Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Report | Q2 2018

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Report

A WARM REAL ESTATE CLIMATE

Summer has come to Bainbridge Island, and with it our traditional celebratory activities. We had an energetic Third of July street dance, a festive Fourth of July parade, and a successful Rotary Auction that grossed more than $600,000.

When we move our attention to local real estate statistics, everything appears to be equally sunny. Our median price is up 12.5%, home sales over $1,000,000 are up almost 28%, and condominium sales are up 36%! Still, if you talk to the experienced agents, they are detecting a shift. Let’s explore all the reasons why.

BUYERS BEHIND THE WHEEL 

We talk all the time about buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets. But it’s really the buyers who drive any market. Even in an ascending sellers’ market, buyers (or lack of) create the excess demand over supply.

Bainbridge is blessed with a sophisticated and knowledgeable buyer pool. They are well educated and disciplined. These days, they’re also beginning to be more cautious. Maybe that’s due to world economics, a possible interest rate hike, or a general assumption that we’ve been on this run for more than a couple of years and we must be close to the top. You might ask, then, why are our statistics are so positive? There are several factors at work; signs that the market is not as heated as last year and is stabilizing. Here are a few specifics:

  • Inventory, something we’ve lacked for a while, is creeping up.
  • More price reductions and fewer multiple offers, with more buyers saying, “Let’s just wait and see what happens.”
  • The number of homes under contract is down 17.3% from last year and hasn’t bounced back in the first part of July.

THE BIGGER PICTURE 

We are hearing of a cooling in other markets, both to the east and the west. This is not a cause for great concern, as our market is dynamic, and this sort of shift requires adjustments in strategy rather than extreme actions. Knowledgeable advice will help both buyers and sellers negotiate the changes and still achieve realistic goals.

Speaking of the vitality of the market, statistical charts show vivid changes. In the first half of 2012, 48 homes sold in the 0-$400K price range. By 2014, that number was halved to 24 and has plunged all the way to 4 this year. These homes didn’t disappear; they just moved up into another price range. Right now, there is only one home for sale for less than $400,000 on Bainbridge. In 2014, 78 homes sold for less than $600K, while this year that number is only 19. Here is what’s happening at the other end of the pricing spectrum: In 2014, only 31 homes sold in the $800K-$1.5M range and this year there were 101 sales in the same price range. So as our market stabilizes, we must acknowledge that it has appreciated dramatically.

A BUSY CONDOMINIUM SEGMENT 

With 62 sales in the first half of this year, you’d have to go back to 2007 to find a more active January-June period. The median was up 13.6% to $468K; matching the all-time median condominium price set in 2007. The condominium market has lagged the single-family residence market in price recovery from the peaks set in 2007, but the market has shown steady strength in the past year and a half. The condominium market benefits by offering residence on Bainbridge for less than most homes. It’s also shown an active upper end as people have downsized; which has been driven by success in the upper end of the house market. This success has happened despite low inventory.

ON LAND 

The median price of land sales for the first six months also finally matched this segment’s 2007 peak. In 2007, the median was $406K and in 2018 it was $400K. As with condominiums, it has been a long road back to our previous highs, but they have arrived. The volume of 22 sales exceeded 2007’s 18 sales in the first six months but fell shy of 2015’s peak of 33 sales through June.

A POSITIVE TILT 

All in all, we are giving our first six months of 2018 a very high grade.  We detect some stabilization and cooling off in the home market, but Windermere is prepared to employ our strategies to guide both buyers and sellers toward their goals – regardless of shifts taking place.

Posted on August 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Report

2018 1st Quarter in Review

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Report

THE SPRING BOARD

 

Things We Know Are True

In the real estate business, we know never to count our proverbial chickens. Offers aren’t made until directed by a client, offers aren’t successful until they are accepted, inspections aren’t completed until everyone is satisfied, and we never take a transaction closing for granted. Every step forward is a cause for celebration. We view the market in the same way, especially after 2008. When we say that the first quarter of 2018 had many similar challenges as the first quarters of the past few years, we mean that there was strong demand, some supply, affordable interest rates, and a solid outlook.

