable, you can skip the freezer aisle and go fresh instead! Click here for the recipe.

Easy Chicken Taquitos by footballgrl16

Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

2. Seahawks Popcorn

Just the right mix of sweet and salty, this perfect treat is also a breeze to make. Click here to learn how.

Seattle Seahawks Popcorn for those Seattle Seahawks fans in your life. Sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious and it is extremely easy to make. This delicious popcorn will be perfect at your next game day football party. a NFL playoff party or a Super Bowl party. Follow us for more fun Super Bowl Food Ideas.

Photo courtesy of twosisterscrafting.com

3. Just Good Chili

Coffee and cocoa powder? This is chili done Seattle-style, baby! Here’s the skinny.

Just Good Chili

Photo courtesy of thewednesdaychef.com

4. Seattle Dogs

A carry-over from the 1990s grunge era, cream cheese and sauteed onions define these wholly Seattle creations. Here’s how to make your own at home.

The Seattle Dog

5. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Need we say more? Click here and let the magic begin.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

6. Ivar’s Clam Chowder

A Seattle legend and oh so good for those rainy day games. Dive in!

Ivar's Clam Chowder

Image courtesy of geniuskitchen.com

7. Hawk Shots

Fun, festive and easier then they look. This is how you do it.

8. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Root beer is the secret to this culinary gem. Yummy in a sandwich, or eat it right out of the crock pot all by itself…we won’t tell. Here is the scoop on how to make it.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

9. Avocado and Black Bean Dip

Surprisingly simple and delicious, this dip is also healthier than most. Grab some chips and check out the recipe.

Avocado and Black Bean Dip

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

10. The Paseo Cuban Sandwich

For Seattleites who know the joy of Paseo sandwiches–or anyone who just loves good food–this recipe is well worth the extra effort.

The Paseo Cuban Sandwich

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

11. Crab Rangoon

For those looking to go the extra mile, these tasty appetizers will be the talk of your party. Find the full rundown here.

Chef John's Crab Rangoon

Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

12. The 12th Man Margarita

The quintessential Seahawks cocktail created by Elliott’s Oyster House. Now you can mix it at home and impress your friends.

The 12th Man Margarita

Photo courtesy of lakeunionsearay.com

 

Bonus: Color Formulas for Team-Colored Frosting!

Team Colored Frosting Formulas


 

Click Here for Our 12 Favorite Tailgating Hacks

 

 


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 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.


Posted on August 7, 2018 at 11:55 am
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Q2 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q2 Market Snapshot

 

Signs of transition to a more balanced market are becoming abundantly clear as we move further into 2018. Price growth, while still climbing in most areas, has tapered off and average market times are inching up. Brokers are beginning to dust off forms that have seen little use of late—finance and inspection contingencies—as buyers gain a stronger foothold at the negotiating table.

 

Some homes are still garnering multiple offers and commanding incredible prices and terms, but many more are seeing negotiations more equalized with fewer buyers at the table. Seattle has needed this return to balance for a very long time. It is likely that buyers who were beaten down and bruised over the past couple of years will return to the house hunt, but it will likely be on their own terms. Waiving all contingencies, releasing a substantial earnest money to the seller up front, and giving the seller a period of free possession after closing will be reserved for only the most coveted homes.

 

On the other hand, being able to conduct thorough due diligence on a prospective home over a comfortable period after offer acceptance is a buyer right that is returning to the picture. It has been a long time since that was even possible in the hottest neighborhoods. So long, it seems almost foreign. Yet that equalization of power is long overdue and needed to stabilize our market.

 

Overall median Q2 ‘17 to Q2 ‘18 prices in Seattle rose 11.3% to $801,000, while the Eastside rose 9.1% to $960,000. The average cost per home square foot was $459 in Seattle and $426 on the Eastside (which tends to have larger homes—2,752 square feet vs Seattle’s 2015 square feet—and thus a lower cost per square foot to construct).

 

Home mortgage interest rates have continued to rise, averaging 4.54% in Q2 putting continued pressure on buyers to purchase before they are simply priced out of the Seattle-Eastside market. Our region is entering a sweet spot where home prices are stabilizing and have likely peaked but interest rates are still affordable. Because rising interest rates have a much larger impact on the monthly mortgage than home price, values would have to fall pretty sharply to offset the impact of a 1-2% increase in mortgage interest rates.

