Q1 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q1 Market Snapshot


Q1 prices in the Seattle-Eastside region have escalated yet again with no sign of slowing in the immediate future. An unprecedented lack of inventory for sale coupled with rising interest rates has prompted buyers to compete with reckless abandon to win the prize of their very own home, albeit with a steep price tag.


Overall median prices in Seattle rose 16.1% to $770,000, while the Eastside rose 13.0% to $944,000. Those regional numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, especially when you consider the highest change in median sale price was nearly 46% and the lowest was a -4%. New construction sales, or lack thereof, made the biggest impact on home sale prices. Existing homes, offering good walkability or commute options, and those that were on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum saw the strongest appreciation overall.


Rising mortgage interest rates, now up a full percentage point from their lows, are adding fuel to the fire. While not dampening buyer demand yet, further increases will likely begin to price home buyers out of the core Seattle-Eastside region. Homebuyer fear of being priced out of the market is at least partly to blame for the crazed demand at more modest price points.


As predicted, many who don’t have a need to be close in to the metro region are choosing to sell at a high and buy more affordably outside of the Seattle-Eastside area. The rate of tear-down new construction infill has escalated at staggering numbers as builders capitalize on the market’s appetite for fresh and new.


Buyers today should consider their purchase thoughtfully as buying at or near the peak of the market can limit their resale options when the market corrects. Planning to stay put for five to seven years is a good strategy at this time.


Q1 Market Snapshot


West Seattle leads the pack in median home price growth on the Seattle side of the lake. With its vibrant, hip vibe and convenient access to the city, West Seattle has benefited from Seattle’s commute gridlock—maintaining status quo while other Seattle neighborhoods have come to a halt (literally).

Seattle Report

Queen Anne saw a nice rebound in Q1 after lagging the Seattle averages for some time. South Seattle, with its light rail access, affordable prices, and new vitality, continues to see its real estate market thrive.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.



Significant new home development at higher price points has led the market in West Bellevue and Kirkland and brought up everything else along with it.

Eastside Review

With land values alone higher than average home sale prices in surrounding communities, this growth will have long-lasting impacts that will forever change the flavor of these communities–for better (fresh new housing stock) and worse (the lack of affordable options). Kirkland led this charge with a median sale price 45.9% higher than Q1 last year, followed by West Bellevue at 23.1%.

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!



Overall, a much higher percentage of mid-range homes sold in the first quarter than in quarters past, giving the appearance of falling prices. In reality, however, it was actually a downward shift of the segment of the market that is selling.

Mercer Island Report

Don’t let the negative number for Q1 fool you. The market below the two-million-dollar mark is vastly different than the market above it. With the most severe shortage of available homes in mid-range price points Mercer Island has seen, especially early in Q1 this year, the sub $2 million market has been brisk and competitive with strong price escalation. The $2 million and above market has been a different story altogether. While highly desirable homes in that bracket have transacted quickly, many other less notable homes have languished on the market.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.



Still the only affordable option for many home buyers today, condos have continued to escalate in value with appreciation rates above those of residential homes in many areas.

Condo Report

On the Eastside, new condo and townhome developments in Crossroads and Rose Hill drove prices up to new highs in those communities. Richmond Beach and Shoreline benefited from an infusion of new construction standalone condominium ‘homes’ on very small lots.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.



Waterfront Report

Several significant sales accented an otherwise unremarkable quarter. A $26.8 million iconic Medina estate on 2.5 acres with 150 feet of waterfront set a new benchmark on the Eastside. Two $8+ million homes on the north end of Mercer Island–both newer construction with over 7,000 square feet–set the tone for the Island in 2018. Lake Sammamish, with a $4.2 million sale in Q1, is still in hot demand, while Seattle saw only three modest waterfront sales.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.



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© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.v

Posted on April 13, 2018 at 9:25 am
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Economics and Housing Market | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

2017 YEAR END REVIEWS: Annual market reports for Seattle and The Eastside.

2017 Year-End Snap Shot

Click to view annual market reports for Mercer Island, Seattle and The Eastside.

Posted on January 16, 2018 at 12:29 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market

2018 Housing Forecast


Posted on January 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate

November 2017 Seattle Area Housing Report

Brisk activity is upon us as we head deeper into December. Indeed, with inventory levels at incredibly low numbers, many sellers decided to take advantage of a rare busy late fall market and we saw a flurry of listings come to market between Nov. 1st and 18th. Buyers jumped on the new inventory creating a very busy November for pending sales.

With all the added inventory (and more) snatched out of the active listing pool, December pickings are few and far between. With fewer buyers searching for homes in December, diligent buyers can use this time to potentially negotiate more favorable pricing on the homes remaining on the market. This can also be a great time of year for buyers with less competitive offer terms (ie. aren’t paying all cash, pre-inspecting or giving up their first born) to compete in ultra-competitive segments.


Neighborhood Reports:

West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
North Seattle
Downtown Seattle Condos


South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Renton Highlands

Bellevue Condos

By Julie Barrows, for The Market Talks, Owner of  Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island |  (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 9:36 am
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate

2017 Q3 Market Reports

Q3-2017 Real Estate Metrics

Seattle: Appreciation in Seattle outpaced that of the Eastside—a 16.3% increase in the median sale price since Q3 2016 compared to the Eastside’s 13.8%.


Eastside: Bellevue-West of 405 outpaced the pack in Q3 with a median sale price 24.6% higher than Q3 of last year. Bellevue-East of 405 and Kirkland-Bridle Trails fared very well also with prices up 19.7% and 18.5% over the same time


Mercer Island: The median sale price on Mercer Island increased 13.6% (to $1,460,000) over Q3 of 2016. Time will tell whether recently imposed building restrictions—making the island one of the most restrictive cities in the region to build or remodel—will have an impact on home values.


Condo Market: he Q3 median sale price increased a mere 0.6% in Seattle and 24.4% on the Eastside over Q3 2016. While Eastside condos were truly a hotbed of activity, Seattle condos fared better than the numbers appear. This is because a few ultra-high sales and high-end new construction.


Waterfront: he most active quarter of the year for waterfront in the Seattle region, Q3 saw two very distinctly separate markets. The more moderate waterfront price points below $4 million experienced an increase in the number of homes for sale while the pace of sales slowed.


Posted on October 12, 2017 at 9:22 am
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate

Baby Boomers: Their Impact on the U.S. Housing Market

Source: Windermere Real Estate Blog. 

Here is a staggering economic stat for you, “75 million Baby Boomers control nearly 80% of all U.S. wealth.”  As this generation ages, retires, and eventually downsizes to their homes, the U.S. housing market will feel the impact. Windermere Real Estate’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, shares his thoughts on when we can expect to see Boomers start to sell, opening much-needed inventory and making home ownership available to younger generations, in his latest Economics 101 video.

Posted on June 25, 2017 at 10:47 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

May 2017 Seattle Area Housing Report

Brokers suggest improving inventory may mean “season of opportunity” for weary house hunters – Post Originally posted on NWMLS.com

Market Snapshot Infographic

KIRKLAND, Washington (June 6, 2017) – Would-be buyers who have been shut out of the real estate market should test the “real estate waters” during the summer months suggests one industry leader.

“Summer might provide some competitive relief for weary buyers,” said Gary O’Leyar, owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, pointing to some of the newly-released statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service as indicators.

Noting that the trend of multiple offers is still prevalent in the Seattle market, O’Leyar stressed that’s not always the case in areas outside the immediate Seattle area. In fact, he added, the market may “cool off” a bit during summer months as weary buyers find vacations and recreational pursuits more alluring than being in competitive bidding situations.

Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen in, agrees. “No one is talking about the large number of new listings coming to the market,” he notes. “New listings are at a seven-year high, and fifth highest all-time in our South Sound market,” according to his analysis.

Northwest MLS brokers added 13,497 new listings during May, improving on the previous month by 2,849 listings for a gain of nearly 27 percent. Compared to a year ago, the volume of new listings increased about 10 percent. Total active inventory is down from a year ago, but about 6.8 percent better than April.

The latest statistics show inventory system-wide is still squeezed (down 17.9 percent), pending sales rose slightly (up 2.7 percent), and sales prices are still rising (up 11.2 percent) compared to a year ago.