Beautiful Imperfections

This is particularly true of inventory, which experienced new lows. At the beginning of April, there were only 40 available (active) single family home listings on the island. This includes all prices, pre-sale homes (which haven’t even been finished yet), and your typical cadre of homes that are woefully overpriced or in a condition or location the typical buyers shy away from. (Bainbridge is different from Seattle, where these types of things tend not to deter buyers.) Nevertheless, 66 homes sold in the first quarter, which surpassed our sales from the past two years! Those additional sales also confuse the lower inventory numbers because homes were essentially selling faster (some might call it “velocity” or “higher turn”) so there would have been more homes left on the market if we sold homes at last year’s rate. (The average cumulative days on market fell from 85 in 2017 to 70 this year – a 17.6% drop!) Combined with a 20% increase in both average and median prices (for the first time, our average price for a quarter is over $1 million), you would have to conclude that our market is very strong. Granted, buyers are paying more with fewer choices, but we are still seeing buyers looking west from Seattle and finding a far saner market with much better values. This surge is not limited to single family. Condominium sales matched last year (technically, up by one) with the median price growing 12%, from $515K to $575K. Land sales, unimpressive last year, burst out of the blocks in 2018 with a 50% increase in lots sold and a 100% increase in median price ($217,500 to $435,000)!

The Supply Chain

We know that demand is strong this year, but what about supply? The construction behind Harbor Square (between Cave and Ferncliff) called Bainbridge Landing will consist of about 107 rentals and 25 residential condominiums.  The DR Horton project on Sunrise and Torvanger (11 homes) is about 50% complete. Quadrant is building 19 homes on Weaver (the model is under construction).  The Reserve at Winslow on Finch Road features 12 homes, Madison Grove off Duane Lane includes 8 homes, and Madison Landing will feature 24 condominiums. The Roost has begun their second phase of live-work structures and The Residences at Pleasant Beach Village is going in for permit on their second tier of 12 homes. These projects are being built within the geographic boundaries of our current comprehensive plan, which has pushed density into specific neighborhoods on the island, leaving a majority of our landmass with its much lower density zoning. Beyond these projects, it becomes a bit muddy with the city’s moratorium and impending changes to design rules. It is still unclear what the result of the moratorium and new restrictions will be, but it appears building will be more difficult and expensive; likely having an impact on the affordability of housing on Bainbridge.

Looking Around

How about our neighbors to the west and north? The North Kitsap market (Hansville to Poulsbo) is also active and fast-moving. There, 167 homes sold in the first quarter, with an average of 46 days on market, and at a selling pace 34% faster than ours! Since 2015, the median price (currently $385K) has risen 23%, almost 17% of which was this year over last.  Things are popping across the Agate Pass Bridge!

The Value of Local Knowledge

If the first quarter is an indicator of the rest of the year, it appears we are in for an active year in Bainbridge Island real estate. To keep things moving in the right direction, our local experienced real estate agents bring a lot to the table. In an environment when buyers need to make decisions on sometimes short pressurized timeframes, a good agent will have sellers’ listings prepared in a fashion where the potential buyers feel more comfortable stretching their budgets. When representing buyers, it’s as much about preparing them to be able to act as it is about advising on locations, limits and putting things in the proper perspective. This guidance to both sides may sound “simple” but often makes many thousands of dollars’ worth of difference in transactions (to say nothing of the peace of mind it provides all parties).

Overall, the outlook good – occasionally stressful, but good. We need to celebrate this current strength and not take it for granted. While we do, we’ll enjoy the beautiful flowers and the sun’s warmth as temperatures and optimism rise together!

 

 

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 10:49 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Work Smarter – Not Harder with Smart Home Technology

Jackie Syvertsen

While still in its infancy, the number of smart home products—devices that let you control lighting, thermostat, or even your crock pot from your smartphone—is rapidly growing. These are products and whole ecosystems that help you control your home via a single iOS or Android app. You can pick and choose your favorite technology gadgets to assemble an affordable, intelligent abode on your own terms, or opt for an entire smart home system that does all the work for you.