 

Q2 Market Snapshot

SEATTLE

Seattle Report

Up 20.7%, affordable Richmond Beach and Shoreline saw the strongest price growth in Q2 followed closely by Lake Forest Park and Kenmore at 19.4%. West Seattle, South Seattle, Madison Park/Capitol Hill, and Queen Anne/Magnolia all saw increases in the mid-teens. Surprisingly, Ballard-Greenlake and North Seattle—strong contenders in the past couple of years—slowed to 11.8% and 6.3% respectively.

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

 

EASTSIDE

Eastside Review

Kirkland was the height of the storm on the Eastside drawing a median price gain of 30.6% over Q2 of last year. This was very loosely followed by Juanita/Woodinville at 14.4%, West Bellevue at 14.0%, and Redmond at 11.2%. South Eastside 7.5%, East Bellevue 7.4%, East of Lake Sammamish 6.9%, and Mercer Island 4.5%, all below the Eastside median, represented the fringe of Q2 appreciation.

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

 

MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island Report

Mercer Island, with only two homes priced below $1 million, struggles with the lack of affordability at mainstream price points. While the number of $1-2 million homes for sale is up sharply (46%), finally giving buyers more options to choose from, the pace of sales in that price point has cooled off as buyers wait for the perfect home. A glut of homes for sale in the $3-5 million range—up 67% over this time last year—has caused that segment of the market to stagnate. Homes in the $2-3 million and $5 million plus ranges have fared slightly better than their middle sibling. Mercer Island condos, the only affordable option on the Island, have soared in value with recent sale prices creating shock waves within the industry.

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

 

CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condo Report

The number of Seattle metro condos for sale has steadily climbed in Q2 while those available in downtown Bellevue have diminished. Condo prices have continued to outpace their residential counterparts as demand to affordably own vs rent at astronomical prices drives buyer interest. Seattle condos appreciated 20.4-34.6% in all but two markets, North Seattle up 5.6% and SODO/Beacon Hill down 4.5%. On the Eastside, condos were up 13.3-35.2% except for Kirkland up 8.2% and West Bellevue down 3.5%. Not included in these numbers are the newly underway Bosa 188 condos which have a significant number of pending sales that will not close until 2020.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

WATERFRONT

Waterfront Report

Seattle and Mercer Island have fewer waterfront homes for sale in Q2 this year than in either of the past two years. The Eastside is up very slightly while Lake Sammamish has more than three-fold the number of homes for sale over the same time. The highest closed sale in Q2 was a NW-facing 1937 Yarrow Point estate on 100 feet of waterfront and just over an acre of land for $10 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a Ripley Lane 2003-built home with 140 feet of waterfront for just shy of $1.7 million.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

 


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 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on July 23, 2018 at 10:41 am
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Outdoor Living Trends for Summer 2018

Outdoor Living Trends for Summer 2018 - Windermere Mercer Island

 

The sun is back and summer is so close you can almost taste the s’mores being toasted around the fire pit…is this the year to spruce up your outdoor spaces? Fun new trends in alfresco design revolve around individuality of lifestyle and a desire to bring the inside out with rooms, furniture and lighting that would all be equally at home indoors. Cheesy, bulky and loud are out–quality, artisan and subtle are in. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1. Experiential Design

Newer outdoor concepts centered around the experiences of the owner–such as meditation gardens, outdoor movie screens, fireplaces/fire pits, children’s play spaces, and even life-size chess–are gradually replacing the cookie cutter yards of the past.


2. Chic Lighting

While Charlie Brown string lights have had their days in the sun, new trends are heading toward more sophisticated lighting fixtures. Shaded lamps, artisan and vintage fixtures are good choices for outdoor rooms and patios. We’re also seeing more indirect, low lighting that doesn’t compete with the stars.

 


3. Open Air Rooms

As weather-proof technology and materials improve, more homeowners are creating permanent outdoor living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and entertaining bars. Mildew-resistant curtains or folding glass doors can enclose the space as needed, while fireplaces or built-in space heaters keep things comfortable year-round.


4. Subtle Neutrals

We’re seeing a transition from bold stripes and colors to a softer palette with neutral tans, greys, greens, and dark blues. More discreet patterns follow the “indoors out” trend.

Photo courtesy of Kerry Joyce Associates.


5. Indoor Quality Furniture

Lighter fine-boned wood furniture with luxe upholstery is usurping those blocky, heavy, dark aluminum and plastic pieces that bake in the sun. Comfort and quality are key, with designer statement chairs and unexpected wicker pieces that are a far cry from your grandma’s wicker.


