Residential real estate outlook positive on Mercer Island

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:06pm
  • Business

By Sandra Levin

Special to the Reporter

Though the sunny days of summer – and the heightened real estate action that comes with the season – are now over, the residential real estate market on Mercer Island is still quite active. When examining single-family home and condo stats on Mercer Island for the month of September compared to August, new listings were down slightly (-3.1 percent), while sold and pended listings were up 7.4 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively.

John L. Scott Mercer Island broker Tony Salvata said both buyers and sellers are poised to benefit in different ways if they choose to enter the market in October.

“Even though inventory on Mercer Island has increased in the past few months, if you price your home right it will sell,” Salvata said. “Buyers can take advantage of price reductions on some properties, along with great loan rates.”

Broker Martin Weiss, of the Delaurenti-Weiss Group, said he expects moderate sales activity in the month of October, noting that October will bring the best selection for buyers until next spring.

“Along with the best selection of inventory until next spring, buyers this time of the year benefit from less competition, which can be a welcomed change,” Weiss said. “An advantage for sellers this time of the year is less competition than the spring market. However, when it comes down to it, buying or selling a home is best when the time is right for you.”

In his monthly remarks in response to statistics from the Northwest MLS, John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott said the transition into the fall housing market creates opportunities for home buyers. At this time of year, although there are fewer resale listings and unsold inventory than what buyers will find during the peak summer months, there is also less competition for new listings currently on the market.

Scott also noted that the winter market this year may be a bit more intense than it was last year.

“Currently, there are fewer unsold listings on the market than we usually see at this point in time, and the number of unsold listings will continue to go down once the winter clean-up of inventory begins,” Scott said.

Citing tariffs and other current events on a national scale, some see a potential for instability in the current economic climate, which could impact the housing market. However, a report from the Associated Press cited a recent bump in home sales as a “sign of U.S. consumers’ resilience despite a darkening outlook for growth.”

Reflecting on consumer sentiment locally, Weiss said he thinks there is some hesitancy in the market due to volatility on a national scale. However, he noted positive factors at play in our market currently that mitigate some uncertainty.

“With that said, interest rates are near historic lows and job growth – which is a leading indicator for a healthy real estate market – is strong in the Seattle metro area,” Weiss said.

Sandra Levin is office leader and business coach at John L. Scott Mercer Island.

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