While home automation is becoming more prevalent, naturally there are more and more products becoming available as “smart devices”. Here are some of the more diverse home gadgets we have found, beyond thermostats and security cameras:

smart home technology

GE WiFi CONNECT WASHER AND DRYER

Check washer progress with an app that lets you monitor cycles and settings, extend drying times, monitor levels of Smart Dispense tanks, download custom specialty cycles and receive alerts when clothes haven’t been removed.

smart home technology

LOGITECH HARMONY ELITE, UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL

More than just a TV remote – the Logitech Harmony Elite offers all-in-one control of up to 15 home devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray player, game consoles, plus connected lights, locks, thermostats, sensors and more. There’s even a free app that turns your smart phone into an additional remote.

smart home technology

PETZI TREAT CAM

Missing your pet while you’re away? The Petzi Treat Cam provides a way to connect with them through your smart phone from anywhere. Dispense treats, watch live HD video and speak with your pet using the 2-way audio.

smart home technology

FRIGIDAIRE SMART WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER

A wifi connected air conditioner that you control through an app on your smart phone allows you to turn the unit on or off, change temperature, control modes and adapt fan speeds – especially handy if you want your home cooled off before you get home!

smart home technology

SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB REFRIGERATOR

A few years ago, having a French door refrigerator with cameras, wifi, and a gigantic touchscreen would have been the stuff of dreams. Today it is a reality. This high-end fridge will let you peek inside it while grocery shopping, search for recipes on the 21.5 inch display, mirror your smart TV so you can keep watching your movie while you grab a drink, share calendars, photos and best of all – it even keeps your food cold.

Posted on April 22, 2017 at 12:00 am
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Inspired By Nature: Pantone 2017 Color of the Year

pantone 2017

 

Each year the Pantone Color Institute declares a color of the year that ultimately influences trends in all facets of design; including architecture, interior design, graphic design, and fashion. This year they chose Greenery which is shade #15-0343 in the Pantone color spectrum.

A symbol for fresh, new beginnings it also has a feeling that reflects the mindfulness of healthier food resolutions, growing vegetarian trends, and an appreciation for the outdoors.

Here are some ways the 2017 Color of the Year can be incorporated into spaces within your home:

greenery 3

The vivid color of Greenery is perfect for adding a punch of color to the exterior of the home, like painting your doors.

 

An accent wall can immediately brighten interiors and plays beautifully with muted furniture.

An accent wall can immediately brighten interiors and plays beautifully with muted furniture.

 

For a smaller commitment to the color, buy a few accent pillows and throws while indulging in lots of fresh flowers and greenery in vases.

For a smaller commitment to the color, buy a few accent pillows and throws while indulging in lots of fresh flowers and greenery in vases.

 

Bringing Greenery into your Kitchen can be done in many ways: rugs, table runners, accent pieces, and chairs.

Bringing Greenery into your Kitchen can be done in many ways: rugs, table runners, accent pieces, and chairs.

 

Don’t be afraid to mix other colors! There are a myriad of ways to use Greenery. Visit Pantone for color pairing suggestions and inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to mix other colors! There are a myriad of ways to use Greenery. Visit Pantone for color pairing suggestions and inspiration.

 

Jackie Syvertsen, WIndermere Real Estate, Bainbridge Island WA

 

 

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

New Year’s Eve at Home ~ With Style

 

 

New Years Eve 2017

 

Preparation

Considering that New Year’s is a pretty hot-ticket holiday, it’d behoove you to let your friends know sooner rather than later that you’ll be hosting a party at your place. Paperless Post is a good alternative for those who don’t want to track down friends’ addresses, go out to buy a roll of stamps, or leave the house. For those on a budget, there are several free invitation designs to choose from.

Safety

Hire a carpool so no one has to drive home. This is best done by using a traditional car service that can be scheduled for pick up and home delivery. Other ride share companies like Uber and Lyft offer similar services but they cannot be reserved and on a busy night you might find your friends coming in late and leaving far later than desired.

Drinks

For a refreshing alternative to Champagne, try Prosecco. For nonalcoholic selection try Twelve, a fizzy blend of fruit and herbal tea. It’s delicious and certainly more elegant than sparkling cider. Pellegrino and Perrier are also very nice to keep people happy and hydrated.

