Mercer Island's real estate market is holding on to price increases as sales level off, according to July 2012 housing sales statistics released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).
The median price of a single family home sold on Mercer Island was nearly flat compared to a year ago, with twenty-eight homes sold in July at a median price of $809,000, compared to a median of $794,000 last year. Mercer Island home values overall, including two sold condos, also increased slightly to $786,500, about 2 percent higher compared to the same month last year — but couldn't match the pace (June 2012), when the median home sold for $855,000.
A sign of market activity, there were also 37 pending sales in July, up over 19 percent from last year.
“Simple economics is at play, with an imbalance in supply and demand that is positively influencing both valuations and the ability for banks to efficiently dispose of the remaining distressed property inventory," said Keller Williams Realty's Joe Spencer in the NWMLS press release. "All of this bodes well for a sustainable housing recovery.”
The number of Mercer Island's homes on the market, however, remained relatively steady compared to over 30 percent drops elsewhere in the rest of the Eastside and King County. There were 117 Mercer Island homes on the market in July, and 47 of those homes were new listings (in June a majority of homes on the market were new listings). Last year during the same month there were 121 homes for sale.
Realtor Joshua Thurman said a small but significant part of Mercer Island's housing inventory of years past — condominiums — has virtually disappeared from the market, with only 11 for sale in July.
"It is very unusual," he said. "Inventory is as interesting as it's always been, and we're now facing buyers who wanted to close by end of summer. It will be an interesting next 90 days which will tell us if we will have a healthy real estate market this winter."
managing broker Kris Robbs said she thought the market was "better than it was, but not as good as it could be," and builders looking for "tear-down" opportunities had returned to Mercer Island. Homes that were "priced well," she said, would sell quickly.
"We've had a pretty good market," she said. "But that's probably the end of it for the year. The most active time of the year is May, June and July, and once kids start school people don't don't tend to move. That's one of our big draws here — the schools."
The most expensive home sold on Mercer Island in July was a 5,535 square-foot waterfront home built in 2010 near the at 4102 100th Ave. SE. The 5-bed, 4.5 bathroom home, which sold for $4,199,000 on July 2, rests on a half-acre of land and includes a dock and a gazebo.
The least expensive home that sold in July was a three-bedroom, 2.25 bathroom Mid-Island 2,340 square-foot home on 47th Place that sold for $340,922 on July 12.