Categories: In the News | Posted: March 3, 2016
All-cash buyers dominate region’s luxury home market
Puget Sound Business Journal | Marc Stiles
Nearly two-thirds of the people who bought high-end homes last year in the Seattle area paid cash. Thirty-nine percent of the buyers were from overseas, primarily China. And most buyers were business owners, though nearly a tenth of them were entertainers and athletes.
These are the estimates of Windermere Real Estate, which based the numbers on its involvement in 25 of the region’s 34 homes sales worth $5 million or more. In 2014, there were 31 such sales.
Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow (NasdaqL Z, ZG), thinks the national luxury home market will cool down this year, with growth in values slowing. But Windermere President OB Jacobi thinks demand in the region will remain high.
“With so many companies hiring, and no one wanting to leave, we expect the trends of 2015 to carry on through 2016,” Jacobi said in a press release that Windermere put out Thursday.
The influx of international buyers boosted the region’s luxury market, but local buyers moved faster. Seven of the 34 houses sold in 10 days or less, and six of these buyers were local.
All but five of the 34 sales were on the Eastside, with Mercer Island and Bellevue leading the way with seven luxury sales each. Clyde Hill had five, Medina had four, and Yarrow Point and Hunts Point had three each. Seattle had four, and San Juan Island had one.
In 2015, the biggest sale was a $13.8 million waterfront estate on Mercer Island. It was on the market for just over two years, according to a report by the Realogics Sotheby’s brokerage.
Currently, the highest priced home on the market is a $32.8 million Bellevue mansion on Meydenbauer Bay.
Do you agree with Aaron Terrazas or OB Jacobi regarding the pace of the 2016 luxury home market? Post your thoughts below!