Mercer Island housing market update: inventory drought persists

With only about 30 active listings, the Island is experiencing an inventory deficit.

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:30pm
  • News
Sandra Levin. Courtesy photo

Sandra Levin. Courtesy photo

Mercer Island is an exceptional place. But when it comes to bucking the trend of low inventory in the residential housing market as touted in recent regional news headlines, we are not an exception. Au contraire, we may be experiencing this trend even more intensely than other areas in King County.

In terms of active listings, there are currently 31 single-family homes and one condo available on the island. One listing is under $1 million, six of them are in the $1-2 million dollar range, and the rest are above $2 million.

We started the new year in an inventory deficit. One of the causes is that sales in December were up 50 percent compared to the previous year. The high level of sales activity at the end of 2017 created a backlog of buyers eager to pounce on new listings in 2018. Additionally, most homes are selling in less than 30 days. The limited inventory we do have, in other words, is flying off the proverbial shelf. And, considering the listing prices mentioned above, the majority of the homes currently available for purchase are only financially feasible for a small segment of the general population.

The median price of a home on Mercer Island is currently ~$1.4M. Eleven new listings were added in the last 10 days, and only one of those was priced under $2 million.

January is often a time to focus on resolutions and practice new routines until they become habits. The same is true for the real estate professionals in my office. From providing tutorials on new tools to role-playing to ensure a broker is ready for all types of situations and conversations, I like this time of year because it’s a time for self-reflection. We have a strong culture of continuous improvement, and it’s rewarding to support each other in reaching and surpassing goals. Another area of focus is additional training for those who want to specialize in the luxury market, which constitute the vast majority of Mercer Island sales.

Low interest rates and the strength of the local job market continue to motivate many people to either sell their current home and find a new one, or enter the market as a first-time home-buyer. Many people ask me when is the best time to buy or sell, and I always have the same response: when it’s right for you. — Sandra Levin, Managing Broker of John L. Scott Mercer Island Office

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