Real Estate October 15, 2019

Q3 2019 Reports: Market Update

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside


Q3 was the most stable and balanced market we have seen in years. With very low mortgage interest rates compelling buyers to act and fewer homes for sale than we saw last fall (when a flood of homes came to market), buyers and sellers are each finding their own place in a more equitable real estate arena.


Approximately 41% of homes for sale in Q3 sold at or above their listed price. This segment was on the market for an average of just seven days and included the most highly desired and well-priced properties in mainstream price points. Of the remaining homes for sale, just over one third underwent a price reduction before resulting in a sale. That number increased steadily as we moved deeper into Q3, ending the quarter with an average of 43% of listed homes with sales occurring following a price reduction.


From a home buyer’s perspective, the best properties sold quickly and at a premium. Of the homes that remained on the market, there was ample room for negotiation to a fair price. Q3 home sellers were generally more informed and more likely to price realistically from the start and adjust quickly if they were off target.


This more balanced market afforded many more consumers the ability to comfortably complete a sell/buy transaction and with enough time and space to thoroughly conduct due diligence on prospective properties.


Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront


Is it a Buyer's or Seller's Market?



The Seattle in-city real estate market slowed from a racetrack inferno to cruising speed over the past year and a half. Prices softened an average of 2% in Q3 with the Central Seattle region feeling the biggest impact (down 7.6% from Q3 2018). The Ballard-Green Lake region had the highest number of Q3 sales (582) while the Lake Forest Park-Kenmore area boasted the most affordable cost per home square foot ($340). When it comes to returns, Lake Forest Park-Kenmore, South Seattle, and Richmond Beach-Shoreline were nearly tied for the strongest five-year growth trend at 73.9%, 73.3% and 73.2% respectively.

Seattle Q3 2019 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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Stimulated by announced expansion from the top names in tech, the Eastside is the place to be right now. Buyers found far fewer homes for sale—nearly 25% less—in Q3 than they did just one year ago. Sale prices in Kirkland, bolstered by recent announcements from Google and Tableau, were up an average of 15.4% over Q3 2018. Prices near the Microsoft campus, where the Spring District is coming online, where up 3.2%. The West Bellevue market saw a lower Median Sale Price which was attributable to fewer high-end sales in Q3 this year compared to last year. All in all, the Eastside had a very good quarter. Home sellers should be pleased with their returns and home buyers should feel good about purchasing in a robust market.

Eastside Q3 2019 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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Mercer Island experienced continued slowing in the luxury market with fewer waterfront sales (5) than typical in Q3. Conversely, many moderately-priced renovation-ready homes transacted this quarter bringing the overall Q3 Median Sale Price down 4% to $1,678,000. The Island is finally beginning to see a moderate number of building and remodel applications submitted after a two-year lull sparked by major changes in the city’s residential building code. The North End had the highest average cost per square foot ($620) while Mercerdale ($435) was most affordable. First Hill had the shortest average market time with just 5 days and East Mercer had the longest (117 days). Demand remains steady and we expect well-priced, turnkey condition homes to continue to do quite well as we move further into the fall market.

Mercer Island Q3 2019 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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Competition from new and pre-sale buildings, aging structures, a larger percentage of affordable units transacting, and urban flight have contributed to the 12.3% Median Sale Price decline in Seattle to $438,500 (from $500,000 in Q3 2018). To be fair, the Five-Year Median Price Trend shows prices up 71.9% since Q3 2014, giving most condo owners a nice cushion to fall back on.

The Median Sale Price was down 1.9% on the Eastside to $471,000 from $480,000. An extremely low number of resale units for sale, coupled with many of the same attributes impacting the Seattle condo market, contributed to the slight softening seen in the Eastside condo market.

Recent changes in Washington condo laws will eventually bring more condos and townhomes online in the next economic cycle, but potential buyers may have to wait 5-7 years to see that morph from concept to reality.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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Seattle had 13 private waterfront home sales in Q3, the highest of which was a $10.6 million Laurelhurst estate on a shy acre with 150 feet on the water. The Eastside (Bellevue-Kirkland) had nine sales in Q3, including a $15.4 million 1925-built Yarrow Point home on 1.15 acres with 100 feet along the water’s edge. Further east, Lake Sammamish had eleven waterfront sales in Q3 ranging from $2.0-4.5 million.

Centrally located to the Seattle-Bellevue metro areas, Mercer Island had five private waterfront sales ranging from a $10.1 million, 2002-built North End home with 124 feet of waterfront on one and a half acres to a $3.6 million, mid-century Eastside home with 85 feet on the water and just over half an acre.

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

Waterfront Report

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© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.