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Real Estate Perspectives
Real Estate Trends & Perspectives
At the Pointe, and on the Island
Welcome to Fantasy Island”: a history of real estate and real people at Hartstene Pointe
through the eyes of Walt Tupper, one of the “original settlers.”
Market Trends & Happenings - 2017
Third Quarter - 2017
2017 is rounding out to be a record-breaking year.  To start with, after many years with a high inventory of lots for sale, and a record of one lot per year being sold, this year we have already sold five lots and there is one pending and a couple more being considered!!  We still have a high inventory, but hopefully sales will continue to improve.
Home sales are also doing well with another nine listed homes being sold this quarter (three of which were water view) along with another island house.
There are only two island houses listed for sale as of today, and eight homes (two of which are water view).
Second Quarter - 2017
The second quarter had triple the sales of homes and island houses from the first quarter.  There has been much activity and buyers are still looking.  Inventory continues to go down and prices are continuing to move slowly upward.  
As of July 22, there are no island houses currently listed for sale, and only 9 homes.  On the other hand, lot listings continue to increase, but the common comment from buyers is that they want their vacation home now and would not look forward to going through the building process.  It is great to see groundbreaking for a new home, though, and a couple of cabins nearing completion.
First Quarter-2017
As we move into the second quarter, statistics show that Hartstene Pointe has about recovered from the 2007 downturn!  From 1/2014 to 1/2017, the median home price at the Pointe is $244K, for an increase of 11.7%.  The following statistics are from the same time period:
New listings -11.1%,
Homes for Sale -7.1%, P
Pending Sales -24%,
Closed Sales -37.5% (from a high in 2016),
Days on the Market -36.7%,
Month's supply -28.8%,
Percent of List Price +2.1,
Price per square foot +8.7%
Our current number of home listings is low and the sales prices are heading upward.  This is good for sellers, and buyers are here viewing properties almost daily.  Often buyers are not finding the right home due to low inventory.
Lots are still the stagnant category, but with the low low inventory of homes, buyers might start building soon.
Some annual statistics.  These are for all of Harstine Island.
Median Days of the Market started out at 103 in January 2016, went to a high of 110 in April and as of January 2016 is 84.
Median Price per square foot fluctuated over 2016:  134, 170, 135, 146 to end at 140.
Months of Supply has decreased from 7.8 in January 2016 to 6.2 in January 2017.
All this is good news for sellers!
More News from RIS Media pertaining to vacation and investment home sales: 
"Investment home sales dominated the second home market in 2016, off the charts by 4.5 percent to total 1.14 million, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey—but vacation home purchases plunged, down 21.6 percent to a total 721,000.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes the vacating of vacation home sales to low supply and unaffordability—the same issues plaguing the housing market overall.
“In several markets in the South and West—the two most popular destinations for vacation buyers—home prices have soared in recent years because substantial buyer demand from strong job growth continues to outstrip the supply of homes for sale,” says Yun. “With fewer bargain-priced properties to choose from and a growing number of traditional buyers, finding a home for vacation purposes became more difficult and less affordable last year.”
Vacation home sales, according to Yun, are now 36 percent below their 2014 peak. The median vacation home price was $200,000, a 4.2 percent increase from 2015, with the share of all-cash purchases down to 28 percent from 38 percent in 2015. Vacation home sales totaled 12 percent of all transactions in 2016—the lowest share since 2012."
What about your roof?
"Whether you’re playing catch out front or just cruising by, it’s pretty hard to miss a roof. That could be why the National Association of REALTORS® named replacing a home’s roof as the home renovation with the single greatest cost recovery in 2015—this project usually recoups about 105 percent of its price tag."  RIS Media
2016 Fourth Quarter
Even though sales were slower in the fourth quarter, there are currently five homes pending that are expected to close in January.  This reflects buyer interest in November and December.
As of January 1, there are only ten homes listed for sale including one island house.  This is the lowest inventory in a year.  Buyers are still looking for homes here, but the low inventory is discouraging.  This is the best time for listing as most buyers want to move into their vacation home by spring.  
Of the ten homes currently listed, there are only three water view homes for sale.  Three of the 2016 water view home sales where sold below $400K, which seems to be the popular price point.  
While prices are edging up from previous years, much depends on the age and condition of the home.
2016 Third Quarter
The third quarter was our most active for 2016 with seven homes and three island houses sold for a total of ten sales.  There were also at least two homes that sold as for sale by owner.
Our inventory is down from last quarter to only 11 houses and two island houses currently listed for sale.  There are at least four additional homes listed for sale by owner.  No lots were sold this quarter, but serious buyers have been viewing lots and meeting with builders.  The ones I have worked with were greatly disappointed to find how much the cost of cutting trees adds to the total costs, and have walked away to look at ready built homes again.  Most of our trees do not have enough market value to help pay for the cost of cutting.  This is putting our lot sales at disadvantage.  Most lots have been on the market for many years and at the rate of one sale per year, our inventory of 30 listed lots (as of 9/30/16) has become stagnant.
2016 Second Quarter
Activity for the second quarter is still strong, but the number of sales is half what it was the first quarter. There are still buyers here almost weekly, and many more homes have come on the market, almost double the number of homes available in the first quarter.  There were three home sales, but there are also three pending. There are currently 19 homes listed for sale which includes 2 water view homes. 
As of June 30, there were only four island houses listed for sale, and one of those is now pending.
There were no lot sales in the second quarter.
2016 First Quarter
2016 started out strong with one sale and several pendings within the first two weeks!
After a little lull in December, buyers came out on December 24, which seemed to be the 2016 kickoff.  Buyer activity is still strong and inventory has been reduced significantly since last year.  There have been multiple offers on at least one home.  People who want to have a vacation home for summer have already been shopping and making offers on homes as sale continue.  A few more listings are coming on the market now, and sales will likely continue to be strong for 2016.  Prices are no longer falling, and are showing signs of an upward trend.

Summary of Sales: 2017
Home Sales:
Island House Sales:
Lot Sales: 
2017 Sales 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
Houses 3 9 9  
Island Houses 1 3 1  
Lots 2 0 3  
MLS Listings        
Houses 13 10 8  
Island Houses 1 2 2  
Lots 23 30 26  

Historical # of Sales
houses, Island Houses, & lots
Year Homes Island Houses Lots
2016 18 3 2
2015 18 6 1
2014 14 2 1
2013 9 4 1
2012 14 0 2
2011 8 1 0
2010 10 2 1
2009 3 2 1

Questions or Comments?

Page Editor:            Carolyn Vivian
Page Contributors:  Mike Callaghan, Walt Tupper

Contact Carolyn Vivian by email  for any questions or comments about this page