The Sammamish real estate market seemed to have fared better than Issaquah’s in January per the latest statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
With single family homes and condominiums combined, the median sales price in Sammamish was down only 2 percent to $440,000 from $449,000, whereas in Issaquah the drop was 26.98 percent from $530,000 to $387,000.
Closings were up in both areas. Issaquah racked up 66 closed sales compared to 61 last year, where 118 residential closings occurred in Sammamish, up 16.8 percent from January 2011.
Pending sales were also up, by 19.28 percent in Issaquah, and 33.11 percent in Sammamish.
But inventory is down.
In Issaquah there were 402 properties on the market in January 2011 – last month there were exactly 100 fewer. In Sammamish there were 735 listings of the market in January 2011, where last month there were 597.
About the same number of listings came on the market last month in Issaquah as in January 2011 – 106 last month, and 102 a year ago.
In Sammamish 181 new listings came on the market, compared to 221 a year ago.
John Jergens with John L. Scott, Sammamish, said inventory is down due to more pending sales, but also because people are not putting their homes on the market unless they absolutely have to.
“I feel buyers believe, for the most part, that now is the time to buy,” Jergens said.
He added move-up buyers are coming back into the market place if they bought their current home before 2007. As far as distressed properties are concerned, Jergens said about 25 percent of the listings on the plateau are distressed, but those listings become a buyer’s opportunity.
“As you go north and south, distressed properties increase,” Jergens said.
He said most of the single family homes on the market that are $250,000 and under in Kennydale and Renton, are distressed. Distressed condominiums are even greater he said.
Cheryl Crane, a broker with Windermere in Issaquah said it’s getting harder to find what buyers are looking for.
“There’s not a lot of choices,” she said. “Good, clean inventory is on and off the market, quickly.”
She concurred that sellers who are not under stress are staying put; in fact many are staying put and remodeling.
“Declining inventory, extremely low interest rates, and positive job growth are contributing to rising optimism among industry professionals, but NWMLS directors say distressed properties continue to be a drag on the market’s recovery,” said a NWMLS press release.
J. Lennox Scott, CEO and chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate said the lower number of new listings on the market are a result of underwater sellers (who owe more than their home is worth), sellers who do have equity holding off for higher prices and the lack of new construction.