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Mercer Island homes sell, but languish longer

This waterfront home at 4610 E. Mercer Way has been on the market for over 450 days. The home features 69 feet of low-bank frontage, a spectacular view, private dock and covered boat lift. - Contributed Photo
This waterfront home at 4610 E. Mercer Way has been on the market for over 450 days. The home features 69 feet of low-bank frontage, a spectacular view, private dock and covered boat lift.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

A mere 14 new residential listings were added to the market on Mercer Island in December 2010, compared to 25 a year ago. A total of 131 homes were on the market compared to 139 in December 2009.

Of those homes, 13 had contracts inked in December compared to 16 in 2009. Twenty-seven residential properties closed, five less than in 2009 with a median price of $814,400, up from the $731,250 average the year before. The median price of houses in King County in December was $370,000, down from $380,000 in 2009.

The average price of single family homes on Mercer Island was $876,000 compared to $785,000 in 2009; condominium prices rose 10.77 percent to an average of $360,000 from $325,000.

In King County overall, there were 1,896 new listings in December, and a total of 10,049 active listings, less than a six-month supply, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. December’s volume of pending sales around Western Washington nearly matched the total for December 2009.

Market time still remains a thorny issue for many properties.

The lowest priced waterfront property on Mercer Island has been on the market for over 450 days. The home, at 4610 E. Mercer Way, features 69 and a half feet of low-bank waterfront. The listing agent, Beck Nadesan, with Coldwell Banker Bain, said the price started at $1,650,000 and it is now $1,488,000.

“Properties over $1 million are still suffering,” she said. “The market has taken a toll on all of us.”

The home was designed by architect Ralph Anderson, well known for his preservationism and restoration projects in both Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. As a result of his influence, the home tends to bring the outdoors in. It has three bedrooms, two and one-half baths, a large wood-burning fireplace, spectacular lake and mountain views, a newer dock and boat lift, and a sprinkler system. So why does it linger on the market?

Nadesan said the biggest objection has been the age of the home. It was built in 1968, so it doesn’t have all of the 21st century bells and whistles. But to say it needs to be gutted is not true. It’s perfectly liveable, with built-ins and character that you don’t see in newer homes.

E.J. Bowlds, the broker at Coldwell Banker Bain, said regarding single family homes on Mercer Island, the average market time on homes that closed in December 2010 was 151 days, up from the average 113 days market time on homes that closed in December 2009. Yet, overall market time shortened up in 2010, to 89 days from 115 days. Bowlds said that some very high dollar homes sold this December, and they tend to stay on the market longer, so that could explain the longer market time for December closings as compared to the rest of the year.

Market time for Mercer Island condominiums almost mirrors that of single family homes. In December 2010 closings, the average market time was 145 compared to 111 days in 2009. For the full year of 2010, average market time on condos was 85 days. In 2009 it took 114 days average to move a condo.

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