Block of W Mercer with Streamline Tavern and Radio Shack for sale

We’ve had several readers ask about the block that houses the Streamline Tavern at 117 W Mercer St. There have been rumors swirling around that the block has been sold, so we’ve done some digging, and here’s what we’ve found.

The block of buildings that contains the Streamline, Michael Reed Black Antiques, and the Spic and Span laundry is indeed for sale via Windermere Commercial Real Estate. Listed as 127 W Mercer St, the property is being sold in combination with the adjoining parcel that houses Radio Shack (115 W Mercer St).

115 and 127 W Mercer

Preliminary drawing from Windermere listing

According to King County records, the current owner of both properties is ABO Investments, with an original purchase date of March 2001 – the two parcels are listed at $2.75M. Windermere’s listing includes an architectural picture “from a zoning analysis prepared by an architect for this site” that is likely very preliminary and for sale purposes (but that does not discount development possibilities).

Both listings are still “active” as of a search today – but there must be some interest for the rumors to be circulating.

Queen Anne and Magnolia Housing Market Remains as Hot as the Recent Weather (sponsored story)

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

There are no signs that the current trends of low inventory, rising prices, short sales times and multiple offers will be abating anytime soon.

For Queen Anne and Magnolia there continues to be only about a 1 to 2 month supply of single-family home inventory. This tight inventory can be attributed to continued low interest rates, robust Puget Sound area hiring and a generally improved economy including significant gains in the stock market. Whether the market will become more “balanced” (defined as a 3-6 month supply of homes) will hinge on many more listings hitting the market over the coming months.

Of Queen Anne and Magnolia homes closed in April the average sale price was a little over 102% of the most recent list price.  This indicates continued multiple offer situations.

Prospective buyers also should think in terms of at least a minimum of 3-5+ year home ownership horizon and preferably maintain the option to hold onto their home through future downturns in the market. Home seller costs (excise tax, title/escrow fees, sale commissions) of approximately 9% of the sales price should also be factored into any decision to purchase.

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More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at http://www.live206.com/seattle-market-update-c22527.html

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, john@live206.com or www.live206.com.

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.  All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction. 

Rain, Rain Ain’t Keeping Home Buyers Away (sponsored story)

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

It continues to be a seller’s market for the Seattle area including Magnolia and Queen Anne where there is a little less than two months of single-family home inventory. If you are a fortunate home seller expect to see a lot of open house traffic, buyer “love letters” and possibly multiple offers if your home is located in a popular neighborhood and is competitively priced.

And what to do if you are a home buyer? First, get your financial ducks in-a-row by getting preapproved by a local lender who is available in the evenings and on weekends.  Second, try to get out to see homes before the weekend which will give you more time to line-up pre-inspections if offers aren’t being reviewed for a few days.  Third, reduce the number of contingencies within your comfort level. Finally, write that love letter even if it’s just a short paragraph in addition to a summary of your offers terms. Don’t go overboard but in this market it just may help you stand out from the pack.

More info on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at http://www.live206.com/seattle-area-market-update-c21537.html

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, john@live206.com or www.live206.com

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed. All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.

Where Are All the Homes for Sale? (sponsored story)

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

“A house, a house, my kingdom for a house”. If you are in the market for a new home you can probably empathize with Shakespeare’s King Richard III.  Single-family homes, townhomes, and even condos are all in short supply throughout most the city.

For Magnolia and Queen Anne there is just a 1.5 month supply of single-family home inventory which is definitely favoring home sellers with the result that homes are really hard to come by.  We will continue to see more pre-inspections, multiple offers, and bidding wars on the fewer listings hitting the market.

Why the shortage of homes for sale?  First, some home owners simply can’t sell since they have negative equity (they owe more than their home would sell for). Second, are home owners who can’t find a new home to upsize or downsize into that would allow them to put their existing home on the market.  Third is that some home owners are either unaware of the improved market for sellers or they are content to stay in their current home rather than over extend themselves. Fourth, are owners betting on continued prices gains over the coming months and years. A final factor has been the significant slowdown in new construction, up until last year, that typically helps alleviate the demand for more housing stock.

