Merri Ann Simonson
Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc
The third quarter results for San Juan Island and the County were consistent with the first and second quarter results. Per the NWMLS, the dollar volume year-to-date on San Juan Island was $99,156,746 with a total of 181 transactions. This reflects a 12.5 percent decrease in the dollar volume and a 21.5 percent decrease in the number of transactions. For San Juan County, the total dollar volume was $218,491,175 with a total of 392 transactions. The County had a slight gain of 1/2% in dollar volume and a decrease of 11.6 percent in a number of transactions. I assume we will end up 2018 very similar to 2017 if we continue with the same level of activity we have been processing this last 60 days. Further, the inventory levels may have an impact on our volume in some of the pricing categories.
Historically we have had similar percentages of ups and downs since the recession so I would still consider this a steady market which is comforting. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, has indicated that nationally, the job creation has a positive impact but the interest rate increases are negative. Based on this, he forecasts nationally a 2% decrease in volume for 2018 but a 2 percent increase in 2019.
Our island doesn’t have a direct impact on job creation but there will be an impact from interest rate increases. As the high-end buyers in our market are less likely to be dependent upon institutional lenders, the rate increases will impact the buyers for our lowest priced homes the most.
The high-end buyer recognizes us a steady market and that confidence is reflected in the number of sales and associated volume. Year-to-date on San Juan, we have closed 23 sales in excess of $1M each as compared to the 21 last year for the same period. The County is enjoying an increased level of activity in the high-end segment. Year-to-date, the County has had 43 sales in the category as compared to the 33 in 2017 for the same period. The activity level in the County reflects an increase of 30 percent. As mentioned above, San Juan had 23 and Orcas had 11 high-end sales year-to-date.
High-end sales provide upward movement in our median home price. This is not a calculation of appreciation but it is a trend.
The most contributing factors in the consistency of our market were the median home prices, days on market and percentage of seller negotiating. For the preceding 12 month period ending 9-30-2018, our median home price for listed homes on San Juan Island was $525,000 as compared to $450,000 for the 12 month period ending 9-30-2017. The average home prices for the same periods were $704,776 and $680,583 for 2018 and 2017, respectively.
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