Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty recently released a Waterfront Update with an analysis of stats from around the Sound since the start of 2018. Here, we take a dive into the latest trends on Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula, where home values are rising and days on market are falling as more and more buyers embrace the waterfront lifestyle.
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From Bremerton to downtown Seattle in under 30 minutes, Kitsap County’s newest passenger-only ferry is the most reliable and fastest source of transportation for commuters through the Sound. This new speedy ferry has proven to provide a quicker passage than commuters in downtown Seattle experience. The ferry is now faster than a “bus ride from north Ballard to downtown Seattle”.
The launch of the 118-passenger ferry not only helps daily commuters, but “opens up new options for residents, business and local governments” and brings the potential for a growth in the region. Local businesses in the Kitsap County might see an increase in business as the ferry has the potential to create an economic boost.
With the ever-rising costs of homes in downtown Seattle, the new ferry has become a major selling point for the area. It gives buyers another reason to purchase a home in Kitsap county where they can now easily and quickly commute to Seattle for work or play. Running through the weekend, a quick trip to the city is a breeze as sailings are offered through Saturday and Sunday.
With the success of the first passenger-only ferry, commuters can expect to see additional ferries increasing the accessibility and ease of traveling between the Puget Sound and surrounding communities. Kitsap Transit has announced a plan which “calls for six ferries to run between Kitsap County and downtown Seattle over the next several years”.
According to The Seattle Times the new ferry is “an opportunity for residents, businesses and local governments to take a more expansive view of their place and the myriad opportunities it presents”.
China Daily interviewed with RSIR’s Dean Jones regarding the meteoric rise in Chinese nationals purchasing properties in the Seattle/Bellevue metro area in a January 5, 2015 article. Despite the rising home prices spurred in part by international demand, the article suggests the Pacific Northwest may be “globally undervalued” when compared with other gateway markets like Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These kinds of statements have rallied local real estate brokers and spurred local media attention as well.
The comprehensive article cited numerous reasons why the Puget Sound region has found favor. These include Seattle being the closest mainland port to Asia with numerous direct flights; having renowned schools and universities popular with Chinese students; and most critically, Seattle being a relative value compared with other world-class cities.
Jones is quoted from the article saying:
“We are downstream from what I believe will be a steady flow of housing demand stemming from China, akin to what we’ve all seen before in Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now the current is flowing into Seattle, given our proximity, prosperity and propensity for capital appreciation – we’re the next market on the rise.”
To be sure, the adverse changes in the Canadian immigration policy has diverted international home buying to the south while heavy taxation and expensive real estate in California has diverted traffic to the north. These recent changes have created a funnel effect into the Seattle/Bellevue metro areas.
“Chinese buyers are very savvy and they know these trends,” adds Jones. “It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy about a rising home market. In some ways it’s appropriate that 2015 is the year of the Ram because Chinese like to follow each other to create new communities.”
Chinese buyers are anticipated to be the top international home buying consumer again in 2015 and Washington state is expected to receive the most activity second only to California. The lifestyle has been promoted in a recent romance comedy moving called “Beijing Meets Seattle”, which has become a surprise blockbuster hit throughout China. It helps too that joint research between immigration giant VISAS Consulting Group and the HURUN Wealth Report cite that the majority of ultra-wealthy Chinese plan to emigrate from China.