Aug 10 2010

Sales of Gig Harbor Waterfront look a lot like 2009

Sales of Gig Harbor Waterfront look a lot like 2009

With 10 Gig Harbor waterfront sales written in July, the year is shaping up to look not as good as 2009 but not as bad as 2008—which was the worst for sales of Gig Harbor waterfront homes for decades.

Only 26 homes have closed escrow in 2010 through July. Nine of those were in June which gave waterfront Brokers signs of encouragement. But July turned around and brought only five closings. Closed sales numbered 30 at this point in 2009, with 51 sales, and 22 in 2008 when the year finished with only 40 sales.

2000-2010 waterfront homes sold Jan-July

101 sales is the average yearly number from 1998 through 2005 (just prior to the market peak when sellers “hung on” to their homes with expectations they would continue to increase in value). This number was consistent even during the recessionary early years of this decade. So 40 sales of Gig Harbor waterfront homes is abnormally low. And in 2009 when many of the high-end sales were cash, because of non-existent jumbo financing–sales barely topped 50.

Three of the July closings have been listed for 1578 days, 700 days and 537 days, respectively.

Nearly half of the current inventory of Gig Harbor waterfront homes is listed over $1,000,000. The median price is $625,000 in Key Peninsula. Normally Key Peninsula attributes one-third of all sales. This year their share is closer to one-fifth of sales.

Additionally, there is a fair amount of “shadow inventory”. These are sellers who would list their homes if the inventory wasn’t already so high…or those who have become discouraged and taken their homes off the market for a period of time. These “pent-up sellers” create something we call “shadow inventory” and they will enter the market once sales activity improves, thereby applying downward pressure on prices.

In my weekly snapshot of Gig Harbor waterfront market conditions that I prepare for my sellers and it is notable that four to six sellers have reduced their prices each week since the first of the year.


Carole Holmaas is a Broker, specializing in Gig Harbor Waterfront sales,  at Windermere Real Estate, licensed since 1968. She may be reached at 253.549.6611 or Carole

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