The Current Trends Page on Mercer Island Pulse has been updated with the 2013 Year in Review information for Mercer Island, Seattle and the Eastside. Below are excerpts from the reports. To read them in their entirety, click the following links:
It was a banner year for real estate on Mercer Island, mirroring the trend seen across much of the Greater Seattle area. So what fueled 2013′s improved numbers? Improved local, regional, and national economies have helped real estate rebound throughout the country. Some of the biggest impetus in 2013 came from historically low interest rates.
For the Seattle area, the volume of single-family home sales increased monumentally to 8,070 homes sold in 2013 from 6,864 (2012) and 5,714 (2011). That’s an 18% increase in sales volume. Worthy of mention was a 62% increase in the number of sales in the $1,000,000 and above price bracket–496 in 2013 compared to 306 in 2012. Very high absorption rates–the percentages of homes that go under contract as compared to all available homes for sale–continue to dominate the Seattle market. A “balanced” market allows for 4-5 months of inventory; in 2013 we saw a strong seller’s market, with less than two months of inventory available in most price points.
On the Eastside (Bellevue, Bothell, Carnation, Duvall, Kirkland, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Redmond and Woodinville), the median sales price of single-family homes rose a solid 12%. This comes after a remarkable 2012–making 2013 truly a banner year. The average market time decreased, from 126 days (2012) to 46 days (2013) for single-family homes. Condos saw similar decreases–from 105 to 48 days. Highly desirable properties of all types received offers–and often multiple offers–within seven days of coming to market.
This year the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.98%, with the first half of the year seeing extremely low rates. Mid-year saw rates beginning to rise, ending just under 4.6% in December. As every 1% increase in interest rates leads to a corresponding decrease of 10% of purchasing power, it will be interesting to see how the interest rates of 2014 impact our market in the coming year.
Want to keep a pulse on our local real estate market on a weekly basis? Check out the Weekly Property Report. Weekly reports, which provide a 16 week summary of activity by price point for the 15 MLS areas that encompass the greater Seattle-Eastside region, are compiled by Julie Barrows and published by Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Monthly, quarterly and annual reports are also available for Seattle, Mercer Island and the Eastside.