Year-end real estate market summary

Posted February 2, 2022 at 10:04 am by

Mer­ri Ann Simon­son sends along this year-end real estate mar­ket sum­ma­ry for San Juan Coun­ty and San Juan Island.

Anoth­er record-break­ing year for San Juan Coun­ty! It was incred­i­ble for our sell­ers and those buy­ers that were suc­cess­ful in pur­chas­ing prop­er­ty. Not so much for many of our buy­ers that are sit­ting frus­trat­ed on the side lines.

In review­ing the year-end results for 2021 the sales dol­lar vol­ume for the real estate mar­ket in San Juan Coun­ty per the North­west Mul­ti­ple List­ing Ser­vice was $566,769,478, which reflects an increase in vol­ume of 21% as com­pared to 2020 when the vol­ume was $469,322,850. The Coun­ty closed 660 trans­ac­tions which is a 1% decrease from last year. The aver­age num­ber of trans­ac­tions per month was 55.

Total vol­ume on San Juan Island in 2021 was $240,714,639 as com­pared to $219,154,771 in 2020. The increase was 10% in vol­ume with an increase of 6% in trans­ac­tion num­ber. The aver­age num­ber of trans­ac­tions per month was 26.

Orcas was the star rep­re­sent­ing a 26% increase in dol­lar vol­ume. How­ev­er, their trans­ac­tion num­bers reflect a decrease of 12% from 2020. This is indica­tive of few­er num­ber of prop­er­ty sales but high­er prices as their vol­ume is up.

The per­cent­age of increase in dol­lar vol­ume year-over-year is slow­ing down at this point. At the end of 2020 the data reflect­ed con­sid­er­ably high­er per­cent­ages of increase over 2019, but we also had much more inven­to­ry dur­ing 2020 than we did in 2021. Most agents have buy­ers very eager to pur­chase but as the selec­tion is so low, the buy­ers do not want to make the trip and as stat­ed above, are frus­trat­ed with our market.

Even though the last two years of num­bers were all record break­ing for our Coun­ty, they may not be sus­tain­able in the years to come as evi­denced by the trend of low­er per­cent­ages of increas­es. Hav­ing said that, a gain is a gain, but it could be that we should expect a mar­ket with a more sta­ble activ­i­ty level.

In review­ing the sales over $1m each, San Juan Coun­ty closed a total of 154 and San Juan Island closed a total of 60 trans­ac­tions. These sales reflect a 21% increase in this cat­e­go­ry for the Coun­ty and a 5% decrease for San Juan Island.

Again, Orcas per­formed very well with 61 sales as com­pared to the 47 in 2020 which is a 28% increase in high-end sales.

The high-end seg­ment of our mar­ket was very active for the entire Coun­ty. 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 top pro­duc­ers, includ­ing my team, had their best years ever. Fur­ther, we are also very proud as Cold­well Banker San Juan Islands Inc. was the top pro­duc­ing bro­ker­age firm in the County.

As I men­tioned, 2021 was a great year in real estate which when com­pared to oth­er 2021 events, make it one of the few high­lights for our nation. With COVID, con­tin­ued infla­tion, spec­u­la­tion of increas­ing inter­est rates, gas prices and our local fer­ry “sit­u­a­tion”, 2022 might be a dif­fer­ent real estate market.

Many of the nation­al eco­nom­ic fore­cast­ers, such as Zil­low, Redfin, and the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, are pre­dict­ing a slow­er year in many areas of the nation due to the events cit­ed above as well as low­er inven­to­ry lev­els. Zil­low, who doesn’t have boots on the ground in our Coun­ty, is stat­ing a decrease in val­u­a­tions as well as less vol­ume. Last year at this time Mr. Zil­low was pre­dict­ing a 9.1% 1‑year fore­cast­ed for home val­ue increase for our Coun­ty and dang, they were pret­ty accu­rate. I do not know what Mr. Zillow’s for­mu­la is, but I do know that is it very dif­fi­cult to cal­cu­late appre­ci­a­tion in our mar­ket due to our low trans­ac­tion num­bers as com­pared to met­ro­pol­i­tan areas and the fact that very few sim­i­lar homes sell twice in a two-year period.

Inven­to­ry lev­els in the Coun­ty and San Juan Island for all prop­er­ty types are very low. In the Coun­ty the total inven­to­ry is down 27% from same time last year. The total inven­to­ry for San Juan Island is down 34%. The num­ber of escrows/pending trans­ac­tions are both down which is most like­ly due to low inven­to­ry lev­els and frus­trat­ed buyers.

There are many pos­i­tive sta­tis­tics regard­ing the mar­ket trends in our Coun­ty and I have pro­vid­ed the details below.

High­lights of our market:

The medi­an home, con­do­mini­um and man­u­fac­tured home price for a 12 month peri­od end­ing Decem­ber 2021 for San Juan Island was $681,288 which is a 1.75% increase over 2020 when it was $670,000. The medi­an home price for the same peri­od for the Coun­ty was $805,000 which is a 22% increase over 2020 when it was $660,000. The medi­an is a typ­i­cal mar­ket price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Orcas Island con­tributed most of the gain for the County.

  • The aver­age days on mar­ket num­ber (DOM) for homes, con­do­mini­ums and man­u­fac­tured hous­ing on San Juan Island was 72. The DOM was 159 last year for the same 12-month peri­od; how­ev­er, it does vary on the price range. The aver­age days on mar­ket for the Coun­ty dur­ing 2021 was 82 days which is down from 164 in 2020.
  • The aver­age water­front home and water­front con­do­mini­um price for San Juan Island was $1,590,651 for the 43 sales that were on the mar­ket an aver­age of 97 days. The aver­age water­front home and con­do­mini­um price for the Coun­ty was $1,955,238 for the 103 sales that were on the mar­ket an aver­age of 114 days. The Coun­ty aver­age price reflects an increase over 2020, but San Juan Island price reflects a decrease. Orcas had a smok­ing hot water­front home sale year with an aver­age sale of $2,140,364 and pro­vid­ed the largest impact on the Coun­ty increase. How­ev­er, all areas reflect a decrease in the num­ber of trans­ac­tions for water­front homes and condominiums.
  • Sell­ers nego­ti­at­ed less off their sale prices dur­ing 2021 and many enjoyed mul­ti­ple offers with esca­la­tions above list price for homes and land in the Coun­ty. The per­cent­age off list price var­ied based on the price range.

The Cold­well Banker San Juan Islands Show­case of List­ings dead­line this year is March 31, 2022. If you are con­sid­er­ing sell­ing your prop­er­ty this year, this is an excel­lent pub­li­ca­tion to be includ­ed in.
The show­case is a hand­out at our Fri­day Har­bor and Roche Har­bor offices as well as on the fer­ry sys­tem. Con­tact Ter­ri or I, should you have inter­est in sell­ing and want a free opin­ion of val­ue for your property.

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