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Submitted by Merri Ann Simsonson.

Another banner year for San Juan County! It was amazing for our sellers and the buyers who were successful in purchasing a property. Not so much for many of our buyers who sit frustrated on the sidelines.

Looking at year-end results for 2021, the dollar volume of sales for the San Juan County real estate market through the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $ 566,769,478, reflecting an increase volume by 21% compared to 2020, where the volume was $ 469,322,850. The county closed 660 deals, down 1% from last year. The average number of transactions per month was 55.

The total volume on San Juan Island in 2021 was $ 240,714,639, up from $ 219,154,771 in 2020. The increase was 10% in volume with a 6% increase in number of transactions. The average number of transactions per month was 26.

Orcas was the star accounting for a 26% increase in dollar volume. However, the number of their transactions reflects a 12% drop from 2020. This indicates a reduced number of property sales but higher prices as their volume increases.

The percentage increase in dollar volume year over year slows down at this point. At the end of 2020, the data significantly reflected

higher percentages of increase from 2019, but we also had a lot more inventory in 2020 than in 2021. Most agents have buyers who are very eager to buy but since the selection is so small, buyers don’t want to make the trip and as stated above, are frustrated with our market.

Even though the numbers for the past two years have all broken records for our county, they may not be sustainable in the years to come, as evidenced by the downward trend in increase percentages. Having said that, a gain is a gain, but you might expect a market with a more stable level of activity.

Looking at sales over $ 1 million each, San Juan County closed a total of 154 deals and San Juan Island closed a total of 60 deals. These sales reflect a 21% increase in this category for the county and a 5% decrease for San Juan Island.

Once again, Orcas performed very well with 61 sales compared to 47 in 2020, a 28% increase in high-end sales.

The high-end segment of our market has been very active for the entire department. Typically, the newcomer to the island prefers the water or waterfront view, and mostly buys in a price range of $ 1 million to $ 2 million. They are looking for a second home or a retirement home.

The best producers, including my team, have had their best years. In addition, we are also very proud of the fact that Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. was the most productive brokerage firm in the county.

As I mentioned, 2021 has been a great year in real estate which, compared to other events of 2021, makes it one of the few highlights of our country. With COVID, inflation continues, speculation over rising interest rates, gas prices and our local ferry “plight”; 2022 could be a different real estate market.

Many national economic forecasters, such as Zillow, Red Fin and the National Association of Realtors, forecast a slower year in many parts of the country due to the events cited above as well as lower inventory levels. Zillow, who does not have boots on the ground in our county, reports a decrease in evaluations as well as a decrease in volume. Last year at this time, Mr. Zillow was predicting a 9.1% year-over-year increase in the value of the home for our county and, that was pretty accurate. I don’t know what Mr Zillow’s formula is, but I do know that it is very difficult to calculate the appreciation of our market due to our low number of transactions compared to metropolitan areas and the fact that very few Similar homes sell twice in a two year period.

Inventory levels in the county and on San Juan Island for all property types are very low. In the county, the total inventory is down 27% from the same time last year. The total inventory for San Juan Island is down 34%. The number of pending registrations / transactions is both dropping which is most likely due to low inventory levels and frustrated buyers.

There are many positive statistics regarding market trends in our county and I have provided the details below:

Strengths of our market:

∙ The median price of homes, condos, and manufactured homes for a 12-month period ending December 2021 for San Juan Island was $ 681,288, an increase of 1.75% from 2020, when it was $ 670,000. The median price of homes for the same period for the county was $ 805,000, a 22% increase from 2020, when it was $ 660,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold more and the other half sold less. Orcas Island contributed most of the gain for the county.

∙ The average number of days in the market (DOM) for homes, condominiums, and manufactured units on San Juan Island was 72. The DOM was 159 last year for the same 12 month period; However, this varies depending on the price range. The average number of days in the market for the county in 2021 was 82 days, up from 164 in 2020.

∙ The average price of waterfront homes and condos for San Juan Island was $ 1,590,651 for the 43 sales that were on the market for an average of 97 days. The average price of waterfront homes and condominiums for the county was $ 1,955,238 for the 103 sales that were on the market an average of 114 days. County average price reflects an increase from 2020, but San Juan Island price reflects a decrease. Orcas had a year of very hot waterfront home sales with an average sale of $ 2,140,364 and had the biggest impact on the county’s growth. However, all sectors reflect a decrease in the number of transactions for waterfront homes and condominiums.

∙ Sellers negotiated less on their selling prices in 2021, and many benefited from multiple offers with above-list price increases for homes and land in the county. The percentage discount off the list price varied depending on the price range.

Showcase of Listings: The Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Showcase of Listings deadline this year is March 31, 2022. If you are considering selling your property this year, this is a great post to include. The showcase is a handout at our Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor offices as well as on the ferry system. Contact Terri or myself if you are interested in selling and would like a free opinion on the value of your property.

The information listed above was generated from research conducted by Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and represents the listings and closings of all brokerage firms on San Juan Island, not just Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. If your property is already listed with a real estate broker, please disregard it. We do not intend to solicit offers from other brokers.

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