It’s no secret that luxury homes dominate the Eastside residential real estate market, but 2019 revealed that the Eastside stands out as the primary regional hub for hot-commodity, high-end housing.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which is based in Kirkland but oversees 23 Washington counties, recently released a detailed annual report in which the Eastside topped the list for median home prices, average home prices, and highest sale prices of single-family homes in 2019.
King County had the state’s highest overall median home price, at $675,000. Within the King County submarkets, the Eastside consistently ranked first, just above Seattle, in terms of overall cost.
The Eastside’s median home price was $930,000; Seattle’s was $754,000. The average home price for the Eastside was $1.15 million; Seattle’s was $881,469. The highest sale price of the year was on the Eastside — a luxury waterfront dwelling in Hunts Point, just west of Bellevue — which sold for $37.5 million. Seattle’s highest-selling property of the year clocked in at $5.25 million.
The largest percentage of homes selling above $1 million, $5 million, and $15 million was on the Eastside, as well.
Of the 6,299 homes in NWMLS’ jurisdiction that sold for more than $1 million, more than 50 percent were on the Eastside. The region saw 65 single-family homes sell for more than $5 million in 2019, and more than 50 percent of those were in Eastside neighborhoods. Fourteen homes sold for more than $15 million last year, and 78 percent of those high-ticket houses were — you guessed it — located on the Eastside.
The trend isn’t new. For the past eight years, single-family home prices have been consistently on the rise in this area. What’s unique about last year’s growth is that, despite fewer newly constructed buildings and fewer sales closed, the dollar volume still surpassed that of 2018 by more than $1.8 billion, a gain of nearly 4 percent. These numbers indicate a tendency toward less available inventory and continually competing prices.
Coldwell Banker Bain, which was responsible for 10,668 closed sales on the Eastside last year, also released a report detailing trends. It found that year-end inventory is down 25 percent, resulting in escalating prices, which are anticipated to result in an historically active spring market.
In the report, EJ Bowlds, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain’s Bellevue office, said: “Average days to sell were up for all categories. But given the fact that the longest sale time (which was for new construction) was only 62 days, we can say these numbers reflect a very fast-moving market. An average balanced market can see market times well over 100 days. And two months’ time on the market for new construction is a very low number. The list-(asking price)-to-sales-price ratio for the Eastside was around 99 percent, again suggesting that prices are not heading downward anytime soon.”
It seems that high-end homes are increasingly in high demand, further driving up already historically high prices. This year, buyers likely will be faced with increasingly fierce competition in acquiring the luxury homes of their dreams.