Bainbridge Island Real Estate

The 2018 Bainbridge Island Good ole’ 4th of July Parade.

Flag-Waving Season

Summer has come to our island, and with it our only-on-Bainbridge annual celebratory activi- ties. We had an energetic Third of July street dance, a festive Fourth of July parade, and a successful Rotary Auction thatgrossed 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 and their actions create the excess demand over supply and rising prices.

Bainbridge has always been blessed with a sophisticated and knowledgeable buyer pool. They are well educated and usually quite disciplined. These days, it appears they’re also beginning to be more cautious. Maybe that’s due to the state of the world, a possible coming interest rate hike, or just the general assumption that we’ve been on this run for more than a cou- ple of years and we must be close to the top of the climb. You might ask, then, why in the midst of this caution 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.
  •   We’re also seeing 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 (“pendings”) is down 17.3% from last year and hasn’t bounced back in the firstpart of July.

Bainbridge Island Real EstateThe Bigger Picture

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

When one speaks of the dynamism of a market, the statistical chart vividly shows the changes in our market. 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 (just four short years ago), 78 homes sold for less than $600K, while this year that number is only 19. But there’s an important point to make about 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 even if our market does “stabilize” a bit, we have to acknowledge that it has appreciated dramatically.

A Busy Condo Segment

What about those condominiums? 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. Also, the median was up 13.6% to $468K, matching the all-time median condominium price set in 2007. The condominium market has lagged behind the home market in price recovery from the peaks set in 2007 (the residential median got back to the high set in 2007 by the end of 2015), but the market has shown steady strength in the past year and a half. The condo market has benefited by being able to offer resi- dence on Bainbridge for less than it costs to buy many homes. It’s also shown an active upper end as people have down- sized (which has been driven by success in the upper end of the house market). This success has happened in spite of some very low condo inventories.

On LandBainbridge Island Real Estate.

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 previ- ous 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.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Data 2018

A Positive Tilt

All in all, we are giving our first six months of 2018 a very high grade. Condominiums and land have had a great half of the year and so have homes. We detect some stabilization and cooling off in the home market, but all of us at Windermere are prepared to employ our strategic know-how to guide both buyers and sellers toward their goals, whatever shifts are taking place. And when you’re not pondering your next real estate adventure, get out there and enjoy the predictably spectacular beauty of a Bainbridge summer.

 

This charming custom home in the desirable Commodore Neighborhood is a rare in-town package.  Four bedrooms, a finished basement and entertaining spaces inside and out.  All within walking distance of schools, Winslow and the ferry.  Come take a tour today in person.

Open House: Sunday 1-4pm

Welcome to 1525 Arthur PL NW and the Commodore Neighborhood.

Formal living room with dramatic  floor-to-ceiling windows.

Remodeled kitchen with white wood cabinetry, black granite counters and stainless steel appliances.

Master suite with cozy fireplace and private balcony.

Spa-like master bathroom with California Closet Systems.

Custom 900 sq ft hardwood deck, with spa.

Large .37 acre, fenced lot with sport court, fire pit, shed, and garden space.

Details about the home:

Charming custom home on quiet cul-de-sac in the desirable Commodore Neighborhood. Exceptional outdoor living spaces on larger, private lot. Quality finishes and updates, including remodeled kitchen with white wood cabinetry and granite countertops. Finished basement with spaces for media room, office, and storage. Four larger bedrooms all upstairs plus formal dining and living rooms. Master Suite with private balcony and cozy fireplace. In-town convenience close to schools, ferry, and Winslow.

  • Offered at $868,000
  • Four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms
  • 3,500 square feet on .37 acres
  • Charming custom built home with covered front porch, cedar siding and cedar roofing
  • Formal living and dining rooms plus family room, bonus room and office
  • Light and bright remodeled kitchen with white wood cabinetry, black granite countertops, subway tile backsplash and newer stainless steel appliances
  • Hardwood floors on the main level
  • Fir windows, doors and trim throughout most of the home
  • Large master suite with a fireplace, private balcony, connected master bathroom and custom California Closet organization
  • Spa-like, updated master bathroom with double sinks, an extra-large dual-head shower and private toilet room
  • Oversized laundry room/mud room
  • Media room in the basement with built-in bookshelves, projector system and pull-down screen
  • Private room in the basement with separate entrance – perfect for home office, yoga studio or gym
  • Spacious 900 square foot hardwood custom deck and spa in the fenced backyard with sport court, fire pit, storage shed, garden space and fenced dog-run area
  • Electric forced air with heat pump
  • Connected city water and sewer

Visit the full Windermere listing here.

Visit this home’s custom website here.

8411 Wyatt Way NW for sale by Jen Pells Real Estate.

This adorable cottage on the west-end of Winslow is a must see. Open today (Saturday) 1-4.  Loads of charm and fine finishes inside and out. Three bedrooms, two baths and a private, flat, grassy yard. A great package – in town, close to the ferry, schools and trails.  Contact me if you would like a private tour.

Open House: Saturday 1-4pm

Quaint living spaces with original oak flooring from the 1940’s.

Crisp new kitchen with white wood cabinetry, high end appliances and quartz countertops.

Large dining area flows to the west-facing back deck. The perfect spot to enjoy summer dinners.

Main floor master suite.

Gorgeous master bathroom with frame-less shower door, marble vanity and modern tiles and fixtures.

