Q1 prices in the Seattle-Eastside region have escalated yet again with no sign of slowing in the immediate future. An unprecedented lack of inventory for sale coupled with rising interest rates has prompted buyers to compete with reckless abandon to win the prize of their very own home, albeit with a steep price tag.
Overall median prices in Seattle rose 16.1% to $770,000, while the Eastside rose 13.0% to $944,000. Those regional numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, especially when you consider the highest change in median sale price was nearly 46% and the lowest was a -4%. New construction sales, or lack thereof, made the biggest impact on home sale prices. Existing homes, offering good walkability or commute options, and those that were on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum saw the strongest appreciation overall.
Rising mortgage interest rates, now up a full percentage point from their lows, are adding fuel to the fire. While not dampening buyer demand yet, further increases will likely begin to price home buyers out of the core Seattle-Eastside region. Homebuyer fear of being priced out of the market is at least partly to blame for the crazed demand at more modest price points.
As predicted, many who don’t have a need to be close in to the metro region are choosing to sell at a high and buy more affordably outside of the Seattle-Eastside area. The rate of tear-down new construction infill has escalated at staggering numbers as builders capitalize on the market’s appetite for fresh and new.
Buyers today should consider their purchase thoughtfully as buying at or near the peak of the market can limit their resale options when the market corrects. Planning to stay put for five to seven years is a good strategy at this time.
West Seattle leads the pack in median home price growth on the Seattle side of the lake. With its vibrant, hip vibe and convenient access to the city, West Seattle has benefited from Seattle’s commute gridlock—maintaining status quo while other Seattle neighborhoods have come to a halt (literally).
Queen Anne saw a nice rebound in Q1 after lagging the Seattle averages for some time. South Seattle, with its light rail access, affordable prices, and new vitality, continues to see its real estate market thrive.
Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.
Significant new home development at higher price points has led the market in West Bellevue and Kirkland and brought up everything else along with it.
With land values alone higher than average home sale prices in surrounding communities, this growth will have long-lasting impacts that will forever change the flavor of these communities–for better (fresh new housing stock) and worse (the lack of affordable options). Kirkland led this charge with a median sale price 45.9% higher than Q1 last year, followed by West Bellevue at 23.1%.
Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!
Overall, a much higher percentage of mid-range homes sold in the first quarter than in quarters past, giving the appearance of falling prices. In reality, however, it was actually a downward shift of the segment of the market that is selling.
Don’t let the negative number for Q1 fool you. The market below the two-million-dollar mark is vastly different than the market above it. With the most severe shortage of available homes in mid-range price points Mercer Island has seen, especially early in Q1 this year, the sub $2 million market has been brisk and competitive with strong price escalation. The $2 million and above market has been a different story altogether. While highly desirable homes in that bracket have transacted quickly, many other less notable homes have languished on the market.
Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.
CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE
Still the only affordable option for many home buyers today, condos have continued to escalate in value with appreciation rates above those of residential homes in many areas.
On the Eastside, new condo and townhome developments in Crossroads and Rose Hill drove prices up to new highs in those communities. Richmond Beach and Shoreline benefited from an infusion of new construction standalone condominium ‘homes’ on very small lots.
Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.
Several significant sales accented an otherwise unremarkable quarter. A $26.8 million iconic Medina estate on 2.5 acres with 150 feet of waterfront set a new benchmark on the Eastside. Two $8+ million homes on the north end of Mercer Island–both newer construction with over 7,000 square feet–set the tone for the Island in 2018. Lake Sammamish, with a $4.2 million sale in Q1, is still in hot demand, while Seattle saw only three modest waterfront sales.
Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.
ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND
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© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.v
With 4th of July quickly approaching, my brother and I recently chatted about what we’ll be barbecuing for the holiday. My brother is Mike Keller, the mastermind behind California Rancher which creates and sells an incredible line of all-natural, California-made gourmet seasonings and sauces for barbecue enthusiasts. The best barbecue dishes are simple, grilled dishes featuring excellent cuts of meat or farm-fresh veg, well-seasoned with herbs and spices, and elevated to perfection due to closely monitored time on the grill. In our discussion of holiday plans, the theme, “elevate and simplify,” started to develop.
