Q3 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q3 Market Update for Seattle/Eastside

 

The volume of Q3 transactions made up for Q2’s fewer sales and then some. Truth be told, the market could have absorbed twice the number of transactions, if only there were more homes on the market to sell. Too few homes for sale is the defining character of the Q3 Seattle region real estate market as evidenced by multiple offer bidding wars being the norm rather than the exception. Nearly 66% of all homes sold went under contract in the first 10 days on the market at an average of 103% of their listed price in Seattle and 105% of that price on the Eastside.

 

As predicted by Windermere’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, the second half of 2020 is indeed shaping up to be the brightest spot in our local economy. While consumer confidence continues to be challenged by local and national events—including COVID, unemployment, racial inequality, and uncertainty around the presidential election—the desire to secure the best home environment possible coupled with ridiculously low mortgage interest rates continue to fuel local buyer demand.

 

In addition to typical real estate activity, new and changing home needs (especially for those working virtually with children) have driven many to question the adequacy of their current living situation. This has added to the already significant buyer demand we are experiencing. For many, COVID has changed their perception of what is important. More buyers are reaching for their dream home or a second home in lieu of world travel and luxury goods.

 

As demand drives up local home prices further, affordability is quickly becoming one of the most prominent emerging concerns. Currently only a sliver of homes are considered affordable to first time buyers at their projected median income. Teachers, first responders, and critical infrastructure workers that keep our region going are finding it increasingly difficult to work in higher cost communities. Will our children be able to buy a home in the Seattle region? Not unless something changes to create lower cost housing options. One does not need a crystal ball to see that this problem will get worse when mortgage interest rates increase closer to their norms. Expect this issue to be at the center of any housing market discussion in years to come.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s median sale price increased by 3% (to $800,000) over Q2 ($780,000) and by 7% over Q3 2019 ($749,000). Neighborhoods to the north experienced the largest increase in median sale price with Kenmore-Lake Forest Park (+10%) and Shoreline-Richmond Beach (+8%) over Q2. In addition, Queen Anne-Magnolia, North Seattle, Shoreline-Richmond Beach, and South Seattle all saw double-digit increases over Q3 of 2019.

 

71% of Seattle homes (all price points), and 18% of homes priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. The most competitive Seattle markets were Kenmore-Lake Forest Park and North Seattle, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 107% and 106% of their listed price, respectively.

 

There were 50% more Seattle home sales in Q3 (2,929) than in Q2 (1,956) and 29% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (2,279).

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 2014-built, 6400 square foot Laurelhurst (North Seattle) waterfront home for just shy of $11.5 million and the lowest was a 1982-built, 240 square foot approved floating home in a leased slip on Lake Union (Ballard-Green Lake) for $187,500.

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside median sale price broke the million-dollar barrier, coming in at $1,025,100 in Q3, up 7% over Q2 ($958,000) and 11% over Q3 2019 ($925,000). Kirkland-Bridle Trails (+18%) and the Eastside South of I-90 (+10%) performed best over Q2. while Eastside South, East Bellevue, West Bellevue, and East Lake Sammamish all saw double-digit increases over Q3 2019.

 

67% of Eastside homes, and 32% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The most competitive Eastside markets were East Bellevue, Mercer Island and Redmond-Carnation, with sales in the first 10 days averaging 105%, 104% and 104% of their listed price, respectively.

 

There were 56% more Eastside home sales in Q3 (2,448) than in Q2 (1,570) and 19% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (2,055).

 

The highest sale was a $23.5 million 1908-built Hunts Point estate on 1.59 acres sold off-market and the lowest sale was a 1960-built Stossel Creek fixer without documented well or septic on 4.79 acres in Duvall for $235,000.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Of Mercer Island’s 113 Q3 sales, all but two were for over $1 million and 41 were above $2 million. There were 14 sales above $3 million in Q3, compared to only 4 in Q2.

 

As the quarter came to an end, there were only 35 homes for sale compared to 75 in Q3 2019. This shortage of available homes on the market has led to an extremely competitive market for the most desirable homes, especially those offering one-level living or a main floor owner’s suite.

