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Business briefs | Low real estate inventory; Mercer Island Nutrition to close
Low inventory holds back home sales in January
According to real estate brokers with the King County Multiple Listing Service, prices remain in the “recovery zone,” while inventories remain tight. Inventory across King County remains lower than normal with just 2.5 months worth rather than the 4 to six month range that is optimal.
Fluctuations in mortgage interest rates also add to uncertainty, keeping a lid on prices. During this past month, Washington state mortgage rates were up nearly a full percentage point from a year ago - from 3.71 percent on a 30 year fixed mortgage last year to 4.61 percent — a rate down slightly from September according to HSH.com.
There are presently 113 properties for sale on the Island. Thirty-three single family homes were new to the market during the month of January, leaving the number of single family homes at less than 60, an amount that represents a 4.5 month supply on hand in the Mercer Island market. The sale of 39 homes were pending in January, an amount higher than usual or nearly ten percent over those pending a year ago. The number of sales that were finalized were down slightly from January 2013 - with the median price remaining just under $1.1 million. Less than ten condos made were on the market last month. As of this writing there are seven.
Just ten homes on the market were priced at under $1 million. The lowest price home is $525,000 for a bank-owned property in East Seattle. There are 16 properties listed as vacant land — which includes a two-acre parcel on the South end that includes a large home.
The lowest priced offereing on the market is a 2,275 square foot vacant lot at the corner of S.E. 22nd Street and 71st Avenue S.E. across from Aubrey Davis Park, offered for $175,000.
Mercer Island Nutrition to close after 15 years
Mercer Island Nutrition, a locally owned health and supplement shop, will shutter its doors after 15 years in business. The store opened on the Island in 2000 and has had a steady following of loyal customers.
“I really love it. I really love healing people,” said owner Jenny Lau. “I really enjoy my customers and they know my kids. It’s a hard decision to let go.”
Lau, sells everything from skin and body care products to raw honey, beeswax candles and natural makeup lines. The shop has long been a health-related business. Before becoming Mercer Island Nutrition, it was Nature’s Pantry.
Lau expects to begin clearing out the store in mid-March with a move-out date tentatively set for the end of the month.
“The economy has taken a huge toll on a lot of small businesses,” she said, noting that the last four years have been particularly hard on her. “The small businesses are really hurting and I don’t think people realize that unless they are one.”
Lau hopes her customers will continue to seek out small businesses even after she closes.
Mercer Island Nutrition is located at 7605 76th Ave SE and is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more information about Mercer Island Nutrition, call 206-236-2399.
Family eye care clinic joins Island businesses
Mercer Island Family Eye Care is under new ownership as of two months ago. The clinic has been in practice for five years but under the new ownership will offer six doctor days, later hours and will be open Saturday. Service includes a wide selection of contact lenses, designer frames and eye care ranging from treatment for computer vision syndrome to cataract care and lasik surgery. Located in Suite 106 at 2448 76th Ave S.E., the team prides itself on its personable service.
The clinic is already adjusting to Island life. In January, the team provided complimentary vision screenings and eye glass adjustments for the residents of Aljoya. Family Eye Care offers complimentary vision screenings and color vision screenings for children under 18 and sees patients as young as 4-years-old.
For more, call 206-232-1633. Visit their website here.