Food

Don’t let people get hungry! Make it easy on yourself and your wallet. Get some fabulous, frozen pre-made appetizers and keep them rolling from the oven. Cheese and cracker, charcuterie and veggie platters that require no cooking and can be made ahead of time are always crowd pleasers. These can even be purchased from your local deli if time is more important than slicing and arranging your own cheese.

Sweets

We’ve all been eating way too much sugar all December but if you want to do a small dessert and make it look special, dust some edible glitter onto your store bought cookies or cake. Yes, edible glitter is a thing.

Music

Set up Pandora at a volume where you can hear it – but don’t have to raise voices to hear each other. Hipster Cocktail Party is a great one. Don’t let the name turn you off; the music they play is terrific. Bill Withers, Nina Simone, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin are some regulars you’ll find on this station.

Parting Gifts

Send everyone home with recovery bags: Insert a packet of emergenC, a pre-packaged duo of Tylenol and breath mints and attach it to a bottle of water.

 

 

 

Posted on December 30, 2016 at 9:01 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Holidays on Bainbridge Island, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

2016 First Half Newsletter

MEMORIES OF YEARS PAST
A History Lesson

The one constant in our real estate market is change. Ten years ago (yes, it has been 10 years!), we were in a very competitive market. Inventory was tight and prices were going through the proverbial roof, setting new highs. Then, in September 2007, that came to an abrupt end and we began a downward trend toward the largest correction since the 1980s. It took until 2012 for the market to shift yet again and gradually pick up speed toward recovery. By 2015, we returned to familiar territory: an extremely competitive market with record low inventories and rapidly rising prices. On July 1, 2015, there were 58 active listings on the island. Now, just one year later, data suggests a potential market transition with inventories rising and price reductions becoming increasingly common.

We in the industry do not view this as a repeat of 2007. There are too many positive factors in our financing infrastructure and regional market that separate this climate from its predecessors. (Indeed, the financing environment is so much more conservative now that securing funding can actually be a hurdle in some transactions.) We are still in a very competitive market and the statistics bear this out. While we may be slowly moving towards a more “balanced” market, we are not there yet. Let’s look at some of the leading indicators that give a glimpse at where we are.

Inventory

One year ago, there were 112 home listings, 54 of which were under contract. For a market the size of Bainbridge, 58 active listings in the middle of summer is a crazy small number. On July 15th of this year, inventory had ballooned to 162 listings, 64 of which were under contract (leaving 98 active). Yes, this was a substantial improvement from last year. But when compared to the absolute top of our last market peak in July 2007, the 162/64 stat still looks very tight compared to the 2007 numbers, which were 289 listings with 62 under contract.

The percentage of pendings to listings is 40% today compared to 21% in 2007. This year’s second quarter median cumulative days on the market is still a brisk 11 days, equal to what it was for the same period in 2015. (In 2007, it was 52 days.)  It is still a very competitive market. Our inventory is growing because our price levels are finally bringing in more people from the sidelines. When you look at the history of the sold listings, there are scant few people who are “flipping” or who have bought recently and rapidly selling for a profit. Instead, many of the homes that recently sold were last sold in 2001, 2004, or even 2007 and 2008. It’s also interesting to note that people who have held onto their homes for a more extended period of time (since before the boom years) are realizing very healthy increases over what they paid.  

Prices

We have finally drawn even with and are even beginning to pass our peak prices of 2006/2007. When we checked the history of all the homes sold in the second quarter, all those that sold in 2006/2007 did better this year. Our year-to-date median is $755,000, a 14.4% increase over last year. This number is exacerbated by the price ranges of the homes sold. Overall, sales were down almost 17% and almost all of the decrease came in homes below the $600K price point. This phenomenon can be partly explained by our old nemesis: lack of inventory. On July 15th, there were 13 homes available on the whole island for less than $600K. Not many choices …

However, we are now seeing more price reductions than even in the first quarter. This is another indication of a healthier market. Pricing still matters, as sellers can’t just ask for anything. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, this is one of many areas where professionals can really help. Overpriced homes usually end up selling for less than properly priced homes, a statistic that has been borne out in all types of markets. This becomes especially important when a market is going through a gradual shift. The bottom line is that prices are rising and healthy. True, the rate may change and is very neighborhood and property specific. But the competitive nature of our current market will help bolster prices.

Condominiums and Land

Interestingly, the increase in inventory has not yet been felt in the residential condominium market.  Due to low inventory the volume of condominium sales are down almost 21% from last year.  Prices are up 8% from 2015, but the median price is still 13.7% lower than in 2007.  In addition to the shortage of available condominiums buyers face potential financing challenges specific to that type of property.  In the land segment, sales are down more than 30%!  Median price for land is also off 6.5%, which is 47% of the 2007 median.  This is perplexing as land sales improved quite a lot between 2014 and 2015.

Moving Forward

So our changes are subtle at this time, but in process. On the residential side, the greater inventory gives buyers more choices and potentially more sales. Sellers are seeing price levels that entice people to return to the marketplace and support a competitive environment. The regional economy outlook continues to impress and our position in that marketplace remains strong. (What other community can still claim the same commute time to downtown as twenty years ago?) The outlook ahead is all very positive!

This summer, we are opening a satellite office on Olympic Drive and Winslow Way. There we’ll be able to greet ferry passengers as they first arrive to the island. Our goal is to give our clients more exposure to pedestrian and vehicle ferry traffic and have agents on hand to answer questions. We hope to have our doors open soon, so please stop by.

Windermere In The News

To say that Windermere has a lot of Seahawks fans would be an understatement. That’s why we are so excited to announce today that we are now the “Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks”!

At the center of this partnership with the Seahawks is a new #tacklehomelessness campaign in which the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 for every Seahawks tackle at home during the 2016 season. On the receiving end of these donations is YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth from across Puget Sound for more than 40 years. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has donated over $30 million to non-profits that support low-income and homeless families, so partnering with YouthCare and the Seahawks on the#tacklehomelessness campaign is a perfect fit for us.

“We are proud to partner with Windermere, an iconic and locally-based company with a deep commitment to this community,” said Seahawks Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Amy Sprangers. “Windermere’s brand and values align perfectly with our commitment to this region. It is wonderful that this partnership will make a positive impact on homeless youth throughout the Seattle area.”

GO HAWKS!

Seahawks Sponsorship Logo F

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 10:46 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A celebration of all things green on Earth Day 2016

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would have a little tribute to the color green. While a pale, almost neutral green is common in design, it takes guts and color savvy to really sock a punch to a room with green. These are a few great examples where the designer is a green maven.

This room has such a fun vintage feel without the burden of all of grandma's clutter. Keeping all of the other major pieces a stark white really showcases the green color.

JackieSyvertsen

I LOVE this room; my eye was immediately drawn to the Egg Chair in that gorgeous shade of green!

JackieSyvertsen

I think I'm drawn to this room because it looks like it was inspired by the Farnsworth house. The green accent mimics what is going on outside the structure.

JackieSyvertsen

The designer of this bathroom understands color and balance. The green is allowed to shine against the white while a little punch of orange provides great contrast.

JackieSyvertsen

Speaking of orange and green – being fearless with color can be intimidating but rewarding and well worth it when done properly. The balance of the orange and green is so refreshing and exciting.

JackieSyvertsen

Also, chocolate brown looks fantastic with green.

JackieSyvertsen

This calm traditional room probably would have seemed like the same old, same old without that brilliant hit of green provided by the duvet and throw pillow.

JackieSyvertsen

Here the green tiles add a bit of whimsy to an otherwise very modern kitchen.

JackieSyvertsen

And finally, who says wreaths are only for Christmas? A living wreath planted on a moss ring provides lovely greeting at your front door.

JackieSyvertsen

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

Posted on April 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Home Improvement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Decorating a Small Front Stoop

Grand porches get more press, but you can pack just as much style into a small space. Whether you have a city stoop, an apartment building landing, exposed exterior stairs or a small porch, these 10 ideas will help you make the most of your home’s entrance.

