Windermere report shows Island homes sold well in 2013

Windermere Real Estate released its ‘2013 Year in Review on Mercer Island Real Estate,’ on Jan. 17. The report showed that Islander real estate has essentially rebounded completely from levels five years ago, when the economy both here and across the nation, was in a recession.

As the economy improved in 2013, so did sales of real estate on Mercer Island, and much of the greater Seattle area. The number of home sales increased nearly 20 percent from 2012. Of note is that the 353 single family homes sold on the Island last year represent the highest amount sold since 2009, and more than twice what sold that year.

Along with the increase in the number of homes sold, the average sales prices remained stable, but the number of days on the market fell.

Although more homes sold, average prices remained flat. The median sales price on the Island increased by 13 percent for the year, yet the average sales price increased less than one percent. The median sales price was skewed due to the number of luxury homes that sold for the year. Also pushing up the median was  the fact that more than half of the sales were homes that sold for more than $1 million.

Final sales prices for 2013 were, on average, within 3 percent of the listing price. The report also notes that some homes did not last on the market long at all.

“2013 also saw decreased market times, coupled with increased sales ratios. The average market time fell from 91 to 65 days for single-family homes.  Very desirable properties received offers – and, in many cases, multiple offers – within seven days of coming on the market.  Sales ratios (the relationship between asking prices and selling prices) were up as well,” the report said.

The market for condominium and townhomes also improved. Those units, far fewer available than single family homes, sold faster with some receiving multiple offers.

Average market time fell from 117 days to just 35, and like single-family homes, many condominiums and townhomes received multiple offers. The shortage of available condominium homes also created sensitivity in pricing, with median prices up a 19 percent from 2012.

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