 

58% of all homes, and 16% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The highest Mercer Island sale was a $10.2 million, Faben Point waterfront home. The lowest sale was a $925,000 North End fixer sold at land value.

 

Mercer Island Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

The number of Seattle condos for sale has increased markedly, and while the pace of sales is up, it is nonetheless struggling to keep up with the volume of condos coming to market. Condos fared well overall with a median sale price up by 5% (to $479,925) over Q2 ($455,000) and by 9% over Q3 2019 ($438,500). Condos in Shoreline-Richmond Beach, Queen Anne-Magnolia, and South Seattle experienced double-digit increases in median sale price while the Downtown-Belltown median sale price was 6% lower than Q2.

 

54% of Seattle condos (all price points), and 4% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. 48% sold in the first 10 days on the market. There were 68% more Seattle condo sales in Q3 (784) than in Q2 (468) and 11% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (706).

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was down 5% to $499,950 in Q3 following a record setting Q2 ($525,000), but up 6% over Q3 2019 ($471,000). Condos in Kirkland-Bridle Trails (+13%) and West Bellevue (+11%) saw increases in median sale price while the Eastside South of I-90 (-15%) and East Bellevue (-17%) saw declines from Q2.

 

60% of Eastside condos (all price points), and 3% of those priced above $1 million, sold at or above their listed price. 49% sold in the first 10 days on the market. There were 72% more Eastside condo sales in Q3 (755) than in Q2 (440) and 17% more sales than in Q3 of 2019 (643).

 

Check out area-by-area details the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

Waterfront rebounded in a big way in Q3 with record setting sales velocity. The Eastside had more sales this quarter (18) than the last three prior quarters combined. The supply of inventory fell to 3 months (from an average of 10 months of supply) with only 16 waterfront homes for sale at quarter end. Lake Sammamish posted 14 sales after a sleepy prior four quarters with a combined total of 14 sales. For sale inventory is in step with the Eastside at 3 months of supply (from an average of 5 months of supply).

 

Mercer Island saw 12 waterfront sales in Q3, a sharp increase from its average of five sales per quarter. With only 8 waterfront homes on the market, Mercer Island’s available inventory fell from an average 12 months to just 2 months of supply. Seattle posted 12 sales, maintaining its typical pace of sales. There were 17 waterfront homes for sale at the end of Q3 and Seattle’s for sale inventory remained a steady 4 months of supply.

 

The highest sale was a $23.5 million 1908-built Hunts Point estate on 1.59 acres sold off-market with 138 feet of premium Lake Washington waterfront. The most affordable was a $1.1 million Holmes Point home built in 1928 with 36 feet of waterfront on the lake.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on October 19, 2020 at 3:27 pm
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Q2 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q2 Market Update: Seattle & the Eastside

 

Q2 was a story of resilience for the Seattle market. It began with our region fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but ended with a strong seller’s market and historic low interest rates. Buyers have returned in droves to battle for the limited supply of homes for sale. With a shortage of listings due both to economic/health concerns and sellers who can’t find anywhere to go, we could double our current supply of homes for sale and still fall short of demand.

 

Our region’s typical peak season was delayed with April feeling more like February and picking up momentum through the end of June. Possibly motivated as much by the changing home requirements of our newly revised lifestyles as it is by the opportunity to snag a coveted mortgage interest rate (a 1% change in interest rate equates to a 10% change in buying power), buyers are eager to find a place to call home.

 

Residential home prices are generally up throughout the region in Q2 while condominium prices are mixed depending on the building amenities and how well they have addressed COVID-19 concerns.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle’s median sale price increased by 3% in Q2 to $780,000. Queen Anne-Magnolia (+8%) and South Seattle (+7%) were top performers in the Seattle region while the Richmond Beach-Shoreline area was down 1% compared to Q2 2019.

 

68% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 15% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 20 from 27 in Q2 of the year prior. There were 21% fewer Seattle home sales in Q2 2020 (1,956) compared to Q2 2019 (2,479) due to a shortage of homes for sale.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 2008-built Laurelhurst (North Seattle) waterfront home for $10,500,000 and the lowest was a 1979-built 1-bedroom approved floating home in a leased slip on Lake Union for $134,000..

