Seller’s Market is Here to Stay…says Windermere’s Chief Economist!

Posted on May 31, 2017 at 11:20 pm
Shannon Dierickx | Category: Bainbridge Island, Connecting Bainbridge Island, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

2016 Year in Review: A Promising Start to the New Year!

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Familiar Themes With regard to the Bainbridge Island real estate market and its year-end numbers, the similarities between 2016 and 2015 are striking. In both years, the market struggled with a lack of inventory and strong demand, while the market trends (that actually began in 2013) continued to respond to this condition. What makes 2016 special is we surpassed most (if not all) of the records set in our last ascending market of 2004-2007. While it makes some people nervous to be in this rarefied air, with the uncertainty that can accompany it, we don’t foresee any specific event that will change our market trajectory in 2017 (with one possible exception, which we will discuss later).

Record-Setting Prices The median price of a home sold on Bainbridge has never been higher than in 2016. Even more impressive is the steady growth in the median since the valley floor we hit during the difficulties of 2011. In only five years, our median has grown from $493K to the current $740K – an increase of 150%. In that time, we officially drew even with and then surpassed the 2007 peak median of $680K. This is welcome news to all those sellers who have been hanging in there, whether they wanted to or not, waiting for prices to climb back up. Our upper end has been the last market segment to enjoy our market’s resurgence, and finally joined the party in 2016. Sales over $1M were up 32.4% from 2015 and up 88% from 2014. Not only did we set a new “highest price sold” of $5.97M but we
had five sales over $3M. Previously, the highest price for a home sold was $3.497 in 2007. Also for comparison, in the ten years between 2005 and 2015, there were only eight homes sold for more than $3M (an average of less than one, compared to the five sold in 2016).

Condos, Land and New Construction Our condominium market also experienced a resurgence. In 2008, there were only 42 condominium sales on the island; in 2016, we had 104 sales distributed over all price ranges – the largest number since 2007. The condominium valley floor was in 2012 with a median price of $297K. In 2016, by contrast, we raised that by 35%, reaching a median of $400,750. Although land sales were down last year (for reasons that are unclear, but we suspect a cyclical reaction from 2015’s exceptionally strong sales), new construction seems to be everywhere (especially in community centers). There is a plethora of multi-home projects underway across the island. Some are being developed by local owners, but we have also seen an influx of off-island larger development companies. New communities under construction: Ashbury – Off Wyatt – 18 residential homes (off-island developer); Landmark – Off Wing Point Way – 17 residential homes (off-island developer); Ferryview – Off Wing Point
Way – 11 condominiums (off-island developer); Roost – Off Baker Hill – residential, commercial and townhomes (island developer); Pleasant Beach Village – 14 view condominiums (island developer). There are also many multi-home projects in the planning/permitting stage (Weaver, Finch and Torvanger to name a few).

The Density Trend The development we’re seeing in places like Winslow and Rolling Bay addresses a sentiment we’ve been hearing from our clients for years: “We want to downsize and move into town.” As the higher end has become healthier, people have been able to achieve their goals of selling their larger homes (to enthusiastic new buyers!) and moving to smaller homes or condos in denser community centers. We anticipate Lynwood Center will also benefit from this trend as new homes come online (like The Roost and Pleasant Beach Village Townhomes and lots).

Moving Parts We’re keeping a close eye on interest rates, which are slated to go up again sometime soon. The concern is they rise to a point where they materially affect mortgage payments (and therefore home prices). Loan rates are still exceedingly affordable, so let’s hope they stay that way. Demand will probably not be a concern for 2017, and supply will still most likely lag demand. We have new projects coming on-line now and throughout the year, but we still see some clients waiting to sell their homes (adding to inventory woes) be-cause there aren’t yet enough choices on the market to justify the risk of having nothing to move to once they sell. The new projects will help, especially because they provide what current potential sellers have been asking for, but we see overall demand still exceeding supply. As much as last year? That may depend on Washington DC …

The Crystal Ball Will 2017 go down the same growth-oriented path as 2015 and 2016? Will the change in federal leader-ship have a negative impact on our market? Obviously, we can’t predict unforeseen events, but the economic outlook for our region is very positive. Professional and business services jobs are predicted to grow 3% in the Seattle Metro area next year. Computer and mathematical jobs up 3.5%. All that growth without any new transportation infrastructure only makes Bainbridge look increasingly appealing. People continue to look beyond King County, and many are excited to discover the beauty and quality of life found on Bainbridge Island.

