Whidbey real estate market showing no signs of slowing

Real estate prices all around the state are continuing to increase as inventory remains low.

Real estate prices all around the state, including Whidbey Island, are continuing to increase as inventory remains low.

According to data from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median sale price in Island County for November 2021 was $550,000, which is about an 18% increase from last year. In November 2020, the median sale price in the county was $467,500.

Whidbey brokers have noticed some interesting trends lately.

In a departure from years past, there has been an increase in listings during a time when sellers have historically postponed selling until the end of the holidays.

Joe Mosolino, a designated broker for Windermere in Freeland, said his fellow brokers are encouraging people to not hesitate to put their homes on the market. He estimated that there are 20% more buyers than in years past.

“It’s still pent-up demand from a year-long low inventory market,” he said.

There have been some other factors, however, that were not anticipated.

“The weather in the last month was truly challenging because of the power outages,” he said. “That was truly challenging for sellers, for buyers, for brokers.”

Besides the weather, the ferry system operating at reduced service on the Clinton-Mukilteo route has given some buyers pause. A few months ago, Mosolino noted that some interested buyers from the mainland missed their showing appointments on South Whidbey after getting delayed waiting for the ferry.

Kristen Stavros, a managing broker for Coupeville and Oak Harbor, said she has noticed some weariness in buyers that wasn’t there before.

“The vast majority of buyers are fatigued and getting priced out of buying a home here, but it only takes one buyer who can afford it to purchase any given home so the upward trend in pricing continues,” she said in an email.

There may be fewer people competing to buy a home, but the demand is no less.

A change in one trend she said she is happy to see is the ability for buyers to get home inspections accepted by sellers.

“There was a scary period of time where almost all buyers were having to waive inspections or conduct rushed pre-inspections to get their offers accepted,” she said. “There are still plenty of hot homes where that is necessary but the market has predominantly gone back to including home inspections. This is a huge relief.”