In addition to a reduced supply, demand has picked up with the influx of new hires (Amazon, Microsoft, etc). There is also a general belief that home prices and interest rates have only one direction to move and that is up.   Many renters have concluded that, with big jumps in rent, buying a home may be the wiser long term investment especially if they are able to lock in these historically low interest rates.

Home prices will continue to rise until there is more of supply/demand equilibrium.  If you are looking for a home there are a couple potential silver linings over the coming weeks and months. First, is that we are entering the historically seasonal high point for new inventory. Second, is that interest rates aren’t expected to move significantly upward until the end of the year at the earliest.



More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at http://www.live206.com/seattle-area-market-update-c21537.html

Tip:  The fewer contingences (i.e. finance, inspection) a home buyer has, the more attractive they are to a home seller, especially in multiple offer situations.  Believe it or not, buyer “love letters” to sellers can swing things into a buyer’s favor, just don’t overdo it.

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, john@live206.com or www.live206.com.

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.  All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.

Emerald Bay Equity sells Eden Hill & Sweetbrier

Emerald Bay Equity has sold two Upper Queen Anne mixed-use retail/residential buildings – Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier – to affiliates of Deutsche Bank real-estate subsidiary RREEF for a total of $44 million, according to a report by The Seattle Times.

Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier are just two of EBE’s four-part 2.1 acre development plan for Queen Anne, called “The Collection”. The third and fourth phases of the development include the Seven Hills Apartments and Met Market Redevelopment, both of which are scheduled to break ground in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

EBE put all four properties in The Collection up for sale back in April, in the hopes of finding a solution for the projects’ financing challenges. At the time EBE principal Joe Geivett said he preferred the possibility of a joint venture over a sale, but ultimately opted to split the buildings in The Collection between EBE and RREEF in the deal.

Both Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier are apartment complexes with ground-floor retail, both of which were completed in the last three years. Together the buildings have a total of 84 residential units, and over 30,000 square feet of ground-level retail, the Times piece reports.

For more information on EBE’s ongoing developments on Queen Anne, including the forthcoming Seven Hills Apartments and Met Market Redevelopment, check out our ongoing coverage.

Queen Anne real estate figures down in April

Real estate figures for Queen Anne and Magnolia have not improved since February, according to Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate John Madrid.

Based on numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, he said it was another difficult month for Queen Anne and Magnolia with prices down significantly compared to the same time last year, as well as being down from the numbers last month.

He’s cautiously optimistic, however, pointing out that the market is still in the “balanced” range at 4.28 months of inventory on the market.

The figures given by Madrid, which are also posted on his blog, can be compared to last month’s here.

Buyers in the region have plenty of homes to choose from, although selection has tapered down compared to a year ago, according to a NWMLS press release on March real estate activity for Western Washington.

“In fact, some urban core neighborhoods, such as Greenlake, Queen Anne and West Bellevue, are seeing very strong demand, and a waning supply of desirable homes for sale,” said President and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain Mike Grady in the NWMLS press release.

Overall, the current real estate statistics give reason for optimism when considering this year’s lack of the federal tax credits used by home buyers last year, said Grady.

“Most real estate professionals will be happy to move past the year-over-year comparisons that have been made the first few months of 2011, as they reflect the boost given home sales by last year’s Homebuyer Tax Credit,” said Grady. “Home sales are now standing on their own — without the benefit of incentives — and the market is actually behaving quite typically.”

NWMLS Director and President of Windermere Real Estate Company OB Jacobi agreed that the market is doing remarkably well without a stimulus.

“Considering that this time last year there was a rush of buyers trying to beat the tax credit deadline, to have the number of sales off just slightly points towards a strengthening market,” said Jacobi in the NWMLS press release.

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