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Eastern Lake Washington Waterfront Market Report

Eastern Lake Washington Waterfront is a subjectively-defined class of properties on the eastern shore of Lake Washington and inclusive of Mercer Island. It is not designated by the NWMLS. The boundaries are, in the south, Gene Coulon Memorial Park; in the north, Denny Park west of Juanita/Kirkland; and Mercer Island shorefront. Only waterfront properties within this area were selected. This class of properties offers insight into the dynamics of this property segment for buyers as well as sellers. Notably, the volatility of inventory and variance in pricing are remarkably higher for these properties, and are connected with the differences in size, features, view and access, many of which cannot be captured by reduction to price per square foot. The median price of these properties obscures this volatility; yet the value of waterfront properties is almost invariably higher by square foot than properties without waterfront access. This can be seen in the proportion of waterfront properties in every neighborhood that sell at multiples of two to three times the median price in the surrounding area.
For waterfront properties in this particular area, prices were up by nearly 39 percent from 2013 to 2014; yet in this past year as markets surged all around Puget Sound, waterfront properties in this area actually fell by 2.2 percent. The reason is the inherent variation and distinctions within this class of real estate. Knowing the cachet of Seattle waterfront in this area, sellers unsurprisingly expect a premium for these properties when they list. As can be seen, however, this often leads to lengthy market times and price concessions to committed buyers.

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