Archive for the 'Salt Waterfront Homes' Category

Feb 15 2011

Gig Harbor waterfront sales end strong in 2010

Gig Harbor waterfront experienced some strong signals at the end of the year.

 Gig Harbor waterfront sales volume facts:

  • Closings 25% better in 2010 than 2009
  • December closings 66% better year-over-year
  • 4th qtr 71% better than 4th qtr 2009
  • 15% more homes closed in 2nd half of 2010 than 1st half—normally close to 50/50
  • Only 21% of sales Key Peninsula homes—normally 33-35%
  • January started strong with 7 sales “under contract”–on a par with 2002 (only 2003 & 2004 higher)

Gig Harbor waterfront median sales price facts:

  • Up 8% in Gig Harbor (median sales price)–$782,000
  • Down 2% in Key Peninsula–$455,000
  • 18 Gig Harbor waterfront homes closed over $1m in 2010—double 2009
  • Homes selling over $1m bunched in the $1.2m range
  • Gig Harbor waterfront prices back to 2004-05 prices
  • January sales show 3 over $1m “under contract”

Waterfront sales thru 2010









I believe the strong 4th quarter closings were due, in part, to savvy buyers picking up some incredible Gig Harbor waterfront buys–recognizing the bottom was nearing while interest rates were increasing.

Key Peninsula is not providing its traditional 33% of sales—one big change in the market.  Likely this is due to the Gig Harbor waterfront inventory pegged at prices not seen since 2004-05, allowing buyers to not drive the extra miles for “value”.

A second change for Gig Harbor waterfront is bank-owned homes have become a part of even the local waterfront scene. 17% of all sales last year were bank-owned or short-sales, including three homes priced over $1m as well as five built since 2004.

Gig Harbor waterfront homes took an excess of a year to sell–doubling 2009 figures and reflective of how slow the market has been. Homes originally listed at more than $1.5 took on average nearly 600 days before receiving a contract. Key Peninsula waterfront took a bit less time—315 days.

2010 was a reality check for sellers.  Prices are down 25% from the 2007 peak and 17% from 2008, which was still a good year for sellers. Gig Harbor waterfront homes sold in 2010 for 79% of the original listed price. This figure would actually have been lower, if prior listings were factored in.  Key Peninsula’s selling price to original price was 82%.

2010’s priciest Gig Harbor waterfront sale was a high bank estate in the Horsehead Bay area—for $2,350,000. Three of the other $1m sales came from the same area.

This is “the season” for Gig Harbor waterfront.  Inventory is down but a high percentage of this year’s buyers are already actively looking. March is historically the best month for written contracts, followed by May.


Carole Holmaas is a Broker at Windermere Gig Harbor, licensed since the late 1960’s. She may be reached at 253.549.6611 or

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Feb 01 2011

Seattle area “hands-down” the best place to live and boat!

Seattle area is “hands-down” the best place to live and boat!  And Gig Harbor is a part of this. Seattle was recently declared the “Best Place to Live and Boat” by Boating Magazine. Mike Tyler, the judge of this examined numerous boating communities. He looked at the mix of boating opportunities, regulations, water access, availability of waterfront homes, economics and lifestyle.

He declared the Seattle area to be The Best. He explained that boaters here have the option of miles of protected salt water from the South Sound to the San Juans, as well as fresh water Lake Washington and numerous smaller lakes. Surrounding all this water are two ranges of snowy mountains and the mix of Seattle and the many small towns with water access. Gig Harbor is a prime example of one of those cities boaters love to visit.

The author gave the Seattle area a 5 (1-5 scale) for Ease for Boaters and Strong Boat-related Businesses, a 4 for Waterfront Availability and 3 for Number of Good Boating Days (weather-related).

Others that made the cut in order were Benton County Arkansas, Tampa Bay, Knoxville Tennessee, Fort Lauderdale, Otter Tail County Minnesota, Finger Lakes New York, Austin, Oconee County So Carolina, and San Diego.

This is not news to any of us who live in Gig Harbor, is it?

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Dec 25 2010

Gig Harbor waterfront sales on par with 2007

Gig Harbor waterfront sales on par with 2007

Simply for Gig Harbor waterfront sales to be at the same level as 2007 shows the increasing strength of Gig Harbor’s real estate market.  The first half of the year was down from the 2009 volume. But the Gig Harbor waterfront homes market picked up steam in July and again in September. 

This year will likely close with as many, or nearly as many sales as 2007—64. While the peak of the real estate market was 2006 and early 2007, neither year produced the highest number of waterfront sales. Sellers weren’t selling when the market was “that strong.”

The average yearly number of sales for Gig Harbor waterfront homes is 101–from 1998 through 2005. This number was consistent even during the recessionary early years of this decade. The low point was 2008 with just 40 sales followed by the second worse year 2009 with 51 sales.

