Business

Business briefs | Island real estate wrap for November

Boxes of mini-mart products sit outside the Shell station on 78th Avenue S.E. on Dec. 4. Employees worked all day to empty the convenience store, which is changing ownership. As of this week, Jackson Food Stores owns the station. - Elizabeth Celms/Mercer Island Reporter
Boxes of mini-mart products sit outside the Shell station on 78th Avenue S.E. on Dec. 4. Employees worked all day to empty the convenience store, which is changing ownership. As of this week, Jackson Food Stores owns the station.
— image credit: Elizabeth Celms/Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island real estate market has officially cooled off after a summer rush of sorts. The number of listings rebounded over a year ago, but prices fell for homes that sold for the month of November, over November 2008. The number of homes and condos listed for sale on the Island totaled 170, down more than 11 percent over the number of listings a year ago. The number of closed or completed homes was up slightly to 29 units from 25 last year. The sale of 11 single family homes last month appears to be the end of the relative surge of market activity on the Island that began in late summer. Beginning in June, closed sales of single family homes here jumped from just 10 sold in May to 21. Between July and the end of October, a total of 75 homes sold, a rate of 19 per month. The median price of the 11 single family homes that sold last month fell from $920,000 in November 2008 to $690,000, the second lowest average median sale price this year. The lowest median prices of single homes sold in a single month so far this year occurred in March, when four single family homes sold for an average median price of $591,000.

The median price of the four condos that sold last month was $324,000. No condos sold during November 2008.

For the Western Washington region served by the NWMLS, sales of homes fell in November after a vigorous market in October, due to the deadline for the tax credit for home buyers. Much of the activity in the late summer and fall was also attributed to first-time and move-up homebuyers. NWMLS brokers “expect (market) momentum to continue in 2010.”

Island retail sales down 21 percent in 2nd quarter

Taxable retail sales of Mercer Island merchants for the second quarter of 2009 fell by more than 21 percent over the second quarter in 2008, according to statistics from the Washington State Department of Revenue. For April, May and June of this year, taxable sales totalled $71 million, down from just over $90 million for the same three months in 2008. The trend was similar in other Eastside cities. Taxable retail sales fell during the same months by 19 percent in Bellevue, 22 percent in Issaquah and 7 percent in Redmond. Taxable retail sales fell for Seattle merchants by 13 percent.

Statewide, taxable retail sales were down by 14 percent compared to the second quarter of 2008. Most counties experienced declines in taxable retail sales with King County down by 16.8 percent, Snohomish County down by 14.8 percent, Spokane County down by 9 percent, and Clark County down by 18.4 percent. State gross business income declined from $22.7 billion to $134.3 billion in the second quarter of 2009, a 14.5 percent decrease over the second quarter of 2008.

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