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Report: Mercer Island Residential Real Estate Sees Low Inventory, Flat Prices

Online real estate broker Redfin.com provided Mercer Island Patch with a report using their own statistics of how the local real estate market is shaping up

(Ed. Note: The following is information from a report provided by Redfin.com)

An inventory shortage and flat prices so far in 2012 is the story so far on Mercer Island, according to a report by online real estate broker Redfin.com on Mercer Island residential real estate.

A shrinking number of homes on the market — even during the traditionally busy summer months — that has been plaguing the Puget Sound has also hit Mercer Island, but not as badly.

Inventory on Mercer Island is recovering much faster than most other places in the area. There was a 13.2% increase in the number of homes for sale from May to June, but the number of homes for sale was still down 28.9% from June 2011. There were 86 homes for sale in June.

For King County as a whole, inventory was down 4.0% for the month, and down 41.0% annually.

One way the real estate industry calculates the supply vs. the demand in a certain area is called months of supply. It’s the number of homes for sale on the last day of the month divided by the number sold in that month. Five to six months of supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. Anything less is considered a buyer’s market, because there’s not enough homes for sale given the demand. Anything more is considered a buyer’s market. Mercer Island is a strong seller’s market, with 2.6 months of supply in June. That’s up from 2.4 months of supply in May, but down from 3.3 months last June.

King County saw 2.1 months of supply in June, so the inventory shortage was felt more strongly outside of Mercer Island. For example, Seattle, where the months of supply was only 1.6 in June.

In terms of the median price, Mercer Island is overall pretty flat right now, which is a mixed blessing. It means the bleeding has slowed quite a bit, but it’s hard to enjoy that while many other cities around the county are seeing prices climb month over month and year over year. The median sale price for a single-family home on Mercer Island in June was $856,000. That’s down 1.5% from May, and down 1.0% from June last year. The price per square foot, on the other hand, was $329; up 9.3% from May and up 5.4% from last June. That indicates that the houses that sold in June were generally smaller than the previous month.

To put the median price into context, in Seattle, the median price was $429,950, down 2.1 percent for the month, but up 4.7 percent annually. In King County, the median single-family home price was $389,990, up 7.7 percent from May and up 9.9 percent from the previous June.

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