 

Seattle Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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EASTSIDE

The Eastside median sale price was $958,000 in Q2, up 1% over Q2 2019. West Bellevue (+10%) and East Bellevue (+8%) performed best, while Mercer Island saw an 11% decrease in its median sale price with fewer luxury sales.

 

65% of Eastside homes, and 26% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The average number of days to sell decreased to 24 from 36 in Q2 of the year prior. There were 33% fewer Eastside home sales in Q2 2020 (1,570) compared to Q2 2019 (2,334) due to fewer homes available for sale.

 

The highest sale was a $11.75 million 2004-built Evergreen Point shared waterfront home on just over an acre and the lowest sale was a 1924 Skykomish cabin on Old Cascade Hwy.

 

Eastside Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

There was not a single Mercer Island home sale below $1 M in Q2. The bulk of Island sales were in the $1.2 M to $2 M price point (40 of 63 sales) and there were only four sales above $3 M.

 

The Island’s record shortage of homes for sale in Q2 continues to create a bottleneck of buyer activity with multiple offers common in the $1.2 M to $2 M segment of the market. Buyers are winning the competition by pre-inspecting and waiving typical contingencies more so that drastically escalating offer prices.

 

52% of all homes, and 8% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.185 million, 2002-built Eastside waterfront home. Two “as-is” mid-island homes tied for the lowest sale of at $1,000,000.

 

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condo sales have been more impacted by COVID-19 concerns than most residential homes. Condo buildings with individual outside access and those with stellar cleanliness policies tended to be more desirable than buildings that did not clearly address exposure concerns.

 

The Seattle median condo sale price was down 6% to $455,000 in Q2 as compared to Q2 2019 ($483,500). There were only 468 sales for the quarter vs. 764 sales in the same quarter last year. Downtown-Belltown condos (+6%) outperformed the region while Richmond Beach & Shoreline condos were down 20% over Q2 of the prior year (fewer higher end sales). 55% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 4% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 9% to $525,000 (from $460,000 in Q2 2019). East Bellevue (+21%) and Redmond (+19%) condos far outpaced gains seen in surrounding cities. A total of 440 units sold on the Eastside this quarter. 65% of all Eastside condos, and 6% of those priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

Sales of waterfront homes in Q2 with exclusive (not shared) access to the water picked up some momentum after a sleepy Q1 but remain far below typical norms. Seattle had 12 private waterfront home sales while Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish each had 5 sales and the Eastside had 4 sales.

 

Six (23%) of the 26 total sales closed at higher than their listing price, including one West of Market sale that went for $2 M above its listed price. Three sales (12%) closed right at their listed price and 17 (65%) closed below their listed price. Homes sold above their listed price sold in an average of 27 days for 11% higher than list. Homes sold below their listed price sold in an average of 125 days for 6% less than their listed price.

 

The highest Q2 private waterfront sale was in Laurelhurst at $10.5 million with 145 feet of Lake Washington waterfront. The most affordable was a $1.6 million West Lake Sammamish home with 50 feet of waterfront on the lake.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm
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Q1 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q1 Market Snapshot: Seattle & The Eastside

 

As we are fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that the Q1 stats you see are based on pre-coronavirus closed sales activity and therefore largely untouched by our current market reality.

 

While Q1 serves as a pre-coronavirus benchmark, Q2 and Q3 will more accurately show the impacts of the (necessary) stay home order and resulting economic fallout. Our region stands to rebound more quickly than many US markets due to its pre-coronavirus strength.

 

Q1 saw a continued inventory shortage, although many homes were just queuing up to come on the market prior to the outbreak. Mortgage interest rates hit new lows in March (down about 1% from a year ago) bringing the typical monthly payment down significantly. For reference, a 1% change in interest rate equates to about a 10% change in buying power (i.e. an $800,000 home at 3.4% costs about the same per month as a $720,000 home at 4.4% interest).

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

There were 11.2% more Seattle home sales in Q1 2020 (1,632) compared to Q1 2019 (1,468). Seattle’s median sale price increased by an average of 3.4% in 2019 to $750,000. Lake Forest Park (+8.0%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+7.0%) were the area’s top performers. The Central Seattle was down 6.9% over Q1 2019, much of which can be attributed to fewer luxury market sales and a higher percentage of smaller homes transacting during that period.