“The pace of the real estate market in Kitsap is heating up as summer rolls in. Buyers who work in King County but don’t want to drive north, east or south are now looking west for a housing solution,” said Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “The new ferry system is helping usher in this new thinking of ‘west is where to find a house,” he stated.

Last month’s pending sales in Kitsap County rose 8.4 percent from a year ago, which compares to a 2.6 percent decline in King County. The median price on homes and condos that sold in Kitsap County last month was $307,250 (up 7.8 percent from a year ago). In King County, the median price rose 15.5 percent from a year ago, and, at $560,000, was 82 percent higher than the median price in Kitsap County.

Despite murmurs of the possibility of relief for disenchanted house hunters, May was a hotbed of activity. Brokers notched 9,188 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) in the four-county region, the highest ever reported for the region. Overall, members reported 12,607 pending sales, up 2.7 percent from a year ago.

“May was a Grand Slam month for housing activity,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “We finally saw new inventory come on the market in May, and although we had a slight delay in the timing, the spring Puget Sound housing market is in full swing and as intense and frenzied as it has ever been. New inventory outpaced pending sales. This translated into more opportunities for buyers, but with such a quick action market, they still had to act fast to win a home. We’re seeing explosive sales, severe inventory shortages, intense competition, and multiple offer situations.”

Despite rising prices, brokers say competition is still intense in many of the 23 counties in the Northwest MLS area, and especially so near job centers. Consequently, some would-be buyers are waiving contingencies, a practice that draws varying opinions from MLS spokespersons:

“In this competitive market, buyers are frequently waiving many of the traditional contingencies, though each home can be different. Often times, sellers have had their homes pre-inspected and make those inspection reports available to buyers prior to a published offer review date. Other times, buyers are able to keep all of their traditional contingencies intact, though with less frequency in the most competitive areas.”
~ Robert Wasser, Prospera Real Estate

“The number of buyers waiving contingencies is definitely increasing, as many of them have found themselves on the losing end of at least one competitive offer situation. What may have felt uncomfortable for buyers when they started their home search has now become a necessity.”
~ OB Jacobi, Windermere Real Estate

“Buyers, despite the warnings, continue to waive protective rights. Many are also offering non-refundable money to sellers for mutual acceptance. This is ill-advised!”
~ Diedre Haines, Coldwell Banker Bain

Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor, offered a reminder of the phrase, “all real estate is local.” Statistics show buyers in King County more often waive inspections to secure first place in ongoing bidding wars than in the other tri-county areas, offering figures from his analysis. “This means more buyers in King County are more willing to forego having an inspection on the home (a protection for both parties), even against the advice of every prominent real estate attorney in the state,” stated Beeson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors.

Measured by months of supply, King County has the smallest, at about three weeks (0.76 months) of all the counties in the MLS report. At the end of May, there were 2,149 active listings of single family homes (vs. 2,696 a year ago) and 421 condos (vs. 636 a year ago) in King County.

Despite a year-over-year decline of nearly 23 percent in the number of active listings in King County, the volume of closed sales rose about 4.4 percent. Prices on sales within the county (including single family homes and condos) spiked 15.5 percent from a year ago, rising from $485,000 to $560,000. Thirteen counties reported double-digit increases, including King County, up nearly 15.5 percent.

System-wide, there is 1.37 months of supply (slipping from April’s figure of 1.47). That’s well below the 4-to-6 month figure often used to describe a balanced market. The overall median selling price was $378,044. That’s up 11.2 percent from the year-ago figure of $339,950. The number of closed sales rose 5.6 percent from a year ago, increasing from 8,630 overall to 9,112.

The combination of strong demand and limited supply continues to fuel competition and multiple offers in many areas, according to MLS brokers.

“We still have multiple offers but the high end market is slowing down somewhat,” observed Diedre Haines, principal managing broker-South Snohomish County at Coldwell Banker Bain. “Those listings are now on market about three weeks before offers come in. Just a few short weeks ago this was not the case. They are on market a week or two before we get showings. They’re still receiving multiple offers, but only two or three as opposed to five or six. The low end (up to $500,000) is still selling rapidly with many offers,” she explained, adding, “We are seeing younger buyers entering into the fray and investors, both foreign and domestic, with cash offers still out there in abundance.”

“Thurston County has never been better for sellers, with absorption rates at record lows, but buyers have some good news too,” noted Anderson. “The challenge today isn’t lack of choice, it is the swift pace of sales. Homes priced right are selling in near-record time. Today’s successful buyers are prepared to act quickly and decisively when the right home comes to market. That means a lot of smart prep work before the active home search. Every buyer’s road to success in this market starts with working with a professional, full-time Realtor.”

Commenting on the market, both currently and going forward, Jacobi said, “Every year there is a seasonal pressure release when we get past Memorial Day and the historically tight spring market. People begin going on summer vacations which takes some buyers out of the process. We are also seeing the number of homes for sale tick up ever so slightly which could prove positive for buyers. That being said, the demand in the Puget Sound area is very high and the months of inventory continues to trend down, so I expect competition for homes to remain pretty fierce in the coming months.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of more than 2,200 member offices includes more than 26,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in the state.

Posted on June 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market

May 2017 Seattle Area Housing Report

This update has become a monthly tradition in 2017 (and 2016): Home sale prices are through the roof as inventory stays low.

Data released last week shows that homes listed through Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), which aggregates listings for much of Washington State, in April had a record-high median closing price of $360,000, up 10 percent from April 2016, while inventory continues to fall. Brokers listed 11 percent fewer homes through NWMLS in April 2017 compared to April 2016.

Those record-high closing prices were serious business: Despite inventory being so far down, total closed sales in April totaled more than $3 billion, up 6 percent from last year.

NWMLS serves 23 out of 39 counties in Washington, tending toward the western half, including King, Pierce, and Snohomish.

In King County alone, the median home sale price in April was more than half a million dollars, at $550,000—but again, listings were down more than 20 percent.

One could say it’s a seller’s market, but NWMLS said in a release that brokers are finding the current environment “frustrating”—and potentially hazardous to all parties.

The Seattle market is “a tale of overconfident sellers meeting desperate buyers,” said NWMLS chairman and Coldwell Banker Bain principal John Deely in a statement. “Buyers looking to edge out the competition are being asked to, or are, waiving contingencies intended to protect both parties.”

“Sellers are pushing the upper boundaries of value and competing buyers are driving prices beyond the reasonable appraised value,” he added.

If the environment is desperate, it’s a continuation of the same trend. Data from early April showed frenzied bidding wars in Seattle, where 61 percent of houses were going for above asking. Later that month, a Redfin report found that 91 percent of homes in the Seattle metro were weighing multiple offers.

This environment has been brewing for quite some time. Home inventories have been low in Seattle all year—a report in January found that Seattle had the second-lowest inventory in the country, right behind San Francisco.

Shrinking inventory putting “stranglehold” on sales [NWMLS
Low inventory is driving bidding wars in Seattle and the Eastside [CS]
Seattle and Tacoma among most competitive real estate markets in the US, report finds [CS]
Why are home prices so high? Seattle has 2nd-lowest rate of homes for sale in U.S. [Seattle Times]


Posted on May 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market

The 10 Hottest Seattle Neighborhoods in 2017

Seattle Washington is experiencing a hot real estate market and these 10 neighborhoods are the hottest in Seattle in 2017

“THE LOCAL HOUSING MARKET isn’t so much hot as it is blazing at temperatures only measurable by NASA.”  – Darren Davis, Seattle Met

I love this quote from the article from Davis’ Seattle Met magazine article presenting a list of the 10 hottest Seattle neighborhoods in 2017. It’s so true!!  The neighborhoods that made the list have experienced rises in home value, drops in inventory, new attention from developers, or all of those things. What I really enjoy about this article is it’s not sharing only statistics – stories from local business owners, transplants and longtime residents are told alongside neighborhood histories are featured. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Olichel Adamovich | Pixabay.com

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

2017 Q1 Market Reports

A seller’s market continues to reign across the region. Find your report at emilyrobertsrealty/trends.com

2017-Q1 Market Reports

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Emily Roberts | Category: Economics and Housing Market, Real Estate