Homeageddon 2011: Mercer Island Real Estate Update, Part 1

Talk of a housing non-recovery or a real recovery has got me thinking about the Mercer Island market again. So in a series of blogs we’ll look at the numbers to get the story: about 3 and 1/2 years of sales data.

Single family homes


The view above shows trends in single family homes:

  • Volume hasn’t changed much, despite the housing implosion.
  • But median home price is down from about $1.08 million in December of 2007 to $865k so far in June 2011. Lest you think it’s just smaller homes selling, the price per square foot has dropped substantially too.

Condos & Townhomes

What’s the story in condos & townhomes?

  • For starters, if you didn’t already know, Mercer Island is primarily a single family home market, with 20-30 home sales in the summer months to 5-10 condo sales, generally. But condo sales have been picking up in the last two years as new downtown condo buildings sell their inventory.
  • The median home price for a condo has taken a hit as well, from about $405k in Dec 2007 to about $321k so far in June.
  • Future Real Estate Infoporn

    Note that the post title says Part 1: in coming weeks we’ll geek out on this same data, looking at it different ways until we’ve got a good picture of where the market stands. So check back.

    All these graphs are interactive and you can find them here. Data courtesy Redfin and visualization courtesy Tableau Public.

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    8 responses to “Homeageddon 2011: Mercer Island Real Estate Update, Part 1

    1. As far I know, prices of houses and flats are getting lower here in Norway too. And small flats like mine ( studioflat 210 sq ft) are sold very quickly. More and more people wants to live alone or in smaller homes.

    2. mercerislandblogger

      Good to know. I lack any informed perspective on the Norwegian housing market– I’ll stick to commenting on Mercer Island.

    3. Capt. Fairweather

      Just as I thought: even with these new lower prices, “you can’t go home again” (unless you have made a lot of money).

    4. As usual, some very informed and insightful commentary on the Mercer Island housing market. One question, though. Why did you pick Dec. ’07 to start your analysis? As far as I understand it, sales volumes in the Seattle area peaked in ’06 and prices peaked in ’07.

    5. I know you`ll focus on Mercer Island 🙂 that`s fine with me, I just wanted to let you know the market is almost the same here. If I want to buy myself a home where I grew up, today I`ll have to pay almost the same as in town.. No matter if the home is old and unmodern… So it`s interesting to read your note of this, far away from Norway 🙂

    6. mercerislandblogger

      @Kendallwatson: Thanks for the comment. Why December 2007? Simple. I started pulling data from Redfin then, so I had past sales from that time period. If I had data earlier, I would have started the analysis earlier.

    7. See here for Mercer Island home sales volumes (SFH+Condos) for the past decade and a forecast from the City of Mercer Island: http://mercerisland.patch.com/articles/2011-island-real-estate-market-trends#photo-4544163
      They reported 323 total sales in 2010. What’s your data show?

    8. mercerislandblogger

      I show 287 from the Redfin data, which should be straight from the MLS, which is a pretty definitive record. I wonder what the discrepancy with the City’s numbers is.

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