Jen Pells | Bainbridge Island Windermere Realtor

Fall at the Suyematsu Pumpkin Patch on Bainbridge Island.

It’s About Time

Even during the darkest hours of 2008, we knew one thing for sure: Bainbridge Island real estate would recover because our market is supported by fundamental strengths, including the fact that it’s a great place to live. Looking back at the first three quarters of this year, we can happily report that we were right. The market is strengthening. The goal now is to analyze our recovery, discuss sustainability and plan our way forward.

A Solid Three Quarters

First, let’s revel in the good news. In the first nine months of this year, 293 island homes sold. This is 36 more than sold all last year and more than twice the number of homes sold in the first three quarters of 2008. You have to go back to 2005 to find a more active nine months, and all the way back to 2003 to find the record-setting 375 homes sold. So far this year, there have been 40 sales over $1 million – a number not seen since 2007 (when 59 homes broke the record for >$1M in the first nine months).

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change (%)
Average Prices: $823,898 $689,129 $647,715 $575,217 $641,789 +12%
Median Prices: $610,000 $579,500 $557,500 $493,000 $530,000 +8%
Number of Sales:
$0-$400,000 14 29 39 67 83 +24%
$400,000-$600,000 55 49 72 76 96 +26%
$600,000-$800,000 29 30 47 33 49 +48%
$800,000-$1,000,000 17 23 19 8 25 +213%
Over $1,000,000 30 19 21 15 40 +167%
Total Sales: 145 150 198 199 293 +47%
Inventory (10/3/12): 285 289 285 293 228 -22%
Under Contract: 31 47 45 45 77 +71%
“Available” Inventory: 254 242 240 248 151 -39%

The Condo-Land Report

Both condominiums (56) and land (24) had their best numbers since 2007. Land sales are up 33% from last year (and up over 140% from only 10 sales in 2008) but are still way off the pace set in 2004 (when there were 80 sales through September). Although we are pleased with the condominium improvement, there is lots of room for growth if we want to approach the record set in 2004 when there were 137 sales.

Jen Pells | Bainbridge Island Windermere Realtor

Fall in Washington = apples. An apple tree on the Johnson Farm property on Bainbridge Island.

The Price is Right, Except When It’s Not

What about prices? Here, things get a bit muddier. We are showing strong gains in both average and median price growth, but a lot of that can be explained by renewed strength in market segment versus individual homes experiencing dramatic price gains. One of the important contributing factors to our price drop was the fact that the market over $600,000 was very weak for a number of years. This year, the number of sales of $600K + homes was up 104% from last year and up 46% from the average of 2008, 2009 and 2010. This re-shifting to a more balanced marketplace will have the opposite effect that the unbalanced market had for the periods 2008 through 2011. Mathematically, it will bring the average and median prices up. That being said, prices have definitely stabilized and are showing incremental upward movement in certain market sectors. Still, we rarely see contracts being put together at the listing price or above, even in multiple offer situations.

What’s Inventory Got to Do with It?

We still struggle with available inventory, and low inventory is a two-edged sword. Yes, it can help push prices up. However, there is an even higher probability it will slow the market down, which is what we seem to be experiencing. We have not seen sub-200 available homes at this time of year since the heyday of multiple offers in 2006 (when there were 181 listings on the market). Here’s the problem with low inventory: it usually means that there is a higher percentage of homes on the market that buyers have already viewed – and for whatever reason rejected. While interest rates stay low, buyers pull back until new inventory comes on the market. The challenge with our current market is there are many sellers also waiting to put their homes on the market until they can list at higher prices. Like a convergence zone, both parties are waiting for an event that may or may not take place in the near future. The result is a slowdown. Judging by the market activity so far in October, that’s exactly what we’re experiencing right now.


So what will happen? We predict that the market will work itself out. We just have to be patient. Prices will go up a bit more, which will prompt sellers who are tired of waiting to make some moves. We know this from analyzing statistical data as well as working and communicating every day with buyers and sellers. As Windermere professionals and residents of this terrific community, we know that things are headed back in the right direction. Bainbridge Island continues to be a great place for investing in real estate and in a wonderful quality of life.


Pumpkin Patch Locations on Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and Kingston

Suyematsu Farm on Bainbridge Island

It is time to go get your Great Pumpkin!

Where can you do that around Bainbridge Island besides Safeway and Town and Country Market? The pumpkin patches below are a great spot for an afternoon of fun and make a much better photo background than the front doors of Safeway.

Suyematsu and Bainbridge Island Farms
9229 Day Road E
Bainbridge Island, WA
Open 10am to 5pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1pm to 6pm, Monday thru Friday.

  • Pumpkins
  • Tractor rides on weekends
  • Corm maze
  • Hale bale maze
  • Squash
  • Ornamental corn & corn stalks

Scandia Farm and Garden
16326 Scandia Road
Poulsbo, WA
360-697-9340 – call for hours

  • Pumpkins
  • Beans,
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Peppers
  • Sunflowers

Kingston Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch (September 17-October 31)
at Sunrise Hill Farm
11033 NE Tulin Rd.
Kingston, WA 98346  

  • Tiger Corn Maze
  • Jump in the hay
  • Hay Mountain
  • Pumpkin Slingers
  • Pumpkin picking
  • Flashlight Maze Madness
Pumpkin Patch locations on Bainbridge Island

Suyematsu Farm on Bainbridge Island

On October 20, 2012, in Activities, Beyond Bainbridge, Community, by

Warm in Western Washington

A few weekends ago, we finally made it out to Seabrook to visit our favorite rental house, The Heron House.  The kids were a little bummed that we did not make it there in the summer, but I had a feeling that September would not disappoint.  Luckily I was spot  –  on the weekend we were there, was sunny and warm, one of the warmest days at the coast – 77 degrees.  Perfection. Today the forecast is predicting 72 degrees and  we are on day  77 with only 3 days of measurable rain (.01 inches at that).  This has been a banner year for sun and warmth.  I know I am loving it and my garden is loving it too.  Red tomatoes for once, yeah!

Easy Coastal Escape

But I digress . . . we indeed escaped to Seabrook for the gorgeous, expansive coast, sandy beaches, no cell reception, great food, and much needed R&R.  My friend Melisa says I am not in my blog enough, so wha-la . . . I snapped a photo of me running on the sandy beach . . . barefoot, and even one on the porch too :) And a few other shots of the quaint, ever-charming Seabrook. I was surprised with the amount of new construction from last summer to this summer.  The development is booming.  Now with at the development of the Mill District there are 200 homes and in the end it will be quite a large project with over 450 homes.  I’d hate to see it get too big . . .

Happy Monday . . . I am off to an inspection where I will also be soaking up the sun and 72 degree warmth here on Bainbridge.

Seabrook | Jen Pells | Windermere Bainbridge Realtor


On October 8, 2012, in Beyond Bainbridge, Personal, by

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