1. Add a quirky planter. Done with that umbrella stand? Tuck a plant pot in there for an instant transformation. Or take a funky vintage find, like an elephant-shaped stool, and use it as a plant stand beside the front door. It’s sure to make guests (and you) smile.

Jackie98110         

2. Paint your door a bright color. A cheerfully bright, mood-boosting hue is a great way to light up a small or dark entryway. Try yellow, lime green or aqua.

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3. Paint pots to match your door. This is quite possibly the easiest way to make your front entrance feel put together: Cluster flowerpots in the same hue as your front door on the stoop. Stick with odd numbers and vary the sizes of the pots for a more casual look. For a formal entrance, choose two giant, identical pots to flank the door.

Jackie98110

4. Roll out a big rug. Why stick with itty-bitty doormats when you can offer guests a big, cheerful outdoor rug instead? A larger rug on a small stoop will help the area seem more spacious — a tiny doormat tends to break up the space. A big rug on the porch also does wonders for hiding imperfect floors!

Jackie98110

5. Position trellises to frame the entrance. Positioned at each end of the porch or front steps, trellises provide welcome privacy and shade to the entrance. If the area gets good sunlight (and the climate allows), why not plant something fragrant, like jasmine, so you can enjoy a delicious scent each time you return home?

Jackie98110

6. Style some beachy finds. Driftwood, shells, glass lanterns, striped beach blankets and woven seats create a laid-back vibe on this front porch. If you have only a tiny amount of room, try arranging a single chunk of driftwood, a big shell and a glass lantern beside the door.

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7. Plant a window box. When you hardly have a stoop, let alone a full porch, it can be difficult to find ways to personalize your space. Try hanging a window box from the front window and installing a handsome lantern beside the door.

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8. Invest in topiary. A pair of topiary trees or neatly trimmed potted shrubs flanking the front door makes for an elegant entrance. You can’t miss with classic blue and white ceramic pots, moss-covered concrete or black urns, or square wooden planter boxes. If your stoop gets zero sun, consider investing in high-quality fake topiary — it’s really hard to tell the difference, and you can’t kill it!

Jackie98110

9. Draw the eye up with hanging baskets. Big hanging pots of ferns look bountiful and lush, and can handle the shade under an eave. Be sure to choose pots that are on the large side, and hang them about two-thirds of the way up from the porch floor — small pots hung too high look awkward.

Jackie98110

10. Swap plain numbers for an address plaque. A custom address plaque imparts more sophistication than plain house numbers. If you like, personalize it further by making up a name for your house.

Jackie98110

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

Posted on April 6, 2016 at 10:53 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Home Improvement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

New Listing on Pleasant Beach

4479 Pleasant Beach Drive NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Offered at $1,150,000

Luxury seaside living in the heart of Pleasant Beach Village, just steps to restaurants, arts, theater and parks. Incredibly light this beautiful home features open gracious living with 9 foot ceilings, hardwood floors and propane fireplace. Wonderful low maintenance, single-family home features 3 bedrooms including Master bedroom with private balcony overlooking the water, sweeping views, walk-in closet and Jacuzzi tub. Incredible amenities include a bright gourmet kitchen with pantry and private patio, skylights throughout, central heat and cooling and a 2-car garage. NWMLS #893331

 

Pleasant Beach

To review the entire listing online, click here

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

 

 

 

Posted on February 17, 2016 at 9:48 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Uncategorized

2015 Year in Review Newsletter

Singing a Familiar Song 

In 2015, we watched as a trend that began in 2012 continued. For the past several years, we’ve had a steady decrease in available homes accompanied by increased values.  In 2015 we saw more of the same – or less of the same, depending on one’s perspective.  We are living and working in an ongoing environment of real estate scarcity.  Still, we keep our eyes on the future rather than the past to see what the market will do next.