Nearly half of the current inventory of Gig Harbor waterfront homes is listed over $1m. This year’s median price—half the sales above and half below—may not climb much above the $682,500 figure from last year. A few months ago it looked like this figure might increase—but not now. But simply to not decrease is positive.

 Normally Gig Harbor contributes two-thirds of the sales and Key Peninsula one-third. This year just 12% have come from Key Peninsula. I have to presume this is because buyers have had a number of less expensive options to chose from in Gig Harbor…and have not found it necessary to travel the extra miles to quality waterfront.

Sales over $1m have strengthened this year with twice as many as last year. 11 homes sold up to $1,250,000 and six above that—but only one over $2m. Two or three is the most we ever have over $2m—but the range that has been hit the hardest is the $1.5-2m…there were 10 in 2006…and one this year.

The median sales price for Gig Harbor waterfront homes as a percentage to assessed value is currently running 91%. In other words, homes are closing for 91% of the county assessor’s valuation. Homes over $1m actually sold for 104% of assessed value…a figure that changes dramatically under $1m.

For whatever it is worth, here are the ups and downs in median prices for Gig Harbor waterfront homes over the past six years:


  Median SP Chg from prior year







25% ▲



  6% ▲



11% ▼



15% ▼

2010 Close to 2009 Will know next week

Carole Holmaas is a Managing Broker at Windermere Real Estate, licensed since 1968. she specializes in waterfront and view properties. She may be reached at 253.549.6611 or

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Apr 21 2010

Gig Harbor WA Salt Waterfront Home at Wollochet Bay for Sale

Gig Harbor WA Salt Waterfront Home at Wollochet Bay for Sale.  88 feet lower-bank waterfront, with a hint of Mt Rainier view,  plus a 2-party shared nearly new dock is the setting for this 5-year old 3412 sf well-bred traditional salt waterfront home for sale. The open plan is surrounded by windows, elegant touches & spacious glass-enclosed entertainment deck.


Main living area


Dramatic fireplace, a chef-sized kitchen with double ovens and beautiful granite and glass tile accents, study with handsome coffered ceiling and spacious entrance hall. The main floor master suite is highlighted with raised fireplace, a very spacious walk-in closet & “spa-like” bath with jetted bath. There is a 2nd bedroom and bath on the entry floor. The lower floor offers 2 additional bedrooms, bonus room with large wetbar with 2nd fireplace, bath, hobby room and second utility room.

salt waterfront home for sale

Large island in kitchen

Best waterside

Beautiful landscaping completes this salt waterfront home for saleplus a triple car garage that is 32 feet deep—plenty of room of workshop or to pull the boat and trailer inside. The waterfront is bulkheaded with stone. Besides the private dock, there is a community boat launch and dock available to home owners. The home is on a sewer.


Call me at 253.549.6611 for more information about this or another salt waterfront home for sale or visit me at Windermere Real Estate in Gig Harbor.

It is likely Wollochet Bay is connected to a Native American word, which means “squirting clams”.  Native Americans fished and sold the fish to the European-American settlers and traded woven baskets.

Area residents have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to provide a high quality public education to nearly 10,000 students. The district enjoys a statewide reputation for meeting the educational needs of today’s students who become tomorrow’s leaders. In addition, Gig Harbor has nearly a dozen private schools. 

The Harbor History Museum is located on Gig Harbor Bay and allows visitors a place to experience the history of Gig Harbor. The Museum is in the process of relocating to a new multi-million dollar facility, highlighted by the Shenandoah, a purse seiner built in a Gig Harbor shipyard and the Midway schoolhouse.

While Gig Harbor was once most known for its fishing and logging, it is now also known for its numerous art galleries, art walks and art shows. Two theatre companies in Gig Harbor provide entertainment including dinner theatre and summer outdoor theatre.

The Gig Harbor area is ideal for enjoying water-related recreation. Whether you prefer water skiing, power or sail boating, kayaking, fresh or salt water fishing, scuba driving, windsurfing, clamming, beachcombing or swimming, the secluded harbors provide excellent moorage and docking facilities.

There are four state parks. Boat ramps are located near the major bays. Gig Harbor operates a waterfront park, a park on Crescent Creek, a boat-building facility and a pioneer farm. Eight golf courses offer year-round golf close to Gig Harbor.

Numerous events are scheduled throughout the year, largely centered on the Gig Harbor waterfront, including farmers markets, outdoor cinema, Tuesday night music at the park, and lighted holiday boat parade.

Youth and adult baseball, basketball, football, gymnastics, dance, and soccer programs are provided through community organizations. Two local pools provide swimming opportunities for the community and swim clubs.

Shared dock

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