Q3 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside


As Q3 comes to a close, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at their highest levels since April 2011—now averaging just above 4.7%. Even so, they are still far lower than their 30-year trendline. A 1% increase in mortgage interest rates decreases buying power by 10%. Or said differently, a 1% rate increase has the same net effect on monthly payment as a 10% increase in the sale price. That also means if prices fell 10% but rates went up 1% your payment would remain the same. This is a far bigger factor than most people consider.


Both first-time and move-up home buyers, with (finally!) more homes for sale to choose from and motivated by anticipated further rate hikes nipping at their heels, will feel the urgency to get moved and settled while they can still afford to do so.


Our market is likely to increasingly favor buyers as interest rates cause mortgage payments to increase uncomfortably beyond the affordability ceiling governed by personal income and wages. Properly-priced turn-key homes, and those in the most desirable settings, are still commanding very attractive prices and occasionally multiple offers. Everything else is seeing slowing appreciation and market softening. Strategic positioning, savvy marketing, and expert negotiation have never been so important as they are now.


Q3 Market Averages for Seattle


Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront



Seattle neighborhoods that were strongly bolstered by new construction and renovation saw the strongest sales activity, and not surprisingly, the greatest correlated price growth. Up 16.4% Q3 over Q3, the Queen Anne/Magnolia area led the charge, followed closely by Madison Park/Capitol Hill at 15.9%. Lake Forest Park/Kenmore at 13.2% and West Seattle at 12.5% also fared very well. Richmond Beach/Shoreline (6.2%), Ballard/Green Lake (4%), North Seattle (3.4%), and South Seattle (0.7%) saw notable price easing and contributed to rounding Seattle out to a modest 6.3% overall Q3 2017 to Q3 2018 median price increase.

Seattle Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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Sharp increases in the number of homes for sale coupled with fewer international buyer transactions has caused a few ripples in the Eastside real estate market.

Mercer Island shows the strongest Q3 over Q3 increase in median sale price (see explanation below) at 19.7%, followed by Woodinville at 12.3% and Redmond at 12.2%. Bringing up the mid-section was West Bellevue at 8.0%, East of Lake Sammamish at 7.8%. Lagging the Eastside median increase of 7.3% were Kirkland (6.9%), South Eastside (2.0%), and East Bellevue (1.8%).

Eastside Chart

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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The Q3 median sale price was 19.7% higher than that of Q3 2017. However, its crucial to note that Q3 of 2017 was an anomaly with many land-value sales transacting at the low end of the price spectrum. The effect was that the median sale price was 10.2% lower than Q1 of that same year. Far fewer moderately priced homes transacted in Q3 of this year.

There were 89 sales in Q3 2017 and of those sales 45 were of homes priced below $1.5 million. Compare that to Q3 of 2018 with 74 sales, of which only 28 were priced below $1.5 million. The differential of sales between the two years was almost entirely composed of entry-level and land value home sales.

To further prove this, we looked at comparable homes sold this year and last (an approach like that of the Case-Schiller index). All things being roughly equal, the median sale price of that subset of homes increased only 9.0% from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018. This number is far more in alignment with what we have truly experienced in our market.

Mercer Island Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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Significant new construction projects underway or announced have dampened sales of existing condos somewhat, especially where they will directly compete with the new buildings. Neighborhood safety is being weighted more carefully against urban hip now more than ever. In Seattle, median sale prices of existing condos in Downtown Seattle/Belltown (-0.4%), Queen Anne/Magnolia (-4.8%), and North Seattle (-8.0%) have all decreased while surrounding areas have seen very strong to moderate Q3-Q3 increases. This quarter’s top contenders were Richmond Beach-Shoreline (30.3%), Ballard-Green Lake (26%), and West Seattle (25%).

On the Eastside, all areas except South Bellevue (-9.3%) saw considerable increases in the Q3 median sale price. East Bellevue (37.1%), Redmond (19.1%), and Kirkland (17.6%) topped the charts.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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The Eastside has been a hotbed of waterfront closed sale activity with as many Q3 sales as Seattle, Mercer Island, and Lake Sammamish combined. The number of active private waterfront listings for sale on the Eastside is down compared to Q3 of both 2015 and 2016, while the listing levels of Seattle, Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish waterfront properties remain about the same.

With only two closed sales in Q3, Months of Inventory—the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes that sold—climbed dramatically on Mercer Island. Seattle, with four closed waterfront sales, saw a similar but more moderate increase. The Eastside and Lake Sammamish both experienced improvement in the Months of Inventory indicator.