 

Posted on January 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm
Shannon Dierickx | Category: Bainbridge Island | Tagged , , , , , ,

2016 First Quarter in Review: An Inventory Driven Market!

The Same Old Tune Even as the birds of springtime sing their new songs of the season, we must hit repeat as we report – once again –on our local market’s low inventory. A lack of available homes continues to dictate what’s happening in Bainbridge Island real estate. On April 1st, there were only 47 homes and 5 condominiums available for sale on the island. Within the overall market, certain price points have been more pinched than others (which is a snapshot in time and will change as the year goes on). For example, if you were looking for a home in the $600K to $800K range, you had only 5 houses to choose from and zero condominiums.

How Inventory Affects Sales & Prices This extremely limited inventory helped drive home sales down more than 20% from last year.  There are plenty of buyers out there; there are just not enough properties on the market to sell. The scarcity increased competition and bumped median prices up more than 9% (and the average, which is more a function of the price ranges where homes closed, was u p more than 18%!). The median cumulative days on the market (CDOM) dropped from 26 in 2015 to 20 in 2016. To put this in perspecti ve, the CDOM in 2012, which was a good year, was 146 days.

The Story on Condominiums & Land The condominium market is also suffering from lack of inventory. Last year at the beginning of April, there were 16 condominiums available compared to this year’s 5 (both of which lie in sharp contrast to 2012, when there were 45 available). Consequently, sales dropped from 19 to 16, but the median price rose 23% to $430K. Land, on the other hand, experienced a 30% increase in sales to 13 parcels this quarter with a 26.8% increase in the median price to $225K.

The View From Inside One might assume that a market like this, with rising prices and inventory competition, makes our jobs easier.  The reality is that there are some basic principles, goals and strategies that any good real estate professional seeks to embrace, all of which must adapt to an ever-changing market. Regardless of the climate, we want our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes – both at closing and in the future. This is sometimes easier said than done, especially when competition is fierce and time is of the essence. Given the complexities of the Bainbridge market, where most homes and locations are unlike any others, things can get even more challenging. It is not like buying or selling in a large subdivision where a product like Zillow has some merit. Here, each house has strengths and weaknesses and the success of a sale can pivot on those subtle nuances.

If You’re a Buyer For buyers in this market, supply is tight and prices are rising. You
almost have to assume you will be competing with others when you find the house you
would like to make your home. Is the price fair? How high should you go? The specter of 2006 and 2007 should be in the back of your mind, as the concept of paying “whatever it takes” came back to bite many homebuyers. An agent brings knowledge of the current market, the choices it offers, what might be coming and how an individual house fits into the bigger picture – including the history of the neighborhood and often of the house itself. An agent will know whether a price is in line or whether the seller is beingaggressive. (And, when there are limited comparable properties, this expertise becomes extremely important.) No one wants to hear, “You paid how much for your house?!”

In multiple offer situations, there are strategies to employ. You need to line up your resources to be “the best you can be.” Multiple offers often require that decisions be made quickly, so being prepared makes you a stronger buyer and one less likely to be disappointed later. If you are not a cash buyer, there are things you can do to compete with those who are. Get comfortable with the stack of forms you’ll be asked to sign. Understand what it means to omit certain forms. What about inspections? Title reports? Learn how to spot red flags that make certain houses less expensive. Being a buyer in this market can be difficult, frustrating and even scary. A good agent can help you navigate the winding road to achieve the best results and avoid mistakes.

If You’re a Seller Sellers may think they have it easier, but the reality is that a seller’s quest is the same in an ascending market as in a descending one. The two primary goals for sellers are to get the home sold in the timeframe desired and to maximize net proceeds. Buyers will be more attracted to, and will ultimately pay more for, a house that is optimized to appeal to a buyer and priced in a manner that a buyer feels is reasonable in the current market. Here again, knowing the current market, as well as past and future markets and how a particular home fits into all of them, is essential in achieving the seller’s ultimate goals. But the work is just beginning when buyers first express inter-est. You have to know which of them will have the greatest possibility of actually achieving a closed transaction. (It is surprising how many deals fall apart in this market.) Negotiating inspections? Appraisals? Seller’s liability? What do all those forms mean and what are your responsibilities? There are many steps between pondering selling and achieving your goals, and the reality is that sellers don’t always get everything they hope to get out of a sale – even in a sellers’ market. But an experienced agent will help you prepare, present and respond so you can get the most out of any market.

The Constant Real estate markets fluctuate all the time, sometimes favoring buyers and sometimes favoring sellers. This is simply the nature of the business. But in the midst of all those ups and downs, one thing remains consistent: the beauty and livability of Bainbridge Island. At Windermere Bainbridge, we celebrate our island community and all it has to offer.

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 1:09 am
Shannon Dierickx | Category: Bainbridge Island, Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Good Vibes on the South End!

Life on the south end of Bainbridge Island has gotten a whole lot cooler! Thanks to Joe at Island Cool every Tuesday evening Tracie Marsh will be playing through the summer!  Bring the kids and treat em to frozen yogurt – there’s no cover and all ages are welcome!  Playing from 6:30-8:30pm; they'll  be playing a mix of jazz pop and soul.

Enjoy watching the little ones play in the famous mouse fountain, visit with neighbors, grab a glass of wine at Suzanne Maurice Wine Bar, wander through the Marketplace, grab a slice at The Treehouse, a buttery coissant at Pane d'Amore, a juicy burger at Hammy's Burgers, join friends for dinner at the Beach House, whatever you choose to do, and there's A LOT to choose from, a great time will be had for sure!  Sit back and enjoy the vibe at Pleasant Beach Village!

 

South end living at it's best!

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm
Shannon Dierickx | Category: Bainbridge Island, Buyers Agent, Connecting Bainbridge Island, Real Estate, Recommended realtor bainbridge island, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Bainbridge Farmers Market

Had such a lovely day at our local Farmers Market  Saturday! Maybe it was the temperature, the sunny day, the vibrant colors, the community spirit or all of it combined, but it was FANTASTIC! We purchased fresh green kale, sweet carrots and vibrant yellow cauliflower from Farmhouse Organics. Sauntered over to Gloh and had Hilary whip us up the most incredible smoothie of superfoods, coconut water, fresh raspberries and dates!

But wait, there was more! We had to taste the wonderful Botanical Kombucha from iggy's as well as their famous Raw-Fermented Kraut's…simply delicious and they are bar none the nicest, most hospitable bunch of young adults! Then it was off to nibble on the best goat cheese I've ever tasted in my life from Mystery Bay Farm.  I had to buy the honey flavored and the thyme and white pepper! Simply delicious!  We sat in the warmth of the sun listening to Ranger and the Re-arrangers playing wonderful music and just taking it all in.

We ran into friends and neighbors, watched dogs play, watched people play for that matter and simply enjoyed a perfect day! We left feeling truly blessed that we have such a vibrant, successful, farmers market right here on our beautiful island!

There's still plenty of time to go and with this great weather…what are you waiting for!

Bainbridge Island Farmers Market

2014 Summer Market
Saturdays
April 12 through November 15
Hours:  9am – 1pm
Town Square / City Hall

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 11:58 pm
Shannon Dierickx | Category: Bainbridge Island, Buyers Agent, Connecting Bainbridge Island, Real Estate, Recommended realtor bainbridge island, Uncategorized, Winslow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Bainbridge Island’s Million Dollar Market!