The third quarter results for San Juan Island and the County were consistent with the first and second quarter results. Per the NWMLS, the dollar volume year-to-date on San Juan Island was $84,048,800 with a total of 135 transactions. This reflects a 15% decrease in the dollar volume and a 25% decrease in the number of transactions. For San Juan County, the total dollar volume was $207,098,020 with a total of 319 transactions. The County had a decrease of 5.5% in dollar volume and a decrease of 19% in number of transactions. Based on the downward trend for the last 21 months in both dollar volume and transaction numbers, we will most likely conclude this year with less volume than 2018 in both categories.
San Juan Island Jan-Sept 2019 135 $ 84,048,800 Jan-Sept 2018 180 $ 98,760,950 Jan-Sept 2017 230 $113,662,656
San Juan County Jan-Sept 2019 319 $207,098,020 Jan-Sept 2018 394 $218,972,280 Jan-Sept 2017 443 $217,716,790
As the percentage of decrease for transaction numbers is greater than the percentage of decrease for dollar volume, that equates to fewer sales but higher sale prices. In reviewing the YTD as compared to 2018 same period, the high-end sale transaction numbers for sales over $1m each, both the Island and County appear to be tracking to 2018. I don’t expect that 2019 will exceed 2018 transaction numbers for this category. The dollar volume for this segment of our market is down 8% for San Juan Island but the County, however; is up 14% due to Orcas production.
When I reviewed the sales in excess of $3M for 2018, there were a total of six sales; two were on San Juan and four on Orcas. In 2019 YTD, there were a total of four sales; two on Orcas, one on San Juan and one entire Island. The current pending review indicates two sales in that category so if all close, we will be equal in this segment of our market to 2018 as well.
Over the last three years, the high-end sales have increased in number year-over-year. The high-end buyer recognizes us as a steady market and that confidence is reflected in the number of sales and associated volume. High-end sales provide upward movement in our median home price. This is not a calculation of appreciation, but it is a trend.
In reviewing the dollar volume for all sales YTD under $1M as compared to same period in 2018, that segment of our market is down 18% for both San Juan Island and the County. The number of transactions is down 20% for the County and 24% for San Juan Island. This data reflects that the mid-range, which is the bulk of our market, is less active and has been on a downward trend in both dollar volume and transaction numbers. The sale activity under $400,000 has been steady.
As of October 4, 2019, we have a total of 254 property listings on San Juan in the NWMLS, with 34 of those properties in escrow. This is compared to 226 listings with 43 in escrow same time last year. This reflects a 12% increase in inventory and a 9% decrease in the number of escrows from last year same time. The inventory totals include all types of property.
Recap of our San Juan Island market:
The median home price for a 12 month period ending September 2019 for the County and San Juan Island is $570,000 and $545,000 respectively, these prices reflect an increase of 9% for the County and 7.5% for San Juan Island The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. This is not an appreciation calculation but merely a trend indicator. ∙ The median land price for a 12 month period ending September 2019 for the County and San Juan Island is $172,500 and $177,000, respectively. ∙ The average home price for a 12 month period ending September 2019 for the County and San Juan Island is $791,050 and $725,020, respectively. The average price for land for the County and San Juan Island is $229,960 and $265,320, respectively.
∙ YTD the Average days on market number (DOM) for homes and condos in the County and on San Juan Island was 178 and 153, respectively. In all categories of our properties and prices, the days on market has decreased since 2016. The DOM varies on the price range.
∙ YTD high-end sales represented 38.2% of our total dollar volume for the County and 37.2% for San Juan Island. These percentages are typical for a healthy market in the Islands and very similar to last year, although San Juan Island’s percentage was a decrease from last year.
∙ YTD sellers negotiated on average 6.9% off the list price at the time of sale for homes and condos in the County and 5.1% for San Juan Island. This is up from year ending 2018 when the discount off list price was 5% for the County and 3.7% for San Juan Island. Sellers are negotiating on average more this year than last which may be attributed to fewer buyers or optimistic pricing at time of origination and adjusting to reality at the time of sale. This percentage varies based on the price range.
∙ YTD sellers negotiated on average 8.1% off the list price at the time of sale for land in the County and 12.4% on San Juan Island. These percentage of negotiation are also an increase from 2018 when the County was 6.6% and San Juan island was 5.8%. Again, this percentage varies based on the price range.
∙ Inventory is at a higher level than last year in most all categories of listings and the amount of escrows is lower.
Shorter days on market, but a higher level of seller negotiation, higher inventory, lower number of escrows and increasing median prices all point to a market in correction. As it relates to individual agent volume, the top producers on the island, which are all experienced agents are all having good years. This makes sense as buyers and sellers tend to select experienced agents when the market is more challenging, such as it is now. It is also clear that the top produces work the most hours therefore creating more opportunities.
Fall has arrived so Buyers should take advantage of the opportunities presented due to the change of season. The sellers that had their properties on the market all summer may now be more motivated. For the high-end listings, the new increased excise tax is effective January 2020 so that may be a motivating factor to sell prior to year-end. Sellers should evaluate their pricing and make sure they are close to market in order to attract the smaller pool of buyers.
Bottom line: 2019 will most likely end up down in dollar volume and transaction number. It is an election year so why expect anything to be normal. The current market is decent, the agents have a job to do which is get their future and existing listings sold and assist their buyers to find the most suitable property. That’s Real Estate!!!
- Merri Ann Simonson
Broker Coldwell Banker San Juan Island
The information listed above was generated from a search by Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and the SJC Assessors website and represents listings and closings from all of the brokerage firms on San Juan Island, not just Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. If your property is already listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other brokers.