The highest private waterfront Q3 sale was of a newer 6,570 square foot Hunts Point modern estate designed by Baylis Architects with 80 feet of no-bank waterfront on just over an acre of lush, private grounds for $18 million. The lowest sale was a 1,010 square feet westside Lake Sammamish 1958 beach house with 60 feet of waterfront on a shy ¼ acre lot with permitted approval for a new 5000 square foot home.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Housing Forecast

I feel fortunate to have Chief Economist Matthew Gardner on staff to provide valuable analysis of the economy and housing market. Matthew recently completed his national forecast which details his predictions for the 2018 housing market.


Posted on January 18, 2018 at 11:21 pm
Andrew Jackson | Category: Home Seller, Matthew Gardner Report, Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update


This blog post originally appeared on Windermere Blog, author Matthew Gardner.


Annual employment growth in Washington State slowed somewhat in the third quarter of this year, but still remains well above the long-term average. Additionally, the jobs that are being created are primarily quality, high-paying positions, which is important for the health of our economy.

Unemployment in the state remains at levels that are somewhat higher than I would like to see, but this continues to be impacted by a growing labor force and modestly slowing job growth. I still expect to see the rate drop a little further as we move through the final quarter of the year.



  • There were 24,277 home sales during the third quarter of 2016—up by an impressive 7.9% from the same period in 2015, and 6.8% above the total number of sales seen in the second quarter of this year.
  • Skagit County saw sales grow at the fastest rate over the past 12 months, with transactions up by 25.6%. There were also impressive increases in home sales in Thurston, San Juan, Pierce, and Grays Harbor Counties. Sales fell slightly in Jefferson and Kittitas Counties.
  • Overall listing activity remains low with the total number of homes for sale at the end of the quarter 11.2% below that seen a year ago. That said, I’m happy to report that listings have been slowly trending higher in 2016.
  • I’ve been thinking about how sales can continue to rise while inventory remains so low. I believe this is due to an uptick in first-time buyers. These buyers have no home to sell, so they don’t add to the number of listings; however, they do cause sales to increase when they buy. This is a good trend to see!



  • As demand continues to exceed supply, we are continuing to see upward pressure on home prices. In the third content_16229_WWA_GardnerReportQ3_Mapquarter, average prices rose by a substantial 10.2% and are 3.2% higher than seen in the second quarter of this year.
  • The current rate at which homes are appreciating cannot continue, and I anticipate that we will see a “cooling” start to take place in 2017.
  • When compared to the third quarter of 2015, price growth was most pronounced in Lewis County. In total, there were nine counties where annual price growth exceeded 10% and prices were higher across the entire region when compared to a year ago.
  • Although supply levels are slowly starting to creep higher, we are still solidly in a seller’s market. Rising inventory levels should start to do a better job of meeting demand next year, which when combined with modestly higher mortgage interest rates, will see the region move closer toward becoming a balanced market.




  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by twenty-two days when compared to the third quarter of 2015.
  • All the counties that comprise this report saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop.
  • In the third quarter of 2016, it took an average of 52 days to sell a home. This is down from the 74 days it took in the third quarter of 2015, and down from the 67 days it took in the second quarter of this year.
  • King and Snohomish Counties remain the only two markets where it took less than a month to sell a home. Even though King County saw days on market rise slightly from 18 to 20, it remains the hottest market in the region.



content_16229_WWA_GardnerReportQ3_SpeedometerThis speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sales velocities, interest rates, and larger economics factors. For the third quarter of 2016, I am moving the needle very slightly toward the buyers. This is entirely due to the recent increase in inventory levels that I believe will continue through the rest of the year. That said, the region remains steadfastly a seller’s market.



content_content_MatthewGardner_colorMatthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K. 

Posted on October 29, 2016 at 7:09 am
Andrew Jackson | Category: Matthew Gardner Report, Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

43% of King County Real Estate Transactions Involve Multiple Offers

Multiple offers are no longer the exception in the King County housing market. My most recent listing garnered 29 offers from buyers- 29! I was able to efficiently guide my clients through this process due to my 18 years of real estate experience in the greater Seattle area.  

Having an experienced real estate broker representing you is imperative in a multiple offer situation, for both buyers and sellers. Windermere Real Estate brokers work diligently for their clients, and those representing buyers 19% more likely to win transactions involving multiple offers. Also, local brokers are more confident in completing a transaction with a broker from Windermere than they are with any other real estate company.

Do you have questions about navigating our fast paced real estate market? Email me at andrewj@windermere.com – or give me a call at 206-650-4939 – so we can set up a time to go out for coffee and discuss your questions. 

 2015 Multiple Offer Market Share Growth

Posted on March 11, 2016 at 5:59 am
Andrew Jackson | Category: Home Seller, Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

2016 Remodel Cost Versus Value Report

2016 Remodel Cost Versus Value Report

Did you know that some home improvement projects can pay for themselves, or even earn you a profit when it’s time to sell? According to the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report for Seattle (www.costvsvalue.com) certain upgrades may increase your home’s resale value by more than what they cost. 

