First Quarter Home Sales on Bainbridge Island

First Quarter on Bainbridge Island

First Quarter is officially in the history books.  I personally had the busiest winter on record.  I was too busy to let the dreadful winter weather get me down.  That was a good thing.  But, the sun is shining as I type and spring is finally on the way. The good weather typically gets those buyers out looking, but this winter, dreadful weather and all, the buyers were out there, looking for and yes, buying houses.

“Oh that was because of the tax credit”

Last year in 2010 we had 74 closings 1st Quarter.  This year we were only up by one to 75, but keep in mind the very important first time home buyer tax credit that stimulated sales the first half of last year.  So when we compared the 2009 sales of just 50 closings to the 74 in 2010, everyone said “oh that was because of the tax credit.”  In 2011, no tax credit, no artificial stimulation going on here.  These are buyers buying because they are moving here for jobs, the schools, and they are motivated by the historically low interest rates.

Rates: can they go any lower?

In my last post, you saw that rates are dipping again.  If we start going into another dip in rates, our spring and summer closings will no doubt be swift.  Our low inventory, only 196 active listings, (and many of them are not “fresh” they have come in and out of active) is already motivating potential sellers.  These amazing rates will too, because sellers can possibly ask a little more for their homes . . . and we’ll see what happens, could this be the year where prices turn and start moving the other way?  Time will tell, but I think the push and pull of our current low supply and high demand is going to start benefiting the seller.  I can see that median home price cruising back up to $555,000 by the end of the year and perhaps staying put for a while.

First Quarter Median Home Prices on Bainbridge Island


So, if you are a buyer right now . . .

  • Be ready.
  • Have your financial ducks in a row – get your pre-approval letter.
  • Have a good lender (one that calls you back and does not need hand holding).
  • Know that contingent sales are NOT appealing to a seller.
  • Have an agent who is ‘Johnny on the Spot.’

Because you will most likely be in a multiple offer situation and you need a savvy, aggressive agent to make sure your offer comes out on top (I might know one). But, seriously, what is happening is homes are selling fast, homes are selling before they go on the market. Agents in the know are snapping them up for their buyers.  I currently have two ‘off-market’ deals going on.  Good agents are being creative to satisfy the needs of their buyers.   The market is constantly evolving, keeping it interesting  . . . keeping us on our toes.

Data from NWMLS – stats based on residential sales, excluding condos.

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