The second quarter results, which complete the first half of the year, in San Juan County were extremely good when considering the virus impact. Per the NWMLS, the dollar volume in San Juan County was $118,381,567 with a total of 201 transactions. The numbers reflect a 6% decrease in dollar volume and a 4% increase in the number of transactions as compared to the same period in 2019. For San Juan Island the transaction volume was $56,453,142 with a total of 91 transactions. This was a 3% increase in volume and a 10% increase in number of transactions. For Orcas the volume was $41,114,888 with 71 transactions. This was a 19% decrease in volume but a 10% increase in number of transactions. For Lopez the volume was $14,061,726 with 26 transactions. This was an 8% increase in volume but a 14% decrease in number of transactions.
The volume is impressive as in the month of April buyers and sellers were in shock, lenders were tightening their underwriting belts and there was a lot of uncertainty. May and June were both very productive months for the entire County.
The buyer profile appears to be the typical 45-65 years of age, buying second home or retirement home, and we can now add that they want to leave the metropolitan areas or at least have a safe place to go when they feel uncomfortable.
Many of these buyers can work from home and have been doing it for the last 90 days and now realize they don’t need to be in Seattle or other large cities to earn a living. Many are self-employed or executives in the private business sector. Good internet connectivity, such as fiber is very important to their purchase. One of the most active price segments is $1M to $2M.
Our sellers are listing now because they were planning on it in the near future and are recognizing this is a great market to be active in. The agents all feel that we are having more multiple offers and some with bid wars, than we had back in the boom years of 2005-2007. If a home is priced at market, buyers are scrambling to see it and write an offer. I have had several buyers facetime with their agents and write an offer sight unseen. Most of these types of contracts have worked out with the buyer then coming to town when they can make arrangements for travel during their feasibility study period.
Some sellers are pricing optimistically against inventory, versus closed comparable properties, as the inventory is decreasing, and we are noting upward pressure on the new listing prices. Due to the turmoil in the big cities, some buyers have made the decision to accelerate their relocation plans and are making life changing decisions to buy in the islands. The multiple offer situations are adding a lot of stress to the situation. In some cases, only the successful buyer is happy after a competitive bid situation; and sometimes not even them. It all depends on how the multiple offers situation is processed.
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Merri Ann Simonson
Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc