Windermere Luxury Breakfast March 2017

This week, more than 100 Windermere brokers from all over the Puget Sound area came together to discuss the local luxury real estate market, premier their newest luxury listings, and hear from featured speaker, Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate.

Matthew Gardner gave a lively and engaging presentation on the regional economy and housing market, and how they compare nationally. He spoke of the impact that the technology sector is having on Seattle area housing, as well as King County’s population, which has grown by more than 50,000 since 2011. He said that more and more Silicon Valley-based tech companies are looking at Seattle in order to keep their employees happy, including Apple, Facebook, Google, and others. For some, the lifestyle and relative affordability is seen as a much better choice than cities like San Francisco where even the highest paid employees simply cannot afford to buy a home.

Matthew also discussed the Millennials who he says are incorrectly described as being the “renter generation”.  Instead, he said that many of them are delaying their home purchases because of student debt and lack of choice in the current market. But 2016 saw a significant increase in the number of Millennial buyers in Seattle, and he expects to see even more in 2017.

In terms of what to expect in the luxury housing market in the coming year, Matthew says it will generally parallel what we’re seeing in the rest of the market. Competition from Seattle’s growing wealthy population is causing homes to sell quickly and driving up prices. Furthermore, interest rates for jumbo loans remain historically low, making it more accessible for buyers to access large sums of money to purchase higher end homes.



Welcome Leigh Canlis!


We are excited to announce the addition of Leigh Canlis to the Windermere Services team!

Leigh has been a well-known business and community leader in the Seattle area for more than 18 years. Her background includes managing sales, events, and VIP client relations for Dale Chihuly, 13 years as President of Canlis Glass, and Vice President-Private Banker at JP Morgan, as well as Vice President-Wealth Strategist for Northern Trust. Leigh is also well known for her extensive charitable work with several Seattle-area non-profits.

“I want to help Windermere push the traditional boundaries of luxury real estate and define a new, refined category within the marketplace,” she said in a statement. “I want it to make a mark and grab people’s attention with its grace and sophistication, to feel out of the box for the real estate world, while complimenting everything that Windermere stands for.”

Windermere already leads in luxury sales in the greater Seattle area, but we are excited for the creativity and fresh ideas Leigh brings with her. We know all too well how quickly our market can change, and we want to make sure Windermere stays ahead of the evolving needs of our clients.

Welcome to the Windermere family, Leigh!

This blog was originally posted on the Windermere Eastside.

Cash and International Buyers Fuel Seattle’s Luxury Housing Market

Last year’s record-setting real estate market was fueled by high demand and low inventory, and the luxury market reflected the same intensity. High-end home sales were brisk and competition, boosted by a steady influx of international buyers, made for a particularly strong year. In 2015, 34 homes sold for $5 million or more according to NWMLS statistics. That compares to 31 sales in 2014.

$5 million+ home sales:

·         64% of the 34 sales were all cash
·         25 of the 34 sales were waterfront
·         29 of the 34 sales were located on the Eastside
·         7 of the 34 properties sold in 10 days or less

Total number of $5 million+ home sales in 2015 by location:

# of sales
Mercer Island
Clyde Hill
Yarrow Point
Hunts Point
San Juan Island

Buyer Demographics

Windermere brokers were involved in 25 of the 34 $5 million+ sales. Based on those transactions, Windermere estimates that international buyers, primarily from China, accounted for 39% of the sales. Six of the seven properties that sold within ten days of coming on the market were purchased by local buyers, five of which paid cash. It’s interesting to note that the age of those buying $5 million+ homes in 2015 ranged from their 20s to their 60s. As for the professions of the buyers, 73% were business owners, 18% were corporate executives, and 9% were entertainers/athletes.

Highest Priced Sales/Listings

The highest priced home sold in 2015 was a $13.8 million waterfront estate on Mercer Island. The highest priced home sold west of Lake Washington (Seattle) was a $5.75 million home in Washington Park. The highest priced single family home currently on the market in the greater Seattle area is a Meydenbauer waterfront estate listed for $32.8 million (see it here). The highest priced condominium currently on the market is a Madison Tower penthouse in Seattle listed for $9.99 million (see it here). Both are listed with Windermere Real Estate.
“2015 ended very strong for luxury home sales and we expect the demand to remain high in the coming year. With so many companies hiring, and no one wanting to leave, we expect the trends of 2015 to carry on through 2016,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate.
Read more about the Seattle luxury housing market on the Seattle Times.