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More homes sell, prices still lower

Then 19-year-old Kevin Durant bought his first home in 2007 just after he was signed to the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team.

“The house was being finished when he got drafted to the Sonics,” said Jim Buchanan, a consultant to Durant.

Buchanan said the young pro moved into the home in September 2007 and lived there during the season until May 2008 when he went home for the summer. Then, the team was sold. Durant moved to Oklahoma, where he is still with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a small forward/shooting guard. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008, and 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP.

Durant has recently listed his home on Mercer Island that he loved so much, with Lee Roberts of Vizor Realty in Kirkland. Buchanan said the home holds many fond memories for Durant. The kids on the street would come to the door, he said, asking Durant’s mother, who was living there for awhile, if “Kevin could come out and play.”

Durant loved his home theater room, inviting neighbors to come in and enjoy it with him. Buchanan said every home he looks at in Oklahoma, he compares to his Island home.

“He loves the house. He wants every other house he looks at to look like his house in Seattle,” Buchanan said.

Located on First Hill, the two-story home has five bedrooms and five and three-quarter baths included in 5,910 square feet. It has hardly been lived in since Durant left for Oklahoma, except for use by the occasional family member visiting the Seattle area.

Situated on .35 acres, it’s fully landscaped with a sprinkler system and an attached triple garage. Roberts said the home was built by Johnson Design Homes of Mercer Island. The listed price is $2,999,950, which is well  above the median price for the Island.

The median price for a single family home on Mercer Island, according to the statistics for March from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, is $710,000, down 11.25 percent from $800,000 in March 2010. However, 21 single family homes closed last month compared to 13 a year ago. Single family inventory stands at 126 homes on the market on the Island, down from 138 last year. Thirty-one homes went under contract on Mercer Island last month, down one from last year.

Only three new condominium listings came on the market in March, for a total of 27 active condos on the market at present. Five condos were reported pending last month, up one from 2010, with a median sales price of $398,000 — up a whopping 51.62 percent over last year when the median was $262,500. Four Island condos closed last month, compared to only one a year ago.

Combining single family and condos, there are 153 listings available, down 10 percent from last year. The combined median sales price is $695,000.

Noteworthy are two waterfront sales last month on Mercer Island. Built in 1995, 8232 Avalon Drive sold for $2,730,000. The four-bedroom, three-plus bath, two-story home rests on almost a third of an acre. A five-bedroom, three-plus bath home on just over a half-acre sold for $2,308,000 at 4612 East Mercer Way. There have been six waterfront homes close this year so far.

In the Northwest MLS area, 7,750 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums were reported in March. That’s down by 12 percent from last year when 8,605 transactions were pending across the 21 counties in the NWMLS service area.

“Overall, the market is doing surprisingly well without a stimulus,” said Northwest MLS director OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate in a press release. “Considering that this time last year there was a rush of buyers trying to beat the tax credit deadline, to have the number of sales off just slightly points towards a strengthening market.”

The Durant home will be open for viewing Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The address is 3406 74th Ave. S.E. Buchanan said Durant plans to eventually have another place in the Seattle area because he likes it here.

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