Sep 24 2011

Gig Harbor waterfront sales…what a difference!

Gig Harbor waterfront sales…what a difference!

What a difference 4 months has made for Gig Harbor waterfront sales. In June I reported waterfront prices appeared to have stabilized. I added the caveat “for now”.  Sales were up and closed prices were running higher than 2010 prices. The median price for the first 5 months of 2011 was $686,000.

Then was then. And now is now. Gig Harbor waterfront sales prices have fallen a full $90,000 in the past 4 months and $60,000 from 2010 to $596,000 year-to-date. I blogged in June I was very concerned that closed prices would drop in the future because the pipeline of pending sales was reflecting much lower list prices.  It has!

October waterfront chart

Median price is the point where half the sales closed for more than that price and half closed for less. It is the typical sales price quoted for national and regional statistics. In 2007 half of the sales exceeded $900,000 and half were less. The turn in the waterfront market run-up can be traced to September 2007.  The first quarter of this year was by far the strongest for Gig Harbor waterfront prices…sliding ever since.

Sales volume is up 10% over last year and sellers realistic in pricing for today’s current market are selling in fewer days than in the past.  We are currently on track to close as many,  and possibly more, Gig Harbor waterfront homes as we did in 2006 and 2007.

January-September Gig Harbor waterfront sales highlights

  • Sales volume well ahead of 2008, 2009 and 2010—10% higher than 2010
  • $596,000 closed median price, down 10% from 2010 ($60,000 drop)
  • Closed median price down 33% from 2007 high of $900,000
  • Inventory down about 8% from a year ago
  • Pending median list price $549,000
  • 25% of closed sales are distressed properties—equal bank-owned & short sales
  • 25% of pending sales are also distressed properties

Only 5 Gig Harbor waterfront sales have tipped the scale at more than $1 million since January—4 in the first 5 months and 1 in the next 4 months.  And the inventory is high—44 homes are listed over $1 million…16 of those over $2 million. At that rate of sales there is more than a 6 year supply of homes on the market over $1 million. With these statistics sellers need to price aggressively. It is very clear in today’s market that Gig Harbor waterfront homes selling in the fewest number of days are those that are priced realistically—in many cases sellers are able to get the full list price. 13% of sellers this year received full list price in 3-28 days of listing.

But what a bonanza for Gig Harbor waterfront buyers right now. With interest rates never lower and financing more available for higher-end homes than in 2009 and 2010 this is a great opportunity for buyers who have been contemplating a waterfront purchase. Buyers who can…are buying…as reflected in September’s written contracts. Buyers entered into contracts for 7 Gig Harbor waterfront homes…a figure not seen for September since 2007

Carole Holmaas is a Broker at Windermere Real Estate, licensed since 1967. She specializes in waterfront and view properties and may be reached at 253.549.6611 or

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