The Ebbs and Flows of an Island Market 

As with all markets, we are subject to demand (buyers) and supply (sellers). The majority of our buyers come from two sources: island residents seeking to change their Bainbridge addresses (>40%) and people moving here from the Seattle environs (~30%). We are all aware of the craziness of the Seattle marketplace. Seattle is experiencing phenomenal economic and job growth, a lot of it right downtown. Seattle Metro real estate is also a fairly closed system, with little room for additional housing unless you want to live in an apartment tower or spend a lot of time on the freeways going east/south/north. The consequence of this growth has created some serious traffic issues and prices (for those who succeed in the multiple-offer frenzy) are a lot higher there than here. Once you factor in the great reputation of Bainbridge schools, it is little wonder families of downtown workers look to the island as a real estate alternative to Seattle.

Movement on the Rock 

Then there are the Bainbridge buyers. Many island residents have been holding on to their homes purchased between 2006 and 2008, waiting for prices to come back up so they can move without taking an equity hit. In general, prices have gradually risen since 2012, which has brought home values closer to the peak prices of 2007. (Prices have grown >35% since the beginning of 2012 but certain areas/locations/amenities have outpaced appreciation relative to other island neighborhoods.) At the current rate, we should surpass the average price peak of 2007 at some point during 2016. (The average price in 2007 was $820,569; in 2015 it was $790,534.)  The “upper end” segment (>$800K), which has been the slowest to recover, had a strong 2015 with sales up 35.6% from 2014 (137 versus 101). It is interesting to note this segment accounted for 36% of all the sales in 2015.  

The Challenge of Choices

The only apparent impediment to local people moving around the island is a lack of choice.  Bainbridge residents are reluctant to put their homes on the market because they cannot find alternatives that justify moving (and their current homes appreciate the longer they stay in them). The current demand is outstripping current supply, which creates price increases and buyer frustration. The demand comes from the fact that Bainbridge is a pretty great place to live so people want to move here. As long as Bainbridge Island is perceived to be a desirable community there will be demand from people wanting to live here. There aren’t many alternatives for families wanting great access to downtown Seattle, fabulous schools and a more relaxed lifestyle than Seattle provides.

Low Supply and High Demand 

The effect of this demand will be continued buyer frustration, higher prices and a demand for more inventory (growth of the number of homes available, otherwise known as new construction and development). If our demand stays the same (and there is no reason to doubt that it will, at least in the mid-term), prices will rise more than if there is new inventory. For those of you who have been here for a while, you’ll remember how quickly our prices appreciated in the last decade (2002-2007).

Developing Changes 

The good news is that there are new construction projects being built and being planned. As home prices and demand have increased, builders have re-emerged. We had 68 land sales last year (with a median price increase of 27%, from $185K to $235K), the most in over a decade (and a long way from 2008’s 15 sales). Some of these are for single family; some are for developments. Grow Village, developments on Wing Point, Wyatt Way and Lovell, Weaver, Sunrise Bluff on the mid to north end are actively being pursued by builders. Pleasant Beach and “The Roost” on Point White in the south end want to move forward and will, just as soon as some issues with the local sewer infrastructure are answered. Some of these projects will come on line this year, and some in 2017. Last year, we recorded 21 new construction sales, a 31% increase over 2014 and a 420% increase over 2013.

The Word on Condominiums 

Condominiums were dramatically affected by the lack of inventory. Active listings (listings not under contract to be sold) went from a peak of 16 in May down to only 4 in mid-December.  That’s right. In mid-December, there were only 4 condominiums available island-wide. With that in mind, it is surprising that sales were only down 11% (90 versus 101). The median price, however, grew 11.2% ($372,500 versus $335,000) which surpassed the single family median increase. This was due primarily to sales between $400K-$500K increasing from 19 to 25 in 2015. (In both years, 86% of all sales were less than $500K.)  

A Fresh Take 

We expect 2016 to be an interesting year. There is little evidence to a slowdown in demand so the challenges sellers and especially buyers experienced in 2015 will probably not abate. There is a “buzz” that more people are thinking about selling this year, which will help. However, there appears to be a resurgence of a “no growth” attitude, which will drive prices higher. The trick is enabling growth so it maintains the qualities we currently have and allows Bainbridge Island to retain its distinct personality and charm. 

2015 Year in Review_Sales Chart

Posted on January 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Uncategorized