 

In Q1, 68.0% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 13.7% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 41 from 50 in Q1 of the year prior.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 1930-built Lake Forest Park waterfront home for $5,000,000 and the lowest was a 1955-built 2-bedroom Skyway home for $215,000.

 

Seattle Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

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EASTSIDE

In Q1, 64.6% of Eastside homes, and 28.6% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The Eastside median sale price was $989,500 in Q1, up 6.8% over Q1 2019. South Eastside (+18.1%) and Kirkland (+14.1%) performed best, while Woodinville saw a 2.5% decrease in its median sale price. The highest sale was an $11.5 million Medina waterfront home and the lowest sale was a 1960’s Lake Margaret area cottage.

 

Eastside Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island has seen a record shortage of homes on the market in Q1 with the lack of homes for sale dominating conversations between buyers and their brokers. There were 56 home sales in the first quarter, with only 6 homes sold below $1 million and 19 with sale prices above $2 million.

 

In Q1, 48.2% of all homes, and 12.5% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.8 million waterfront home on the north-eastern tip of the Island. The lowest was a $815,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Seattle’s condo median sale price was the same in Q1 2020 as in Q 1 2019 ($460,000) with 605 units transacting. The North Seattle (+28.3%) and Richmond Beach-Shoreline (+18.4%) outperformed the region while West Seattle condos were down 5.0% over Q1 of the prior year. In Q1, 53.7% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 3.1% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 6.5% to $490,000. Woodinville (+21.4%) and Redmond (+17.2%) condos outpaced those in surrounding cities while East Bellevue condos sold for 23.2% less than in Q1 2019. There were 528 units sold on the Eastside this quarter.

 

In Q1, 67.4% of all Eastside condos, and 4.2% of those priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

The pace of waterfront transactions has been slowing over the past few quarters, driven in large part by fewer international buyers in the market. Even so, Q1 was markedly off for waterfront sales. The Eastside had 3 private waterfront home sales. Seattle had 8, Mercer Island had 2, and Lake Sammamish had no sales in the first three months on 2020.

 

The highest private waterfront sale in Q1 was on Lake Washington in Medina at $11.5 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a $1.5 million Beach Drive West Seattle home with 22 feet of waterfront on Puget Sound. Note this report includes privately-owned, rather than shared, waterfront transactions only.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

↑ Back to top


 

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on April 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm
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2020 Home Trends

2020 Interior Design Trends: 5 Takeaways to Refresh Your Home

 

With 2020 now in full swing, we’re seeing some clear shifts in how homes are being designed and decorated. Most notable for our area is the Modern Farmhouse trend with its juxtapositions of old & new, light & dark, and clean & rustic. Softer grey and lagom neutrals are here to stay, but are now being contrasted with deep hues and warm metals. Organic materials such as natural wood and potted plants are also gaining prominence. Here are some key trends to consider as you refresh or renovate…

 

#1: High Contrast Hues


Deep blue is the “it” color in home decor, with Pantone’s “Classic Blue” and Sherwin-Williams’ “Naval” each taking color of the year honors. Navy accent walls are gaining popularity in smaller spaces such as foyers, dining rooms and powder rooms. Black is also back as an accent set against white in kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms. High-contrast graphics are making an appearance on wallpaper and bathroom tile.


 

#2: Vintage Meets Modern


Whether it’s antique artwork, floral wallpaper or vintage tile, old world charm is making a comeback…with a twist. This time around we’re seeing vintage framed art, patterns, woods and statement pieces being incorporated into modern spaces with clean lines. The Modern Farmhouse epitomizes this trend with its fresh new take on the old.


 

#3: The Non-White Kitchen


The all-white kitchen is making room for grey and painted cabinets to take the stage. For the daring, “color pop” cabinets in deep blue, black or even red have been cropping up in the modern kitchen. Kitchens that do have white cabinets are being spiced up with decorative tile floors and backsplashes, along with darker wood shelving and contrasting light fixtures.


