News briefs | False alarm ordinance is law

False alarm ordinance is law

During the period from 2009 to 2013, Mercer Island Police Officers responded to an average of 858 alarms per year. Of those alarm incidents, only a small fraction were found to be valid. Each alarm response draws from limited resources and poses increased risks to the community when emergency vehicles are responding. As a result, the City Council has updated and passed a new law, in effect June 13.

The new ordinance gives property owners the option of registering with the city and providing alternative contact information so that alarms can be verified.

A first false alarm within a calendar year will generate a warning from the city. The city will levy a $75 fine for a second false alarm. The fine increases $25 for each successive false alarm call.

Details are available on the City’s website at

Island real estate market numbers for May

Local housing market analysts say Western Washington is on an “upward trajectory,” but inadequate inventory at the right prices and and the right places makes for a “very difficult market.”

While data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows that inventory across Western Washington increased in May compared to a year ago, the amount of homes and condos available for sale on the Island has barely reached pre-recession numbers. Across the region, NWMLS brokers say competition is keen adding that mortgage interest rates have remained fairly low, keeping mortgages affordable.

But the Mercer Island market remains unique.

The number of and prices for high end vacant land now offered for sale on the Island is notable.

For May, there were 106 single family and residential homes for sale on the Island. There were a dozen vacant buildable lots for sale, five of which were priced at over $5 million. One of those is the Beaufort property on the northern shore of the Island which had been reportedly been sold earlier this year to a developer for its asking price of around $2.4 million. It is again on the market with an asking price of $3.35 million. A 19,000 s.f lot on S.E. 47th Place has a view but no waterfront. It is  just under $1 million.

Of the single family residential homes now for sale on the Island, 55 are priced at $1 million or more. Of those, 32 are priced between $2 million and $5 million. Ten homes are offered at $5 million or more.  The market for condos remains thin with just 8 on the market as of June 20. The highest priced condo is $1 million, the least expensive is just under $300,000.


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