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2012 Mercer Island real estate is a study in contrast
In 2012, 296 single family homes sold on Mercer Island. The closed sales prices for those that sold ranged from $277,777 to $21,625,000.
The number of single family Island homes sold was up by about 11 percent for the year. Median prices were slightly higher as well, up 2.5 percent to $857,500, from $835,000 in 2011.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which compiles the sales data, indicated that for single family homes sold during the year, Island homes produced the highest home prices of Eastside communities when compared by school district.
The Lake Washington School District saw 2,400 single family homes sold during the year, with a median sales price at year’s end of $519,700. The highest priced home in the school district sold for $3.2 million, and the lowest for $153,000.
In the Bellevue School District, just under 1,300 homes sold during the year. The median price was $590,000. The final sales prices ranged from $151,000 to $17,500,000. In Issaquah, the median price for the 1,551 homes sold during the year was also over half a million dollars at $512,000, with final sales prices ranging from $83,000 to $3,603,000.
According to a summary prepared by Windermere Real Estate’s Island office, lower interest rates have contributed to sales.
The Annual Monthly Cost Index shows that the monthly interest expense of owning a home — what matters most to the bottom line — is on par with that of 1998. A median priced $458,125 home in 1998 at 6.94 percent interest costs about the same per month as an $856,000 median priced home today at 3.66 percent interest, according to the Windermere report.
Inventory has remained low. The Windermere report said that the number of Island homes offered for sale is at its lowest level in 15 years — or as far back as company records go.
Of the year’s home sales, 106 were above $1,000,000, while only 24 were below $500,000. With only 16 out of 297 residential sales, bank-owned and short sales made up only 5 percent of the sales in 2012. The lowest sale was $280,000 and the highest sale was $21,625,000.
Just 45 condominiums sold last year. The Windermere report states that prices were lower for those units, depressed by short or ‘distressed’ sales.
Twenty-nine waterfront homes, priced at over $1 million or more sold, including the $21 million mansion on the Island’s western waterfront.