LEAVES FALL; MARKETS RISE

Bainbridge Real Estate MarketThe Big Picture

In order to paint an accurate portrait of the Bainbridge Island real estate market during this autumn season, it’s important to put it in the context of the broader regional economy. Through that lens, things are looking very good. Estimates for September 2016 through September 2017 indicate an employment increase of 76,100 in Washington. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private sector added 61,400 jobs while the public sector gained an estimated 14,700 jobs over the year. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner backs that up in his Third Quarter Report, writing, “I maintain my belief that the Washington State economy will continue to outperform the U.S. as a whole. Given such a strong expansion, we should also expect solid income growth across Western Washington.”

The Seattle job market continues to be a huge draw for people moving here from across the country and around the world. As the number of residents in the Puget Sound area rises, Bainbridge Island has been and continues to be a viable and attractive residential option. The desirable amenities are obvious: from the rural feel to the vibrant community to the relative ease of a 35-minute commute by ferry versus an hour and a half by vehicle in the Seattle Metro area – just to name a few.

Another factor that affects our market is buyer fatigue. We’re seeing an increase in island buyers who are fed up – after multiple failed attempts to purchase in Seattle, where they may have competed against dozens of other eager bidders – and choosing to look in our direction for alternatives. This very real and frequent market dynamic contributes to the health of our local market.

Bainbridge Real Estate MarketA Positive Price Report

The third quarter saw continued upward pressure on prices. As the chart below shows, we saw near-double-digit price gains in terms of average and median sales prices over the same period last year. This resulted in a dramatic increase in sales activity in the high-end market with a 34% increase in sales between $1 to $1.5 million and a whopping 85% increase in sales over $1.5 million. (The fact that we’ve begun to list sales that exceed $1.5 million as a separate category is solid evidence of our changing market.)

Our price growth has been consistent over the last several years. The strong population and employment numbers mentioned above help to move the market, but low inventory continues to limit buyer choice. In fact, we had a small decrease in the inventory from the third quarter of 2016 (98 homes on the market) to this year’s third quarter inventory of 92. These data points would suggest continued upward price movement, at least in the short term, that’s complementing a gradual increase in residential sales in recent months.

Keeping Things in CheckBainbridge Real Estate Market

As is true in any transitioning market, we need to look at things from every angle. Even given all the positive signs summarized here, sellers should not assume that they can sell their homes in only a matter of days, in any condition and at whatever high price they set. This simply is not the case. Yes, we are still in a seller’s market, with 2.4 months of limited inventory. However, realistic expectations are critical. While we do still experience multiple-offer scenarios, those have become less prevalent over the course of the year. Instead, we have experienced more price reductions as some sellers were a little aggressive in their initial pricing. It’s important to remember that every house, every neighborhood and every transaction has its own distinct characteristics. An local real estate professional is essential for navigating the current market conditions.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market

Finishing Strong

Traditionally, real estate activity tends to slow down in the fourth quarter. Already, this year has been quite different. In only the first few weeks of October, our office has nearly doubled the number of sales compared to this time last year. Open house activity has been robust, indicating an energized pool of buyers just waiting for that perfect home to come along. If these trends continue, we could be in for a very exciting close to an already strong year. Here’s to a healthy and hearty season in all corners of our wonderful island community.

Bainbridge Real Estate Market

This home is such a fun one to tour.  A welcome surprise to find new finishes on a quiet, established street in Winslow.  This home has undergone an amazing transformation; new entertaining kitchen, new baths and new hardwood flooring are just the beginning.  And it is all on one level, and walkable to all the great things in Winslow.  Come see for yourself on Saturday from 1-4pm instead of Sunday as Sunday is Mother’s Day ;)

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island Liste by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

The great room showing new wood floors and custom propane fireplace.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Amazing entertaining kitchen with quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and quality fixtures.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Great coffee bar or cocktail bar in the large kitchen.

1002 Nakata Ave NW listed by Jen Pells of Windermere Bainbridge

Master bedroom suite has a full spa-like bathroom and extra large den; a great space for a private office or sunny exercise room.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Spa like master bathroom with double sinks and large custom tile shower.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Private, fenced backyard with mature and colorful plantings.

Details about the home:

  • 3 bedrooms with a den off of the master suite
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1,866 square feet all on one level and vaulted throughout
  • .23 of an acre
  • Large, entertaining kitchen
  • Complete cosmetic remodel of home – including new window package and exterior doors
  • Clean lines with high end modern finishes and fixtures
  • Mature landscaping in private, fenced backyard
  • Walkable to Winslow and no HOA dues (plus you have a fenced yard and garage)
  • $748,000 asking price

Impressive modern remodel of this one-level, open-floorplan home tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of Winslow. Vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows highlight the new entertaining kitchen with quality cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and quartz counters. Great room with a custom propane fireplace and wood floors opens to a private backyard with colorful, mature landscaping. Spa-like finishes in new baths. New window package and paint. Close to shops, pool, library, schools, parks and ferry.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing detail.

Visit this home’s dedicated website here.

On May 12, 2017, in Homes, Listing, Neighborhoods, Open Houses, by

The 2017 market is slowly beginning to take hold, so before it does I wanted to make sure I crafted one of my favorite blog posts, my top 10 homes on the island for 2016. Last year 369 homes sold on the island.  I am proud to say I personally toured most of them and these are ten of my favorite homes. The list actually spans the island geographically from north to south and represents the various price ranges.  The sales prices have shifted as prices have moved up, however. Although the top sales number on my list is almost $3M, only two on the list are waterfront homes, which shows the value, beauty, and desirability throughout our island; from inland rural settings, to in-town neighborhoods, to views, to waterfront.

The lack of inventory continued to be the dominate theme in 2016, which is why you will see some multiple offers noted below.  Last year the multiple offer situation even crept up over the $1M mark, in several cases, which is a bit different from years past.

This is my 9th annual list.  To get a feel of the homes I like personally and see all nine of my lists in one place, click here.  Enjoy!

 

Toe Jam Hill Rd Sold by Jen Pells - Jen Pells' Top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016

#10 | Toe Jam Hill Road

#10

Original List Price $528,000

Sale Price $662,500 (multiple offers)

Days on Market – 8

Date Sold 6/30/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #10 we start on the extreme south end of the island on Toe Jam Hill Road.  This home came on the market in the frenzy of the summer market and I believe had six offers.  The home is perched high above a ravine and the interior style is beautiful, yet simple. Cork floors, Paperstone counters, floating walls, and built-in desks sum up the style.  The design style seems to run parallel to Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House concept.  At just over 2,000 square feet the home still lives large, making use of every inch.  My clients were the successful buyers in the multiple offer situation and love the unique property they now call home.

Jen Pells' Top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#9 | Village Circle

#9

Original List Price $749,000

Sale Price $749,000

Days on Market – 5

Date Sold 8/8/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #9 we move into Winslow to Village Circle. In-town homes were in high demand last year (I don’t see that changing in 2017).  Price per square foot is highest in Winslow, where you trade lot size for the convenience of walking to Winslow and the ferry.  Hillandale (Village Circle) is one of my favorite in-town neighborhoods and this home has some of the best curb appeal in the hood.  Fabulous gardens and a meticulously cared for home.  The neighborhood was designed by Dick Allen, a developer who put care and thought into building a small community, not just a house.  The neighborhood has shared open space and trails that connect to town. This home is also just over 2,ooo square feet and was listed at the end of the summer and quickly acquired one great offer.  The timeless Colonial style of all the homes in the neighborhood and the creative weather vanes on each home have made it a favorite for buyers since it was developed back in 1999.

Jen Pells' Top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#8 | Rose Avenue

#8

Original List Price $918,000

Sale Price $918,000

Days on Market –  12

Date Sold 1/29/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #8 we move back down south to Rose Avenue in the Eagle Dale Neighborhood of the island.  This charming Craftsman struck a cord with me because of the bucolic acre it sits on and because of the stylistic interior the talented home owner created.  I loved the Carrera marble counters in the kitchen and the striking wallpaper throughout.  I also loved how the owners mixed mid-century modern decor into a Craftsman home.  I thought it worked well.  The vaulted ceilings upstairs make for interesting spaces for the bedrooms and the guest suite over the garage adds to the package.  This home came on early into the new year and a few of us felt it was priced a bit high, but after only 12 days on the market they found a happy buyer.

Jen Pells' Top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#7 | Palomino Drive

#7

Original List Price $865,000

Sale Price $962,000 (multiple offers)

Days on Market – 6

Date Sold 3/11/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #7 we stay on the south end, but move over to the west side, to Palomino Drive, which sits above the Crystal Springs Neighborhood. This home was priced low (in my educated opinion) and saw 4 or 5 offers and as you can see escalated almost $100,000. This home has a solid feel with lots of woodwork inside and  a classic cedar shingle exterior, but most importantly to me anyway, it has a very nice west facing view of the Sound. Oh those colorful sunsets! The home is over 3,600 square feet, has four bedrooms and a supreme shop in the basement.  I thought back to this home a lot in 2016 as one of the better values for the year.

Jen Pells' top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#6 | Summer Hill Lane

#6

Original List Price $980,000

Sale Price $1,150,000 (multiple offers)

Days on Market – 7

Date Sold 10/31/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #6 we move to the center of the island for Summer Hill Lane.  This home oozes charm.  It is a rare package in that it is a small home on a large piece of land, 1,715 square feet home on 2.5 flat acres.  And the main home is all on one level, plus a guest suite over the garage.  The lovely sunny garden setting, vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, Saltillo tiles, and classic white kitchen made me want to move right in – I really do love a white farmhouse.   I have said before that charm can be hard to find on the island.  When this home was listed said charm brought many buyers looking and five put forth offers.  The resulting escalation in price was dramatic at $170,000 over asking price.

Jen Pells' top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#5 | Point Monroe Drive

#5

Original List Price $1,289,000

Sale Price $1,289,000

Days on Market – 6

Date Sold 7/7/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #5 we move to the northeast side of the island on Point Monroe Drive, commonly known here on the island as the Sand Spit. This waterfront home indeed sits on a narrow spit of land that juts out from Fay Bainbridge Park.  Here’s a link to a good aerial image of the spit.  This particular home is at the beginning of the U, closer to Fay Bainbridge.  The lot spans the entire spit and has waterfront on both side – one side the lagoon on the inside of the loop and the other the open waters of the Sound. The views of Mt. Baker and Seattle are crisp and stunning.  This home is bathed in beachy white tones and coastal coolness.  This home is also the rare low bank waterfront home – think sand and driftwood – available for sale under $1.5M. Wow. Not, a large house at just under 2,300 square feet but it has all the required spaces, three bedrooms and open concept living spaces. My favorite room is the large master suite upstairs that captures the primo views.

Jen Pells' top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#4 | Watch Hill Drive

#4

Original List Price $1,450,000

Sale Price $1,360,000

Days on Market – 30

Date Sold 6/24/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #4 we stop at Watch Hill Drive on the very south end of the island above South Beach Drive.  This unique home wowed me from the photos and I was not disappointed in person.  I was also not surprised to learn that this home was once on the island’s garden tour, Bainbridge In Bloom.  Lovely landscaping and traditional beds all overlook a southwest vista of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Plus terrific sun!  It is no wonder a wedding has been hosted here. The large 4,700 square foot home is separated into a master suite wing and a “kid” wing.  With two older kids I loved that, but some clients I showed it to with younger kids did not love that separation.  James Cutler designed the classic northwest style of the home.  I love the wood beams and rich, yet comfortable feel of the entire home.  I still think about this one a lot . . .

Jen Pells' top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#3 | Knight Road

#3

Original List Price $1,425,000

Sale Price $1,385,000

Days on Market – 7

Date Sold 10/31/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #3 we go back up north to Knight Road where this home makes its second appearance on my list.  This home was built by popular home builder Jefferson Fine Homes and designed by the highly sought after architect Peter Brachvogel.  Sited on over three private acres, this 3,700 square foot home exudes high quality craftsmanship inside and out.  Walls of windows, tall ceilings, and an open floor plan piqued the interest of many buyers again in 2016, just like it did in 2013.   The architect, Peter Brachvogel, created thoughtful spaces like a cozy media room set just off the kitchen, a large mudroom/laundry room with built-in lockers (my favorite space), and a remote full guest suite on the main level plus convenient bonus space over the garage.  The current owners fenced and defined the garden spaces and appeared to have taken fantastic care of the home.  It remains in excellent condition and sold for $283,000 more than it did in 2013.

Jen Pells' top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#2 | Watch Hill Drive

#2

Original List Price $1,598,000

Sale Price $1,750,000 (multiple offers)

Days on Market – 6

Date Sold 6/14/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #2 we go back to the the south end and back to Watch Hill Drive.  There are only five homes on Watch Hill Drive and two of them sold last year and they both made my list.  This second home was designed by architect Bob Maloney and its classic Colonial style is not one you see too often here on our island – although there seem to be a few on my list.  So, it too saw multiple offers.  Five.  The 4,300 square foot floorplan with all bedrooms upstairs, open living spaces on the main level and a guest suite and family room in the walk out basement made so much sense for so many buyers.  Not to mention that it has a striking view of Puget Sound and the Olympics, lightly filtered by interesting Madrona trees all on over 2.6 acres of gated property.  My clients were thrilled to prevail in this multiple offer situation and have already made some fantastic improvements to make this fine house their home.

South Beach Drive Sold by Jen Pells - Jen Pells' Top ten List of homes sold on Bainbridge Island for 2016 | Real Estate on Bainbridge Island

#1 | South Beach Drive

#1

Original List Price $2,995,000

Sale Price $2,900,000

Days on Market – 31

Date Sold 5/3/2016

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #1 we don’t go far, just down to South Beach Drive.  I love a home built by Jerry Reese and I seem to sell a few of his every year.  This one is indeed one of my very favorites.  I love the light on the south end and I love the walking trails along the water in Fort Ward Park. This home is right in the heart of the good things on the south end – one of my favorite stretches of the island for walking and jogging and taking in Mt. Rainer views. The 3,900 square foot home is reminiscent of homes in the Hamptons.  Again, not something you see a lot of here in the Pacific Northwest, so very appealing to buyers when available.  A large white kitchen is sited to take in the best views and a detached guest house is almost more charming than the main home.  The entire package is on low bank waterfront on the south end, a pretty amazing find for my lucky buyers who are now thrilled to be calling this home.

Again, to get a feel of the homes I like personally and see all nine of my lists in one place, click here.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

That Was Fast

Today much of our world (the island) went back to work and school after the two week winter holiday season.  We put the 2016 real estate market to bed only last week and jumped into the 2017 market today at out first office meeting.  Last year seemed fast and furious, although as you can see below the volume of sales, overall, was on par, if not slightly less than 2015.  The lower inventory with the steady stream of buyers meant more multiple offer situations, hence the frenzy I am still feeling from 2016.

More Money Moving to the Island

Many buyers were downsizing out of higher priced markets (California, Vancouver BC, Manhattan, even Bellevue) into our island’s luxury homes, sometimes at half the price.  The fact that the Pacific Northwest and Bainbridge Island, specifically, is still a relative bargain over places like California will keep the market going strong into 2017, I predict.

Land Under Construction

Land volume was down in 2016, but several large parcels acquired in 2015 are now being developed into neighborhoods like the DR Horton neighborhoods on Wyatt and Weaver. Those developments will help relieve the inventory shortage a bit.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Jen Pells Windermere BainbridgeChart Your Own Course

The market is always changing.  Whether you are a buyer or seller there are strategies to consider for your success.  We are a very seasonal market (most activity in the summer). Depending on your goal knowing the ins and outs of timing and preparation as you enter the market (as buyer or seller) can translate into thousands of dollars saved or earned. Being a buyer or seller in the slower shoulder market can be advatageous for some, although waiting until peak summer market could be better for others.   If you are thinking about jumping into the market in 2017, let’s chat.

 

 

2016 Real Estate in Numbers

 

369  total single family home sales (378 in 2015)

 

104 condo sales (90 in 2015)

 

169 sales under $700,000 sales price (205 in 2015)

 

94 sales over $1M sales price (72 in 2015)

 

26 sales over $1.5M sales price (25 in 2015)

 

$5,970,000 top home sales price ($3,025,000 in 2015)

 

$740,000 median home sales price ($666,000 in 2015)

 

$177,000 lowest home sales price ($66,000 in 2015)

 

2,744 sq ft average size of homes sold (2,774 in 2015)

 

49 pieces of land sold (68 in 2015)

 

$2,500,000 top land sales price ($3,360,000 in 2015)

 

$222,000 median land sales price ($235,000 in 2015)

 

$20,000 lowest land sales price ($60,000 in 2015)

 

2.62 acres average size of lots sold (1.85 in 2015)

All data taken from the NWMLS as of 1/3/2017.