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.

This rare, larger three bedroom townhouse with recent updates is a terrific package. In-town living with modern finishes AND three bedrooms, all for under $450,000.  I will be open Saturday and Sunday to show off this sweet townhome.  When you are in Winslow this weekend, come take a look.  The Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market is on Saturday!

Open Houses:

Saturday, April 14th from 1-4pm

Sunday, April 15th from 1-4pm

Welcome to Winslow Park Townhomes.

Two level townhome with three larger bedrooms and a one car attached garage.

Fabulous updates in the kitchen, baths and all throughout the home.

Dining area and eat-in kitchen.

Spacious and open living area with cozy wood stove.

New, south facing back deck.

Large master bedroom with walk-in closet.

Plus two more bedrooms.

Gorgeous, updated bathroom with subway tile and quartz counter.

And a community pool.  Summer is right around the corner.

Details about the home:

  • 1,360 square feet
  • 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms
  • Attached, one car garage
  • Private, south facing back deck on main level
  • Fabulous updates including kitchen, baths, carpet, paint, trim, doors, and fixtures
  • Vaulted ceilings and ceiling fans and updated lighting
  • Community open space and pool
  • Walking distance to Winslow and ferry – in the heart of all the action
  • HOA dues = $517 – no ongoing assessment – many recent complex updates

Light, bright 3 bedroom townhome in the heart of Winslow with easy access to ferry. Thoughtfully remodeled kitchen with new white wood cabinetry, quartz counters, subway tile and ss appliances. Modern updates throughout home include, crisp paint, new doors/trim, light fixtures and carpeting. Updated half bath downstairs and 3 spacious bedrooms up with another large, fully updated bath. Cozy wood fireplace plus a sunny back deck. Private, attached garage. Community pool, open space and rec room.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing details.

 

I am excited to announce my newest listing on the sunny south end. This charming Fort Ward home provides a terrific opportunity for the next owner to earn some sweat equity – which is hard to find theses days. Over 3,000 square feet of living space plus over 2,000 sq ft of partially finished basement. Potential for MIL space, rental opportunity, guest space, home office/s, yoga studio – you name it. Come take a look for yourself during my open house on Sunday 1-4 or contact me for a private showing.

Open House

Sunday, April 15th from 1-4pm

Welcome to 2101 Belfair Ave on Bainbridge Island.

Charming, classic style on a sunny, flat lot.

A gracious entry way to greet your guests.

An extra-large kitchen with loads of storage, wood cabinetry and two pantries.

Main floor master with vaulted ceilings, french doors to the back deck and a five piece master bath with extra laundry.

Bright and sunny family room connects to deck and kitchen.

Three level home with flat and sunny backyard.

Partially finished basement has great potential for sweat equity. Plumbed bathroom, kitchen and wired media room.

Details about the home:

  • 3,000+ square feet of finished living space
  • 2,000+ square feet of partially finished basement space offers quick equity opportunity
  • .37 acre lot in sunny Fort Ward
  • 4 generously sized bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
  • Main floor master suite with 5 piece master bathroom
  • Vaulted and tall ceilings
  • Formal living and dining rooms
  • Updates in the master bathroom suite
  • Two laundry facilities
  • Hardwood floors on main level
  • New exterior paint in 2017
  • Connected sewer and water

Charming 3000 sq ft, 4 bedroom home with a 2,077 sq ft partially finished daylight basement plumbed for bath, kitchenette and media room. Hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings on main. Large kitchen, main floor master with 5 piece bath, 2 walk-in closets. Laundry on main and up. French doors open to sunny Trex deck on this flat, spacious lot in popular Fort Ward. New exterior paint. Some TLC needed. Sweat equity opportunity with the potential for 5,000 sq ft of living space. Connected sewer/water.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing details.

On April 13, 2018, in Home Tours, Homes, Listing, Moving, Neighborhoods, by

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jennifer@jenniferpells.com
206.718.4337
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Windermere Real Estate/BI, Inc.