Last month I reported some very positive home sales, prices and trends for the Bainbridge Island Real Estate market. I used the the interjection Wow! and I told you the market was smoking. Today there is so much good news, I’m not sure where to start…the one thing I can say, is while I saw smoke in the market last month, this month I’m seeing some flickering flames. The number of homes Sold on Bainbridge Island in April jumped from 25 to 38, an increase of 52%! There was also a decline in the number of distressed properties sold, decreasing to only about 13% of the total homes sold. How’s that for great? But wait…there’s more…currently there are 96 homes that are under contract “Pending Sale”. Considering it typically takes between 30-45 days for an average sale to close, you can see that the trend is continuing on a tear. It feels terrific to report such positive data, however; there is a downside…if you are a buyer and have been waiting, you are now going to be experiencing stiff competition for the best opportunities in the market. In the last month, there have been multiple instances where Buyers I have been representing have found themselves in the middle of multiple offer situations on properties for which they made offers. In all cases, the prices were bid higher by the interested parties and they ended up going under contract for above the initial asking price. In another case, a desperate buyer who really wanted a property, removed their finance contingency as part of their offer and doubled the typical amount of earnest money. Wow! Is this 2006 or 2012?
The positive news if you are a Buyer, is that while home prices have been firming, they are still not showing huge increases as a trend. The thing that Is quickly disappearing are the number of Sellers willing to accept or negotiate offers significantly below their asking price. Homes that are market ready, are getting a lot of activity immediately and offers are coming much more quickly than we’ve seen in the past several years. The current “Days on market” data is not yet reflecting these trends, but I am certain the DOM data will be showing declines in coming months.
Another important factor affecting the market is the shortage of inventory. While demand has increased, the relative number of new listings available for any given category of Buyer is limited. So we are seeing increased competition for the best properties…fabulous view, acreage and waterfront properties are getting a lot of activity on the island. In other areas, we are seeing waning inventories of affordable homes, and even homes with investment potential and those needing repairs are getting harder to find, especially those with the kinds of discounts that were so prevalent just a couple of months ago.
I often get asked the question: Is the housing market on Bainbridge improving? The answer by virtually all metrics is an emphatic, Yes!
I’m going to have a hard time waiting to report the May data, but it is going to be great…
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–Brian Wilson, Broker
John L. Scott Real Estate
19723 10th Ave NE; suite 200
Poulsbo, WA 98370