Luxury Home Sales Above $3 Million on Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, Redmond & Beyond) Swell 15% in 2015

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Sammamish Increases at the Third Highest Growth Rate of the Region due to demand largely driven by schools, lifestyle and commute times

The Seattle Times recently released an article entitled “High-end home sales booming as tech execs, foreign buyers bid up prices” on January 22, 2016 that cites research indicating that the number of luxury home sales in key Eastside areas increased 15% year-over-year. The neighborhoods with the most activity continue to emanate north and south from West Bellevue – the epicenter of the luxury housing market – where the median home prices within the broader market increased by 17.4% overall.

Above: A graph illustrates the 8.8 percent increase of median home prices throughout the NWMLS system but highlights some markets, including the area of Bellevue West of I-405, which has experienced more than twice the rate of value appreciation given the pressures on supply and demand.

Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR, joined by many other market experts familiar with these trends, has confirmed that a major catalyst is foreign buyers, most notably from China. Just one year ago, it was estimated that Asian homebuyers represented perhaps 20-40% of home sales above $1 million on the Eastside, as indicated by the New York Times article, “In Suburban Seattle, New Nests for China’s Rich.” Today, that percentage may even represent the majority in some neighborhoods, especially as price point increases.

Keeping pace with the luxury markets, Sammamish, on the I-90 corridor immediately east of Bellevue, increased at the third highest growth rate of the region. This demand is largely driven by schools, lifestyle and commute times and seemingly diminishing affordability. The expense of primary markets is likewise driving savvy buyers to explore additional secondary markets such as Issaquah and Newcastle.