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Whidbey Island Real Estate Information

Updates, news and information about Whidbey Island Real Estate.

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A Realtor’s Most Asked Question

January 14th, 2013 at Mon, 14th, 2013 at 4:55 pm by Rick Schutte

Contributed by Gil Daigle – Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate

When I am at work, I always wear a nametag, and often I will wear a Coldwell Banker golf shirt or vest, it is just what I do when I’m when I’m working. In my daily travels, people see the nametag and logo shirt realize, I’m a Realtor®, and invariably ask, “How’s the market?” It’s like meeting someone and asking how they are. My response is always a form of what prices are doing. I might say, “Prices are down over 7% from last year.” This got me thinking, maybe I should let my friends know how the market is doing.

When discussing real estate, the major thing to keep in mind is that real estate is very local. Network news likes to quote National Association of Realtors® statistics for the whole country. Those statistics may be valuable for an economist but they don’t mean a thing to you and me locally. So, here is my state of real estate report for you.

The total number of sales (residential, condo, and homes in parks) on North Whidbey Island in 2012 was 360. This number is down ever so slightly from 361 the previous year and down significantly from 942 in our peak year of 2005. In 2012, the average sales price of a house was $217,400, which is down 7.12% from last year. It took an average of 153 days to sell that house and the final sales price was 90.85% of the initial list price. In other words, the seller needed to lower the initial asking price by 9.15%.

In Central Whidbey, the total number of sales (just residential) was 102 which is up from the 88 sales in 2011 but down from the 173 sales in the peak year of 2005. The average sales price was $280,500, which was down from 2011 by 7.84%. This typical house took 164 days to sell and it sold for 11% less than the initial list price.

Okay but what does it mean. To me the significant numbers are the total sales. The housing market is driven by sales. In North Whidbey, we had one less sale than in 2011, and in Central Whidbey sales increased by 14. I think this is a good indicator. The way to turn the housing market around is to sell houses. When people get their confidence back, sales will happen. When sales increase, prices will increase and we will be on the road to recovery.

The truth about wealth for most Americans is that nothing they will do in their lifetime is likely to make them as much money as buying a house and living in it. Investment in my house has secured my retirement. True that investment has lost ground since 2005, but I’m still ahead of the game. America needs the housing market to recover and it will. There has never been a better time to buy. Interest rates and prices are as low as they will ever be.


Rick is the owner/designated broker of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate and Koetje Property Management. He has been involved with the real estate industry on Whidbey Island for over 32 years. He is a past president of the NWMLS as well as a current board member of the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors. He has been designated by the National Association of Realtors as a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager as well as a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute. Rick can be reached at 360-675-5811 or You can also check out his website at

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