Inventory up, prices steady in Island real estate market

Reporter Staff

There are more homes to choose from on Mercer Island this fall, but don’t expect them to cost any less.

While the number of homes listed for sale on Mercer Island was up by 30 percent last month, the number of homes sold was down over a year ago. Prices for homes sold, however, remained constant, up about two percent over a year ago.

At the end of September, 169 homes and condos on the Island were listed for sale up from 125 a year ago; but just 12 sales were pending, and 21 sales were final. At the same time last year, there were 109 homes for sale, 24 sales were pending and 31 homes sales were completed. The median price for homes and condos sold on the Island this past month was $950,000, up from $928,000 a year ago.

Sales and prices for all Eastside properties on the market for October mirrored the Mercer Island market — inventory up and sales were down, and prices remained flat.

Across western Washington, prices for sales that were completed during October were essentially unchanged from a year ago, but closer examination shows wide variation among the 19 counties served by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). On the Eastside, Mercer Island sale price numbers exceed all other map areas tracked by the MLS.

According to the MLS, the real estate market across western Washington has improved from its initial reaction to the nationwide impact of subprime mortgages.

Pending sales were up around western Washington in October, reversing four months of month-to-month declines, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). The report also shows some slowing in both listing activity and price appreciation.

Brokers reported 6,127 pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) across the 19 counties served by Northwest MLS. That total includes 379 more transactions than September (a 6.6 percent gain), but still lagged activity a year ago. Compared to the same month a year ago, October’s pending sales were down about 28 percent.

Region wide, MLS members added 11,785 new listings to inventory — the lowest number since February, when they added 11,333 new listings. With those additions, there were 47,381 active listings of single family homes and condominiums in the MLS system, about 31 percent more than a year ago.

The current selection includes 40,252 single family homes with an area-wide median asking the price of $375,000, and 7,129 condominiums listed at a median price of $289,900.

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