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.

 

Inventory.  Inventory  is the big topic of conversation in the Bainbridge Island real estate world.  As we close the door on 2013 and move into the 2014 market our inventory is historically low.  2012 was a banner year for volume on the island with 386 total sales.  Last year the economy improved and the year started off with a bang but at the end of December, we ended with only a few more sales at 414 total for 2013.  Why?  Lack of inventory is one reason.  Buyers are poised and ready, but the listings, the inventory is just not here right now.  But, I am hopeful the homes will appear on the market as we head into spring.

The list below is a great representation of 2013.  Strong sales in the $600-$800k market, up 50% from last year.  The over million dollar market, however, was down 28%. The initial predictions for 2014 are that the $600-$800k will stay strong and the higher end market will improve.  And the ever active $400-600k market will continue at a brisk pace.  Enjoy the list below and let me know if you have any questions about a property.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate

#10

Original List Price $689,500

Sale Price $671,800

Days on Market 47

Date Sold 6/2/13

For #10 we start out on the south end of the island on Rose Avenue. Built by Reijnen Company, this home sits on a shy acre with good light in a rural area on the sound end.  I felt like this home sold for a great price, with finishes not often seen in a home under $700k.  I like Reijnen’s style with clean lines and tall ceilings, which is why their homes have appeared on my lists in the past.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Torvanger Road on Bainbridge Island.  Bainbridge Island Real Estate.

#9

Original List Price $929,000

Sale Price $950,000

Days on Market 7

Date Sold 7/22/13

You may remember #9 from last year.  This home on Torvanger  Road made an appearance on this list, but selling last year for $100k less.  The sellers relocated out of state, so this home was back on the market this year.  Last year it saw multiple offers.  And this year priced over $100k higher it saw multiple offers again.  This year it sold for 102.26% of asking price with a line of disappointed buyers yet again.  As I said before, Torvanger was a special package of charm, land, and privacy.  A package getting harder to replicate, especially under $1 million.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate

#8

Original List Price $776,000

Sale Price $741,000

Days on Market 34

Date Sold 10/2/13

The north end saw a lot of activity last year. This home, taking the #8 spot, is around the corner from Torvanger Road on Sunrise Drive and also a very nice package. This home reminds me of homes found  in coastal Carmel California.  Storybook charm abounds from the woodwork inside and the landscaping outside  to the private trail leading to a sandy beach with the sought after deeded beach access.  Tack on the views of Puget Sound, a guest suite over the garage and this was a perfect match for the buyers.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate

#7

Original List Price $625,000

Sale Price $61o,000

Days on Market 119

Date Sold 9/30/13

For #7 we move to the extreme south end of the island to Douglas Road in Fort Ward.  The gracious design of this home is the brainchild of to Patina Designs.  This home offers an efficient use of space, gorgeous woodwork and fine finishes.  The home, with hand dipped cedar shingles was thoughtfully sited on the lot to capture the light  gorgeous trees surrounding the property.  The builder made a lot of smart decisions, which make this home stand out from the rest.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate.  Old Mill Road.

#6

Original List Price $629,000

Sale Price $629,000

Days on Market 1

Date Sold 6/13/13

For #6 we move mid-island to one of my favorite areas.  This home is on Old Mill Road in the Eagle Harbor/Blakely farmland area.  This home immediately grabs you with its classic curb appeal.  Then add a mini-vineyard, chicken coop and sensible, flexible floor plan and you arrive at a superb package close to schools and the ferry . . . yet a world away from the everyday hustle and bustle. And again, this one has incredible light.  You can understand why this home, priced in the $600’s, went pending in one day.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate. Valley Road on Bainbridge Island

#5

Original List Price $738,000

Sale Price $710,000

Days on Market 28

Date Sold 9/26/13

For #5 we move north again to Rolling Bay and the east side.  This home on Valley Road impressed me from day one with its drop dead gorgeous views of Puget Sound and Seattle.  The home itself is unique and fun.  The quiet, easement road of about five homes, all with the same gorgeous views, is relaxed, beachy and eclectic.  Each time I visited the home I certainly felt like I was on vacation.  And I am sure that is why the buyers snapped it up too.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Hawley Way on Bainbridge Island.  Bainbridge Island Real Estate.