 

#4: Comfy and Cozy


Soft shearling, rustic leathers and fluffy textured mohairs are gradually replacing the luxe velvet we saw in years past. High performance outdoor-style fabrics have also gotten an upgrade and are appearing indoors on upholstered dining room chairs and couches. Cushy wing-backed dining benches and chairs are another notable trend, part of an emphasis on making dining rooms less formal and more comfortable. Another fun trend? Curved sofas for the dining room and kitchen.


 

#5: Warm & Earthy Accents


Matte brass continues its popularity in fixtures and frames, often mixed with silver metals. We’re seeing an infusion of aged wood accents, patina, rustic leathers and earthenware softening the clean lines of today’s minimalism. Potted plants are also popping up on shelves and in windows with olive trees usurping fig trees as a favorite statement piece.


 

Need an instant home update? Try adding throw pillows, blankets or artwork in hues from Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2020 color palette.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Posted on March 5, 2020 at 10:24 am
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New Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Rate (eff. 1/1/20)

We Want YOU...to Know About the Excise Tax Change

 

Now that Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law, our local real estate excise tax—the tax paid when you sell a property—will be getting a facelift in 2020. The flat rate of the past will make way for a new tiered system which gives owners a tax cut on the first $500,000 of home value, keeps the current tax rate on the next $1 million of value, and then increases it sharply after $1.5 million.

 

The good news is that taxes will go down for the vast majority (~93%) of sellers in King County. Sellers of luxury homes that fetch more than $1.56m, however, will be paying more—much, much more in the case of multi-million dollar home sales.

 

Wondering how the changes might impact your bottom line when it comes time to sell? Scroll down or check out our quick reference worksheet

 

2020 CHnages to King County Excise Taxes

 

DETAILS & BACKGROUND

 

The previous flat state REET tax of 1.28% (1.78% after the 0.5% local portion is added) will be replaced on January 1, 2020, by the following rates (total REET after King County local portion is shown in parenthesis):

 

1.1% (1.6%) – Portion of selling price less than or equal to $500,000

1.28% (1.78%) – Portion of selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million

2.75% (3.25%) – Portion of selling price greater than $1.5 million and equal to or less than $3 million

3.0% (3.5%) – Portion of selling price greater than $3 million


These thresholds may be adjusted again in 2022 and every four years after that using a formula for calculating value trends.


The current state real estate excise tax rate has been the same since July 1, 1989 while the local portion of the rate has been managed by each jurisdiction individually. You can find the full details in this Real Estate Excise Tax historical rates chart provided by the Department of Revenue.


The state provides a summary of the history and use of the real estate excise tax in Washington State detailing changes over the years. Currently, the bulk of the estate tax (92.3%) goes to the General Fund. Beginning January 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2023, revenue distributions must be as follows: 1.7 percent must be deposited in the Public Works Assistance Account; 1.4 percent must be deposited in the City-County Assistance Account; 79.4 percent must be deposited in the general fund; and the remaining amount must be deposited in the Education Legacy Trust Account. Beginning July 1, 2023, and thereafter, revenue distributions to the Public Works Assistance Account increases to 5.2 percent. You can find the full law and definitions in Chapter 458-61A WAC (Washington Administrative Code).

 

SO WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

 

If you sell for $1,561,258 or less in King County, you will pay the same or less (up $900 less) in REET after 1/1/20. This is great news for most property owners in King County and across the state. Because the rate states the same on the portion of the selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million as it currently is, all the savings comes in the portion below $500,000. This begins to whittle away as you creep above $1.5 million and into the higher tax rate of 2.75% (3.25%).


If you sell for more than that amount, you’ll be paying more–often much more. You can see from the quick reference chart below that the seller of a $2.5 million property will pay an additional $13,800, while a $5 million sale will cost an extra $55,550 and a $10 million sale a whopping $141,550 more.


Everyone will have a different take on the new tax rate, but if you have a valuable property and contributing more to the state’s coffers isn’t part of your charitable giving strategy, selling in 2019 might offer significant savings. On the other hand, selling in 2020 and beyond funds education and public works at greater levels than ever before, and that benefits everyone.

 

EXCISE TAX QUICK REFERENCE WORKSHEET


 

 

MERCER ISLAND


We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Originally posted on Windermere Mercer Island’s “Local in Seattle” blog.

Posted on June 4, 2019 at 4:38 pm
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