San Juan County real estate market summary

Holy cow, what a year! In reviewing the year-end results for 2020, the sales dollar volume for the real estate market in San Juan County per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $466,709,745 which reflects a substantial increase in volume of 55% as compared to 2019 when the volume was $299,854,773. The County closed an average of 55 transactions per month which is a 48% increase over last year.

Total volume on San Juan Island in 2020 was $217,576,869 as compared to $139,593,052 in 2019. The increase 56% in volume with an increase of 53% in transaction number. The average number of transactions per month was 25.

Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. had an extraordinary increase of 70%.

Once lodging was allowed in April, buyers that lived within driving distance flocked to the Islands to purchase a second home/safe haven property. COVID, low interest rates, and the ability to work from home all fueled the migration.

We had fewer number of transactions but increases in volume which equates to more high-end sales occurring. The charts below do not include commercial or multifamily closed sales.

In reviewing the sales over $1m each, San Juan County closed a total of 115 and San Juan Island closed a total of 59 transactions. This was the most active segment of our market for both areas. Typically, the newcomer to the island prefers water view or waterfront and is mostly buying in the price range of $1m to $2m. They are seeking a second or retirement home.

The buyers that I represented in this category and the agents that I spoke with, that also had clients in this price range mostly stated that the buyers were moving funds from the stock market into real estate and/or processing an IRS 1031 from other real estate that was located in a less desirable location. Most were cash buyers with the purpose of the purchase for another home in addition to their primary residence in a safer location. Many wanted home offices as they planned to work remote and an ADU for their family. The few that used financing, did so as the rates are just too attractive to miss the opportunity.

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Merri Ann Simonson

Managing Broker

Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc

1-800-451-9054 Office

360-317-8668 Cell