#4

Original List Price $798,500

Sale Price $788,500

Days on Market 7

Date Sold 9/9/13

For #4 we move down to to the ferry dock.  And the stellar views continue with this home on Hawley Way.  A turn of the century home on the historic registry, The Morrill Home, with a small cottage in the back is just two blocks from the ferry terminal with stunning views of Eagle Harbor, the coming and going ferry, Seattle, and Mt. Rainier.  The original elements of this home have been lovingly cared for with some smart updates.  But, beyond all the charming and history, there are views from EVERY room of this special home.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Olympus Beach on Bainbridge Island.  Bainbridge Island Real Estate.

#3

Original List Price $848,000

Sale Price $840,000

Days on Market 12

Date Sold 10/31/13

For #3 we move to the west side  of the island, near Battle Point Park.  This Olympus Beach Road home has dramatic curb appeal and it sits on a spectacular lot that enjoys great south-west sun on the patio and in the living areas.  The inside spaces are open, yet have cozy window seats and built-ins.  A home for someone who loves modern elements, yet appreciates the warmth of northwest architecture.  The home is down the street from beach access and a short distance to popular Battle Point Park. No surprise this was another home that saw multiple offers.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate. Reitan Road on Bainbridge Island.

#2

Original List Price $1,285,000

Sale Price $1,200,000

Days on Market 10

Date Sold 12/11/13

For #2 we stay on the west side of the island, but move north again to Reitan Road. I remember having the best wood fired pizza from this home’s pizza oven . . . back on a gorgeous sunny day in December.  All while soaking up the best views.  This home sits on Reitan and unless you are headed to a home on this road, you would have little reason to come across this view.  But having the opportunity to witness it in person was a delight.  The nana doors open up the entire family room and create an amazing indoor/outdoor space.  The outdoor pizza oven, guest space and reclaimed redwood timbers mixed into the unique asian architecture kept this a home on the market for a mere 10 days.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Bainbridge Island Real Estate.  Knight Road on Bainbridge Island.

#1

 Original List Price $1,088,000

Sale Price $1,102,000

Days on Market 4

Date Sold 11/13/13

For #1 we stay north but move towards Fay Bainbridge Park.  The north end had a lot of action this year, which is seen on this page.  This home on Knight Road, was built by Jefferson Fine Homes and designed by Architect Peter Brachvogel.  Sited on over three private acres, this home exudes quality craftsmanship inside and out.  Walls of windows, high ceilings, and an open floor plan piqued the interest of many buyers.  Jefferson Fine Homes is known for their well built homes and quality materials like cedar shingles, metal clad windows, and ipe decking.  As 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, and a remote full guest suite on the main level plus bonus space over the garage.   All elements that  helped this home see multiple offers and close $14k over their asking price.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

 

Spring 2012 Sales on Bainbridge Island

Where I 'had' to hang out one day this past week. This will soon be the front yard of one of my clients. Yes, that is a ferry in the background.

Things have been sort of crazy in my world.  2006 crazy.  Crazy like multiple offers and 70 hour work weeks.  Crazy like I had four inspections this week, submitted three offers  – all three of which were multiple offer situations and I had two families in from out of state shopping and buying houses.  And, this kind of busy is all over my office, all over the island.  Inventory is lower than we’ve seen in the past three years and the good inventory is even lower and lasts days or mere hours.  Things are moving fast.  All of a sudden buyers are sitting up and sensing what is going on.

What is going on?  And, what does it all mean?

1st – Why?

  • Low Interest rates
  • Consumer confidence/ relatively stable stock market
  • Strong market in Seattle

2nd – How strong?

  • 83 homes under contract on May 1st, last time we saw 80 homes under contract was May 30, 2006 (32%)
  • 28% of the condominiums listed are under contract
  • Pendings over $500K are a lot stronger

3rd – Where?

  • Many sections of Seattle (eg. Ballard, North Seattle, University District, Capital Hill) – Very Strong
  • Tacoma – Fairly Strong
  • Gig Harbor – Strong
  • North Kitsap – Okay

“Months of inventory” numbers are an indication of market activity. The Seattle market is at 2.2 months of inventory and Bainbridge Island is at 7 months of inventory.

Does this mean prices are going up?

The overall market prices will show an increase because the sales have occurred over a broader price range than in the past couple years where the majority of sales were occurring in the lower half of the market (below $500,000). Upward pressure for any one price range or home type will still depend on the competition in that segment. General statistics only show broad trends, you have to drill down to the “micro market” for individual homes or condominiums.

Inventory levels are at or above average for this time of year so there is not an obvious lack of supply (as in Seattle) to push prices up. Inventory May 1st there were 180 active listings, a year ago 196, two years it was 211. For perspective, a year of low inventory was 2006, when there were 111 active listings the beginning of May. Many homes that have sold, especially in the upper price ranges, have been on the market for a period of time and the sale occurred after the price became more in line with buyer expectations (buyers perceived it as a good value).

Will it continue?

We have had spurts of strength before, only to have a slowdown. This wave has occurred on the heels of a stable 1st quarter which connotes a strength we have not seen during this very long correction. Time will obviously tell, but indications are positive. If Seattle continues to thrive, chances are we will also benefit. This strength is not Puget Sound wide, so it would be difficult to make any general statements, but this is a very positive step toward stability and future growth.

 

 

FHA Loan Limits Restored to $475,000 in Kitsap County.

FHA Loan Limits restored to $475,000 in Kitsap County.

FHA Loan Limits Back Up

Nov. 18, 2011-Dec 31, 2012

This December HUD confirmed that the 2012 FHA Mortgage Limits have been restored to the higher temporary loan limits effective November 18, 2011 through December 31, 2012.  On October 1st, the loan limits had rolled back to regular numbers, which for Kitsap County meant a drastic drop from $475,000 to $307,000.

New, temporary, 2012 FHA loan limits for Kitsap County:

  • 1 Unit: $475,000
  • 2 Unit: $608,100
  • 3 Unit: $735,050
  • 4 Unit: $913,450

This is great news for buyers wishing to purchase a home in 2012 without putting down 10 or 20%. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5%. Prior to this re-increase in loan limits, the threshold was $307,000 for a loan.  A huge difference for Bainbridge Island, where the average sales price of a home is $575,000.  The $307,000 loan limit made purchasing a home with an FHA Loan very challenging to say the least.

The new limits are exactly what we need here on Bainbridge Island to keep the real estate market healthy and active.

At the time of this posting, FHA rates are hovering around 4% with zero points.  For a great lender recommendation for your FHA loan, visit my Buying Page.

 

 

 

On December 22, 2011, in Market Trends on Bainbridge Island, by

Just Closed | 10286 NE Garibaldi Loop

Garibaldi Collage

Investors Entering the Market

I just helped a smart buyer client close on this great home near the ferry on Bainbridge Island.  This home was purchased as a rental investment property.  The location near the ferry, popular Craftsman style, and newness of the home will make it a popular, easy to lease home.

A Shift

Typically many of my clients are families new to the island, but increasingly more of my buyers are local investors or second home buyers.  With the current market of deceasing home prices, record low mortgage rates, and a segment of the population unable to purchase homes due to unemployment or damaged credit from a recent foreclosure or short sale – purchasing homes as rentals is increasing in popularity.

Investors Will Outnumber Traditional Buyers

In the next two years, real estate investors are expected to outnumber traditional homebuyers in their local markets by three to one, and 56.5 percent plan use their investments as rental properties, according to a national survey conducted by Move, Inc. On Bainbridge Island, agents are seeing that survey prediction come true.  Right now 80% of my buyers are either investors or second home buyers – a huge shift for my business.

The Right Combination = Action

With 30 year conventional mortgage interest rates hovering around 4%, investment property interest rates are below 5% at 4.75% today. And, in addition, many of the investor buyers are buying with cash, seeing the value in that  large pool of renters out there right now  – even when the low interest rates are not an added incentive for them to buy. With the current economic and housing climate, putting a rental or two in your investment portfolio makes a lot of financial sense.

 

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