I thought you might enjoy reading what we pinpointed as the essentials needed to up your bbq game. Here are the simple rules we think are indispensable when grilling:
- Pick the right cut of meat for your preferred dish. During college, both Mike and I worked at Chart House, a premier steak and seafood restaurant. Our server training was rigorous, and we memorized all the different cuts of meat and their characteristics. Filet Mignon is the most tender cut; top sirloin has the most flavor. New York Strip steak is the best of both worlds! Today, we’re fortunate to have access to a better selection of excellent meat choices, so we can find the right cut for what we want to serve our 4th of July crowd. Santa Maria bbq is a traditional California style of grilling. It involves slow cooking tri tip sirloin steak over red oak wood, which flavors the meat with its sweet smoke. You can achieve a similar effect at home, on your own grill, with a nice tri tip sirloin and your favorite Santa Maria Seasoning.
- #1 essential bbq tool is a digital thermometer. Mike’s mantra is that cooking to temperature produces perfectly grilled meat every time. The thermapen is Mike’s preferred digital thermometer. In Mike’s Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip recipe, he shares what temperature to cook to for rare steak (120F in the middle) or well done (up to 160F). It will take some practice to find the doneness temps for your grilled-to-perfection steak due to personal preference – for example, Mike’s personal preference is 115F in the middle for the ultimate rare steak experience. But with other types of meat, like poultry and pork, you need to reach a specific internal temperature to eliminate exposure to food borne illness. Click here for a helpful temperature chart courtesy of Food Network.
- Placement of the food on the grill to take advantage of heat levels. Depending on what type of grill you use, if you want to get a rich, smoky flavor you may have to move food off to the sides to cook it slower via indirect heat. If you use a smoker type barbecue, like the Big Green Egg (one of Mike’s favs!) or Traeger, you’ll need to plan time to smoke the food at a low temperature first before turning up the heat and cooking to the finish temperature. Slow and steady wins the race in the bbg game!
- Simple seasoning and sauces up the elegance of your grilled fare. My absolute FAVORITE dish Mike grills is beef tenderloin dusted with Santa Maria seasoning and slow cooked over red oak wood. That’s all there is to it. In fact, he made this for my last client appreciation event. He had chunks of red oak, a wood native to California, mailed to my house for this event. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Mercer Island Beach Club with Lake Washington as our backdrop, and Mike built up quite a fan club here on the island due to that evening! The beef tenderloin definitely stole the show, and it’s dead simple!
- When slicing meat, it’s important to cut against – or perpendicular to – the grain for maximum tenderness. A great piece of tri-tip or beef tenderloin can be reduced to shoe-leather tough if it’s sliced alongside the grain versus against it. And here’s a little know fact regarding the grain of a cut of meat: it often changes along as you slice through the piece, so you may need to adjust the angle of your slicing as you slice. For example, a tri-tip grain usually shifts 45+ degrees so the way you start slicing one end should typically be at a different angle than where you finish at the other end.
- The grill isn’t just for meat. Vegetables and fruits gain this amazing layer of epicurean goodness from time spent on the grill. My family goes nuts for kale chips cooked on the grill. I wash the kale, then massage it with olive oil and veggie rub. We especially like the charred edges of the large kale leaves that get smoky and crunchy. Other veggies that love a turn on the grill: asparagus, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, beets, red potatoes. You can even lightly grill romaine lettuce for your next Caesar salad.
So there you have it! 6 easy rules to up your bbq game. These tips will be a great guide, and help you pull off your best 4th of July party to date. If you are in search of a new bbq recipe to try check here on California Rancher, or here for recipes courtesy of Big Green Egg.
