Homes sold in San Juan County last month fetched the highest median price of western Washington Counties at $384,000. This was 17% higher than a year ago.
According to the Realtor NWMLS, from Jan-Nov.1, 2012, there were 104 homes sold on San Juan Island. This year to Nov. 1, there have been 85 home sales, nearly an 18% decline.
The research firm Real Market Data, which tracks all sales regardless of whether they are listed with a Realtor or not, shows that this year's total property sales on San Juan Island are 9% below last year's and the dollar amount of all transactions on the island is down 12%.
Despite the downward trending these numbers indicate, if we look deeper, we'll find sunshine. (Feel free to apply this technique to life in general).
What is different about the sales numbers? Between January and November 1, 2012 there had been 27 bank-owned properties sold here. This represented nearly 20% of all sales.
So far this year there have been only six bank owned properties sold, representing only 5% of our total sales. This is evidence that the island's foreclosure woes are easing and allows our market recovery to gain momentum.
But wait... There's more.
Vacant land sales edged slightly upwards this year, which may bring local contractors much needed work soon. Most of the tradespeople I've been talking to are busy now, with work on their schedule to keep them busy through the slow season.
The local lodging tax resulted in higher numbers this year meaning more tourists visited the island than last year.
Despite the better than expected job numbers, the FED seems to be satisfied with holding the course with lower-than-historical interest rates, which means that many properties are still considered affordable here.
And even more...
Waterfront sales jumped 10% this year, including homes and lots. The dollar volume of these sales increased by 49.6%.
Even though pending government regulations will limit waterfront development, there is still confidence that the island’s shorelines are a solid investment.
Although our real estate market has historically lagged behind the mainland's by 8-10 months, this time our "Turning Phase" may take a bit longer.