6. Alternative Flooring Materials

Many homeowners are moving beyond the rug, using new budget-friendly materials such as porcelain pavers or beechwood deck tiles to create a seamless indoor-to-outdoor look.


7. Smart Outdoor Tech

Whether it’s smart sprinklers that use soil moisture and weather data to adjust their water output, quieter & cleaner electric mowers, or 3D imaging programs that help landscapers develop and visualize designs, the world of smart technology is definitely making its way outdoors.

 

 


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.

©2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island


Posted on June 7, 2018 at 5:05 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

5632 East Mercer Way, A Home with Tranquility & Serenity minutes from Downtown Seattle

5632 East Mercer Way (Glenhome)

 

This weekend I held an open house at 5632 East Mercer Way which is located in the Glenhome community on Mercer Island. Below is a brief description of the home:

 

“Tradition elegance on a private 2 acre estate on Mercer Island. A dramatic foyer w/ dual staircase & lake views welcomes you. 7,380SF of luxury guest quarters, home theatre, 4 car garage, multiple flex rooms. Smart systems & high-end amenities: Leviton home automation; Creston A/V; Sub Zero, Miele & Bosch appliances. No compromises here: all 5 BDRs en suite, custom millwork, ideal blend of formal & informal spaces. Award winning schools, easy commute – it’s all here!”

My initial reaction of stepping into the home was, “WOW, there is a lot of square footage, I mean this home is huge!” I also loved that the home is tucked away and has 2 acres of land, which is almost unheard of on Mercer Island.

 

After spending several hours in this home, I was amazed with the amount of square footage for the home, 7,380, wow!  Although when you walk around the home, the rooms are not huge, they actually flow quite nicely, and the house overall feels homey. There is no wasted space in this house. Storage lies around every corner as well as a cool laundry chute.

Sitting and working, I found the living room off the kitchen is very comfortable and flooded with Natural light all day long. This room is wrapped with French doors and a covered deck that has glorious views of Lake Washington. The master suite is definitely a place to retreat to. It has his and her closets and a luxurious looking bathtub to soak in as you take in the million-dollar view.

On the lower level there is a home theater which sits 8 people with classic movie theater seats which will inevitably cause all to fall asleep in. The 4-car garage is ready for Tesla or EV vehicles, sports car and/or sporting equipment. There is so much to talk about, did I mention the sauna. I hope you fall in love in love with this as I have thoroughly enjoyed this home.


Posted on May 23, 2018 at 11:20 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Free Recycling & Shredding Event May 19th

Free Recycling Event Saturday, May 19th from 9am to 2pm

 

Hosted in our Parking Lot:

2737 77TH AVE SE
MERCER ISLAND

 


Bring your recyclable items (working or not) to the event. All recycling services are free!

We’re also sponsoring a Confidential Data Disposal truck for free, secure shredding of sensitive documents.

Saturday, May 19th
9 am – 2 pm


What we can recycle:

  • Most electronics, working or not, whole or in part
  • Scrap metal of any kind ferrous and non-ferrous
  • Appliances
  • Washers and dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Water coolers
  • Dishwashers
  • Small appliances, blenders, toasters, coffee makers, bread makers, kitchen wear, metal pots
  • Computers and computer Accessories
  • Flat Screen Computer monitors (no CRTs please)
  • Desktop PC Computers, Servers, Server racks
  • Laptop and Notebook Computers
  • Scanners and Copiers
  • Laser and Inkjet Printers
  • Fax Machines and All-In-One devices
  • Printer cartridges, toner cartridges
  • Computer speakers
  • Circuit Boards/Motherboards
  • Radios
  • Receivers
  • Speakers
  • CD Discs, DVD Discs, Media
  • Computer Parts
  • Desktop Computers
  • Keyboards
  • Laptops
  • Floppy Disks
  • Mixed Components
  • Modems
  • Multi Line Phones
  • Networking Hardware
  • PBX Systems
  • Phone Systems
  • PDA/Handheld Systems
  • Phone Answering Machines
  • Photo Copy Machines
  • Printer Parts
  • Printers
  • External Connectors
  • Fax Machines
  • Disk Drives
  • Batteries (not household alkaline batteries)
  • Larger Batteries/ Car Batteries
  • Dry Cell NiCad Batteries
  • Used Computer Items
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Backup UPS systems and UPS batteries
  • Cell Phone Batteries/ Laptop Batteries
  • Home Phones
  • Home Entertainment
  • Small Answering Machines
  • Stereo Equipment
  • DVD Players
  • VCR Players
  • Cellular Phones and Accessories
  • Used Paging Equipment
  • Cable TV Converter Equipment
  • CB’s
  • Chargers (cell phones)
  • Radio Equipment
  • Remote Control Handsets
  • Satellite TV Equipment
  • Scanners
  • Single Line Phones
  • Typewriters
  • Two Way Radios
  • VCR (Video Cassette Recorders)
  • Voicemail Systems
  • Video Cameras
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Wires and Connectors
  • Cables
  • Medical equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Motorbikes
  • Bicycles
  • Scooters
  • Tractors
  • Metal furniture, metal file cabinets, metal desks, metal shelving, metal window frame (please no glass)
  • Lawnmowers (please no gasoline)
  • Edgers
  • Generators
  • Metal patio furniture
  • Garden tools
  • Weed eaters
  • Metal containers
  • Books
  • Refrigerators

We cannot accept the following:

  • Wood furniture
  • CRT televisions (flat screens OK)
  • CRT monitors (flat screens OK)
  • Chemicals
  • Paint
  • Tires
  • Lightbulbs
  • Glass
  • Gasoline
  • Oil


Posted on May 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Q1 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q1 Market Snapshot

 

Q1 prices in the Seattle-Eastside region have escalated yet again with no sign of slowing in the immediate future. An unprecedented lack of inventory for sale coupled with rising interest rates has prompted buyers to compete with reckless abandon to win the prize of their very own home, albeit with a steep price tag.

 

Overall median prices in Seattle rose 16.1% to $770,000, while the Eastside rose 13.0% to $944,000. Those regional numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, especially when you consider the highest change in median sale price was nearly 46% and the lowest was a -4%. New construction sales, or lack thereof, made the biggest impact on home sale prices. Existing homes, offering good walkability or commute options, and those that were on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum saw the strongest appreciation overall.

 

Rising mortgage interest rates, now up a full percentage point from their lows, are adding fuel to the fire. While not dampening buyer demand yet, further increases will likely begin to price home buyers out of the core Seattle-Eastside region. Homebuyer fear of being priced out of the market is at least partly to blame for the crazed demand at more modest price points.

 

As predicted, many who don’t have a need to be close in to the metro region are choosing to sell at a high and buy more affordably outside of the Seattle-Eastside area. The rate of tear-down new construction infill has escalated at staggering numbers as builders capitalize on the market’s appetite for fresh and new.

 

Buyers today should consider their purchase thoughtfully as buying at or near the peak of the market can limit their resale options when the market corrects. Planning to stay put for five to seven years is a good strategy at this time.

 

Q1 Market Snapshot

SEATTLE

West Seattle leads the pack in median home price growth on the Seattle side of the lake. With its vibrant, hip vibe and convenient access to the city, West Seattle has benefited from Seattle’s commute gridlock—maintaining status quo while other Seattle neighborhoods have come to a halt (literally).

Seattle Report

Queen Anne saw a nice rebound in Q1 after lagging the Seattle averages for some time. South Seattle, with its light rail access, affordable prices, and new vitality, continues to see its real estate market thrive.

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

 

EASTSIDE

Significant new home development at higher price points has led the market in West Bellevue and Kirkland and brought up everything else along with it.

Eastside Review

With land values alone higher than average home sale prices in surrounding communities, this growth will have long-lasting impacts that will forever change the flavor of these communities–for better (fresh new housing stock) and worse (the lack of affordable options). Kirkland led this charge with a median sale price 45.9% higher than Q1 last year, followed by West Bellevue at 23.1%.

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

 

MERCER ISLAND

Overall, a much higher percentage of mid-range homes sold in the first quarter than in quarters past, giving the appearance of falling prices. In reality, however, it was actually a downward shift of the segment of the market that is selling.

Mercer Island Report

Don’t let the negative number for Q1 fool you. The market below the two-million-dollar mark is vastly different than the market above it. With the most severe shortage of available homes in mid-range price points Mercer Island has seen, especially early in Q1 this year, the sub $2 million market has been brisk and competitive with strong price escalation. The $2 million and above market has been a different story altogether. While highly desirable homes in that bracket have transacted quickly, many other less notable homes have languished on the market.

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

 

CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Still the only affordable option for many home buyers today, condos have continued to escalate in value with appreciation rates above those of residential homes in many areas.

Condo Report

On the Eastside, new condo and townhome developments in Crossroads and Rose Hill drove prices up to new highs in those communities. Richmond Beach and Shoreline benefited from an infusion of new construction standalone condominium ‘homes’ on very small lots.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

WATERFRONT

Waterfront Report

Several significant sales accented an otherwise unremarkable quarter. A $26.8 million iconic Medina estate on 2.5 acres with 150 feet of waterfront set a new benchmark on the Eastside. Two $8+ million homes on the north end of Mercer Island–both newer construction with over 7,000 square feet–set the tone for the Island in 2018. Lake Sammamish, with a $4.2 million sale in Q1, is still in hot demand, while Seattle saw only three modest waterfront sales.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

 


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 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.v


Posted on April 13, 2018 at 4:01 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Planning ahead: how tax reform will impact your home deductions next year

2018 Tax Changes for Home Owners

 

While you may still be busy filing your 2017 taxes, it’s important to look ahead and be aware of how the new 2018 tax reform laws will affect next year’s return–especially if you’re a homeowner. Those who itemize will need to note some big changes in what they can and cannot deduct. Many will instead choose to use the new higher standard deduction ($12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns) rather than itemizing their deductions.

What can you do now? Check in with your accountant for advice specific to your situation and filing status. Also, you’ll probably want to update your withholding amount to reflect the new deduction amounts. In the meantime, here is the skinny on 5 changes that may affect you if you own a home…

 

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

The deduction that allows homeowners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of mortgage interest they pay has been scaled back.

  • For loans taken out after 12/14/17, you can now only deduct mortgage interest paid on the first $750,000 of combined debt for primary and secondary residences (or $375,000 if married filing separately).
  • Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap if they were taken out before 12/15/17 (or if you entered into your purchase contract prior to 12/15/17 and the sale closed by 1/1/18).
  • You can continue to deduct the interest on grandfathered loans even if you refinance.

 

2. Home Equity Loan Deduction

Under the former tax law, you were able to deduct the interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt even if the proceeds were used for something other than buying or improving the home (for example, an equity line of credit used to pay college tuition). This is now no longer the case.

  • New 2018 law eliminates the deduction for interest on home equity debt unless it’s used to buy, build, or substantially improve the home that secures the loan.
  • Loans to buy second homes do not qualify for the interest deduction if they’re taken out against the equity of your primary home.

 

3. Deduction for Property & Sales Taxes

Tax relief for homeowners who pay property taxes has also been limited.

  • Itemized deductions for property taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, and any other local taxes will now be limited to a combined total of $10,000.
  • The combined limit drops to $5,000 if married filing separately.

 

4. Deduction for Moving Expenses

While you used to be able to deduct some moving expenses when you moved for a new job, this deduction has been repealed for everyone except active-duty members of the armed forces.

 

5. Deduction for Casualty Losses

Under former law, substantial losses to your home and personal property through things like fires and robberies could be deducted from your taxable income. Under the new law, this deduction is eliminated for everything except presidential-declared natural disasters.

 

Want to know more?

 

The above article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional tax advice from your accountant.

Sources:
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – What it Means for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals,” by the National Association of Realtors
“5 Homeownership Changes Coming Under New Tax Law” by NerdWallet
“Tax Reform” by the Internal Revenue Service


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Posted on March 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Trump effect. How will it impact the US economy and housing? by Lisa Lewis

Originally published on Windermere Blog by author Matthew Gardner, chief economist of Windermere Real Estate.

The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have.

The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.American Flag

On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.

It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.

As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.

Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.

Proposed infrastructure spending could boost employment and wages, which again, would be a positive for housing markets. Furthermore, easing land use regulations has the potential to begin addressing the problem of housing affordability across many of our nation’s housing markets – specifically on the West Coast.

Economies do not like uncertainty. In the near-term we may see a temporary lull in the US economy, as well as the housing market, as we analyze what a Trump presidency really means. But at the present time, I do not see any substantive cause for panic in the housing sector.

We are a resilient nation, and as long as we continue to have checks-and balances, I have confidence that we will endure any period of uncertainty and come out stronger.

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Photo Credit: Aktim Ι Pixabay


Posted on November 11, 2016 at 10:20 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Kicks for Kids

I have a passion in supporting others, If you can help me with any of the programs that I support, i trully appreciate it.  For every successful closing I donate $100 to the charity of your choice. If you have any questions, please reach out to me.  Thank you for supporting local charities.

 

Can you help kids get a pair of shoes?  Please help!

Can you help kids get a pair of shoes? Please help!


Posted on August 2, 2016 at 10:35 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,