And if you are wondering what Mike will be serving on the 4th, he’s planning on smoking a pork shoulder roast overnight in his Green Egg – it’ll be seasoned with Oaky & Smoky BBQ Rub mixed with a little brown sugar. With the help of the tool BBQ Guru, he will be able to maintain a steady temperature of 175 degrees overnight. He’s going to pull it apart and serve with a variety of sauces for dipping, including Hog Wild Habanero BBQ Sauce. And here at the Wilson house, we’ll be going “Hog Wild” this 4th of July. I’ll be serving barbecue chicken reminiscent to a recipe Mike developed. First I’ll season the chicken with Hog Wild Cajun-Style Rub. Then I’ll pop the seasoned chicken onto the grill for a quick turn on a higher heat to add grill marks. Next, I’ll drop the temperature down to a lower heat and slow cook the meat for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165F. The chicken will be paired with Hog Wild Habanero BBQ Sauce for dipping. Yum!
Grilling for friends is always a good time. It’s extra special on the 4th of July because you typically get time away from the office to spend the day outdoors with good friends and family. Everyone contributes to the meal, adding their own special touches to the event. The celebration lasts well into the evening and culminates with a spectacular fireworks show or time around the fire pit. When you “elevate and simplify” your grilling technique, you will serve the best meal each time and increase the enjoyment your event because the stress level will be at a minimum. The memories made will be a treasure for years to come!
*BBQ photos courtesy of Mike Keller. Hog Wild gift pack photo courtesy of Julie Wilson.
One of the programs offered by Mercer Island Beach Club (MIBC), which is so special for my own family, is Swim Team. It’s a long-standing tradition that spans over 6 decades and is still going strong. Swim Team features program options for all swimming abilities, from 6 and 7 year olds joining Little Waves all the way through to advanced high school swimmers. Not only do participants hone their swimming skills and make lasting friendships, they learn self-discipline, how to set goals and work as a team as they practice and compete.
MIBC families – even though spring just arrived, it’s time to start planning for the 2015 Swim Team season! Registration is currently in session and runs until May 15th. You can register online here. Plus here are some dates to add to your family calendar:
- April 21 — Registration Night 6:00-8:00 pm at MIBC: Sylvia Swimwear staff will be on hand to help your swimmer find the right size suit. Logowear samples will be on hand for your swimmers to try on before you order. MIBC Logowear includes the following items: sweatshirt hoodies, zip up hoodies, warm up jackets with pants, sweat pants, pajama bottoms, pajama shorts, warm deck coats, embroidered towels & blankets, multiple colors of tote bags and custom swim caps.
- May 8 — Registration Deadline for Logowear and Apparel: Make sure your swimmer takes advantage of trying on the Logowear during Registration Night because once you place your order, the items cannot be exchanged or returned.
- May 15 — Registration Deadline for Swim Team: Online registration closes for all Swim Team levels.
- May 18 — Swim Team Opening Night: All swim team members’ first night of spring training. Parents will have a meeting at 6pm and the social committee will serve hot chocolate and cookies.
- May 18 to June 17 — Little Waves Introduction Session: The Little Waves will conduct their spring practice in two groups while they learn swim strokes and develop comfort in the pool.
- May 30th — Deadline for joining Team Unify calendar: Team Unify is used to schedule what meets swimmers will participate in, based on their availability. It’s also used to schedule parent volunteers for each meet. One parent for each swimmer competing in a meet must volunteer for 2 hours during the event to ensure the competitions run smoothly.
If you’d like to look at Swim Team swimwear prior to Registration Night, Sylvia Swimwear has two retail locations (Bellevue: 14100 NE 20th; Northgate: 9596 1st Ave NE, Seattle). You can go to either locations to try on suits. Once you determine the correct size your swimmer requires, you’ll need to order the suit from goswim.com. Click here for details on how to place your order online, but please note that the dates on the instructions were for the 2014 season.
My family is so excited for this year’s swim competition season! If you have any questions about the sign up timeline, or the upcoming spring practice that runs May 18th through June 19th, please ask in the comment section. See you at MIBC!