Keith and the Scooterist known as Orin faced off in the comments in What’s a Normal Home Price… Followers of Mercer Island history know that the MI’s first name was East Seattle, making this an epic battle of East versus West.
At issue: are there more listings in Mercer Island or West Seattle? A worthy investigation. I turned to the US Census and Redfin for data.
As it turns out, West Seattle has over twice as many homes per sale as a percentage of its total housing stock than Mercer Island. Kirkland’s next, and the rental-heavy areas of Capitol Hill, U District, and Wallingford are at the bottom. Orin the Scooterist is right about one thing: the median asking price for Mercer Island homes is higher than most in the Seattle area.
Why Sell in This Market?
Orin: I’d be willing to be that most of the houses for sale on Mercer Island are owned by people who can’t afford them.
Some home-sellers in each area probably are under water. But my point in the last post was that many people sell because life events demand it, whether a relocation, retirement, or more family joining the household. Those people are stuck selling in a bad market and don’t deserve to be mocked, just like those who sold in 2004-2007 aren’t virtuous as a result of their timing.
And as Keith says, the lack of jumbo financing makes it hard for higher-priced listings (i.e. Mercer Island homes) to move.
What About Value?
Do Mercer Island homes deliver enough value to justify their higher prices? The answer is specific to every family, but commute time and schools weigh heavily for many here. And plenty of people on Mercer Island seem happy with their bargain.
- Census data: Census Quickfacts and Seattle.gov
- # of listings and average list price: Redfin
- Visualization created with Tableau Software