As home prices rise across the nation, average payback on remodeling projects is up too. “We’ve seen a steady ramping up on both the sales and construction side,” said Jonathan Diehart, director of custom services and published research at Metrostudy. “I think over time that really starts to loosen up prices a bit and allows some of these [remodeling] factors to become more significant as part of the price.”  The biggest year-over-year gains in return were seen for more expensive and complicated "upscale" remodeling projects.

While this information provides a fun insight into which projects might be worth your while, it's important to note that these are just overall estimates–your return on investment will vary substantially depending on your unique home and neighborhood.

Seattle's 10 Best Projects

Seattle's 10 Worst Projects


Return on Investment in Seattle

In Seattle, the top 10 most profitable remodeling projects were:

  • Attic Insulation (Fiberglass)
    Cost: $1,249
    Resale Value: $1,877
    Cost Recouped: 150.3% 
  • Manufactured Stone Veneer
    Cost: $7,631
    Resale Value: $10,897
    Cost Recouped: 142.8% 
  • Garage Door Replacement (Upscale)
    Cost: $3,175
    Resale Value: $4,503
    Cost Recouped: 141.8%
  • Garage Door Replacement (Mid-Range)
    Cost: $1,783
    Resale Value: $2,440
    Cost Recouped: 136.9% 
  • Entry Door Replacement (Steel)
    Cost: $1,400
    Resale Value: $1,790
    Cost Recouped: 127.9%
  • Siding Replacement (Fiber Cement)
    Cost: $16,196
    Resale Value: $18,826
    Cost Recouped: 116.2% 
  • Window Replacement (Vinyl)
    Cost: $15,308
    Resale Value: $17,417
    Cost Recouped: 113.8%
  • Siding Replacement (Engineered)
    Cost: $15,396
    Resale Value: $17,237
    Cost Recouped: 112.0%
  • Deck Addition (Wood, Mid-Range)
    Cost: $12,145
    Resale Value: $12,985
    Cost Recouped: 106.9
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel
    Cost: $21,889
    Resale Value: $22,833
    Cost Recouped: 104.3%

While all still higher than the national average recoup of 64.4%, these were Seattle's 10 least profitable remodeling projects:

  • Bathroom Addition (Upscale)
    Cost: $86,087
    Resale Value: $60,206
    Cost Recouped: 69.9% 
  • Bathroom Addition (Mid-Range)
    Cost: $47,572
    Resale Value: $34,457
    Cost Recouped: 72.4%
  • Deck Addition (Composite, Upscale)
    Cost: $41,140
    Resale Value: $29,972
    Cost Recouped: 72.9% 
  • Backup Power Generator
    Cost: $13,842
    Resale Value: $10,403
    Cost Recouped: 75.2% 
  • Master Suite Addition (Upscale)
    Cost: $262,073
    Resale Value: $197,515
    Cost Recouped: 75.4%
  • Major Kitchen Remodel (Upscale)
    Cost: $125,781
    Resale Value: $103,889
    Cost Recouped: 82.6% 
  • Major Kitchen Remodel (Mid-Range)
    Cost: $64,981
    Resale Value: $53,778
    Cost Recouped: 82.8%
  • Master Suite Addition (Mid-Range)
    Cost: $126,972
    Resale Value: $106,000
    Cost Recouped: 83.5%
  • Bathroom Remodel (Upscale)
    Cost: $61,383
    Resale Value: $52,432
    Cost Recouped: 85.4%
  • Two-Story Addition
    Cost: $180,558
    Resale Value: $154,472
    Cost Recouped: 85.6%


Cost vs. Value data © 2016 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded for free at www.costvsvalue.com

Posted on February 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm
Andrew Jackson | Category: Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Matthew Gardner’s Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

I know many of you are wondering why we have seen such an increase in housing cost and lack of inventory.  Well just take a few minutes to read Matthew's report.  Western Washington continues to grow in the job sector especially in the tech markets.


The Washington State economy has added almost 370,000 jobs since the lowest point of the recession at the start of 2010. Additionally, total employment is 176,000 jobs higher than seen at the 2008 peak. 

The Bellevue and Seattle Metropolitan areas are showing a average market time of 31 day.  While this average includes all of king county, in many markets within King County market time is less than 7 days.  Many of the homes that sell within 7 days are because the Sellers and Listing Brokers have determined to wait 7 days prior to reviewing offers. 

To read the report in its entirety click here



Posted on February 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm
Andrew Jackson | Category: Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , ,