Merri Ann Simonson
Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc
In reviewing the year-end results for 2018, the sales dollar volume for the real estate market in San Juan County per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $305,674,278 which reflects a tiny increase in volume of 1.5 percent over 2017 when the volume was $300,622,909. The percentage of growth this year was pretty flat which was evidenced in all preceding quarter end numbers. The County closed an average of 45 transactions per month which is 9 percent below last year.
Total volume on San Juan Island in 2018 was $126,419,356 as compared to $147,981,053 in 2017. The decrease was 14.5 percent. Of all the islands, Orcas performed the best with a volume increase of 13 percent but with a transaction decrease of 7%. The top 3 production agents in 2018 in the County, all work on Orcas and rocked their year.
Inventory levels on San Juan Island are very similar to last year at this time. The notable difference is in the amount of escrow transactions which reflects a 48 percent decrease.
Inventory did have an impact on our sales volume this year in some categories. The inventory for affordably priced homes is very low. Currently, a buyer needs to spend at least $375,000 to purchase a single family dwelling that isn’t a remodel. There are some condominium listings slightly under $300,000.
The lowest water view home is priced at $559,000 with the lowest waterfront cabin at $460,000, but it has tidal conditions. The non- tidal waterfront homes start around $700,000 and the majority of those that are under $1m, typically need updating.
The lowest priced lot is around $80,000 but it would be considered a challenging build. Lots that offer a water view start around $150,000 and the waterfront lots start at $250,000. A level sunny medium bank waterfront lot would be around $350,000.
I understand that numerous builders in the private sector are positioning to construct affordable housing and rental units in 2019. I know of 27 homes that will be starting around $250,000 each with the pre-sales starting by spring. These homes are located within town limits and are 2 bedroom, 2 bath and offer 965 square feet. This group of homes alone should create opportunities for first time home buyers and seniors for affordable housing.
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