A Summertime Comparison through the Years
While living anywhere along Lake Washington would be a prized lifestyle, the most coveted shoreline remains the waterfront communities of West Bellevue, Medina, Hunts Point, Kirkland, Juanita, Beau Arts, Enatai, Newport Shores and the north end of Mercer Island. These sought after neighborhoods offer close proximity to job centers, access to preferred public and private schools and comprise the most valuable residential real estate in the Pacific Northwest.
As an aggregated set, the summer of 2015 was very consistent in 2014 with average home sales just over $4 million. The past two years, however, marked a significant increase over the same period in 2013 as the market recovered and demand expanded. However, the average price per square foot fell from $960 in summer 2014 to $854 in 2015. That’s not to say that values have dropped because they haven’t, rather fewer homes sold in the most expensive markets of West Bellevue where more listings led to increased days on market. Waterfront on the north end of Mercer Island and South Bellevue saw the greatest increases in home sales year-over-year as savvy buyers explored new alternatives to the pricier West Bellevue market, which continues to set new records in average sales pricing at $5,649,804. Likewise, South Bellevue and Juanita waterfront also experienced a significant year-over-year value increase, albeit on fewer trades.
Sales Trends (Aggregated June through September 2015)
From a broader perspective, the central Puget Sound region comprises waterfront homes in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap Counties. Overall, the tides were rising in 2015 with a 14% increase in the total number of waterfront homes sold during the four month selling season (June through September) compared with a year earlier. While average seasonal value was slightly off year-over-year, the average price per square foot increased, suggesting that living on the Puget Sound or along the many lakefronts continues to grow in demand.
Kitsap was among the most improved markets, with both home sales and average price per square foot increasing by more than 6% year-over-year in 2015 with 120 sales over the four months averaging $681,000 or $295 per sq. ft. Likewise, King County, with average waterfront home prices more than twice that of Kitsap County, experienced a 3.6% sales volume increase between summer 2014 and 2015. Values for this region rose nearly 9% during that period to average $530 per sq. ft. The average days on market within King County fell 38% year-over-year from 109 days in 2014 to 67 days in 2015 as more buyers found fewer available listings.