Family room in the walk-out daylight basement. Also has office space, laundry and a private bedroom.

Patio space in the fenced area of the back yard. Grassy and flat. The motorized awning was recently added and remote controlled.

Details about the home:

Charming remodeled 3 bedroom cottage featuring original oak flooring, beautiful crown molding and crisp new custom kitchen with fir floors, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. Main floor master, luxurious baths with marble vanities. Easy entertaining with French doors to deck, patio and backyard. Newer roof, siding, furnace, hot water heater, retractable awning, shed, blinds, custom closet systems, and lighting. Easy commute with nearby trails to ferry, shops and restaurants.

  • Offered at $610,000
  • 3 bedroom/2 bathrooms in 1,974 sq feet
  • .65 acres, partially fenced
  • Extensive remodel in 2016 including plumbing, electrical and foundation
  • Remodeled kitchen with white wood cabinetry, quartz counters and high-end appliances
  • Main floor master suite
  • Spa-like master bathroom with dual sinks, marble countertops and modern fixtures
  • 1940’s oak flooring in living spaces
  • Fir flooring in kitchen
  • Second bedroom and bathroom on the main level
  • Bonus space, office space and private bedroom in daylight basement
  • Extra storage and laundry closet in daylight basement
  • Hunter Douglas Blinds throughout
  • Custom light fixtures throughout
  • French doors
  • Elfa Closet Systems & cedar closets throughout
  • Motorized awning over back patio
  • Fenced, flat, grassy backyard
  • West-facing deck off the dining area
  • 160 sq. ft. shed under the deck
  • Paved parking area with drainage and new gravel added to drive
  • Close to Winslow, schools and walking trails
  • Terrific condo alternative – no HOA dues

To see the full Windermere listing, click here.

 

Welcome to 713 Madison Ave North.

It has been a while since one of these colorful townhomes has come up for sale in the popular Courtyards on Madison community. My clients are original owners and have added thoughtful, high-end finishes over the years and this home is in immaculate condition. Come take a look for yourself at the open house or contact me directly for a private tour.

Open House: Saturday 1-4pm

Updated kitchen with high-end appliances and quartz countertops.

Large dining area opens to kitchen and living space.

Living spaces and lower level have updated bamboo flooring.

Large, private deck gets southern light and is the best spot to watch the 4th of July Parade.

The spacious master suite with vaulted ceilings. Both bedrooms have their own baths.

Spa-like master bath remodeled in 2018 by Clark Construction.

Convenient, attached two car garage.

Details about the home:

  • Offered at $598,000
  • 1,596 square feet
  • Two large en suite bedrooms with vaulted ceilings
  • Spa-like master bathroom with modern tiles & fixtures plus custom closet system remodeled by Clark Construction in 2018
  • Bonus room on entry level with ¾ bath – perfect for home office, guest room, or exercise room
  • Remodeled kitchen with high-end appliances, quartz & stylish backsplash
  • Bamboo flooring on main and living levels
  • Walls of windows in living areas
  • New interior paint
  • Modern light fixtures
  • Laundry area
  • Large pantry in kitchen
  • Tons of storage throughout home
  • Fenced front yard with covered front porch
  • Large, private balcony captures southern light
  • Two car attached garage
  • New hybrid hot water heater
  • New roofing (covered by HOA)
  • Excellent guest parking
  • Low HOA dues at $430 a month

Stylish townhome in the heart of Winslow boasts a remodeled kitchen, bamboo floors, a spa-like master bath and updated baths throughout. Vaulted ceilings and oversized windows let in natural light. Covered front porch and large balcony have the best views for 4th of July parade! Two bedrooms, each with their own baths. The main level office/bonus/guest/exercise room also has a bath. Two car, attached garage and private front yard. Space for elevator-possible. Close to town, ferry and schools.

For the complete Windermere listing, click here.

 

Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island.

Things That 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 since 2008. So 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. So we celebrate the first quarter, warts and all.

Beautiful Imperfections

Even some of the warts aren’t as bad as they might seem. This is particularly true of inventory, which has 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 most normal 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).

New construction on Bainbridge Island

The Supply Chain

We know that demand is strong this year, but what about supply? The building behind Harbor Steps (between Cave and Ferncliff) is called Bainbridge Landing and will consist of about 114 rental units. The DR Horton project on Sunrise and Torvanger (11 homes) is about 70% complete with two homes remaining for sale. Quadrant is building 19 homes on Weaver (they are well under construction). The Reserve at Winslow on Finch Road features 12 luxury homes, Madison Grove off of Duane Lane includes eight luxury homes, and Madison Landing at 937 Madison Avenue includes 24 condos. These three properties are being developed by Island Communities by Millennial. The Roost has begun their second phase of live-work structures and The Residences at Pleasant Beach is going in for permits on their second tier of 12 homes. All of 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 the vast majority of our land mass with its much lower density zoning.

Looking Around

How about our neighbors to the west and north? The North Kitsap market (Hansville to Poulsbo) is also active and fast-moving right now. 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 a change from this year over last year. Things are popping across the Agate Pass Bridge.

The Value of 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, 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).

So, right now,  things are good – occasionally a little stressful, but good. Please feel free to call or email to talk about how this current market can work with your current real estate plans.

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Windermere Real Estate/BI, Inc.