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
Fourth Quarter - 2022
Our market is still in flux, however, there are still showings and interest in homes here.  Inventory of homes is still low helps maintain lot sales.  Activity was slow all quarter until just before Christmas and then it picked up. 
Third Quarter - 2022
This third quarter report has been on hold as we keep watch on what has lately been called a "nuanced" market.  Motley Fool, along with many economist have made various predictions including the article at the end of this report.
Basically what we are seeing is a correction to the price surge of the last couple of years.  Even though prices are not going up at the same rate as previously, they are still mostly higher than they were a year or so ago.  
Regarding Hartstene Pointe, we still have buyer demand and will continue to do so due to low inventory.  However, currently there is push back from buyers seeing mortgage rates at a 20-year high and inflation at a 40-year high.  This especially applies to those looking for a second home.  In the last quarter we saw list price reductions and homes staying on the market longer and the absence of multiple offers.
Our market is still a magnet for investors and with every listing, most phone inquiries are to confirm that short term rentals are allowed. 
Second Quarter - 2022
The words of Agent Rick from Bellevue ring true for Hartstene Pointe this time.   It's a new season for our local real estate market! The red hot market with double digit appreciation and record low interest rates (2.68% in  December, 5.52% in June) has come to an end we have officially shifted markets.  It had to happen, it was unsustainable to continue at the pace we've been going. In order to get to the calm of a more balanced market we had to go through a messy couple of months.
The change in market means more houses on the market, longer market times, stabilizing home prices, fewer showings and open house visitors, fewer offers at one time, and more price adjustments.
First Quarter - 2022
Raising interest rates!  Runaway inflation!  Fear of housing bubble! Increasing prices! Recession!  Etc.!  These are some of the issues and fears buyers and sellers are grappling with theses days.  What does this mean for the housing market at Hartstene Pointe?  What we are seeing now is that our historic buyer base has given way to real estate investors purchasing homes here as a vacation rental business.  80-90% of the calls I receive with every new listing is from potential buyers asking only one question:  "Can you have vacation rentals there?"  About the same percentage represents the current buyers.  
That being said, Pointe properties are still in demand.  As you can see from the First Quarter Summary of Sales, the three homes that were listed in that period were the three homes that sold.  A home priced appropriately will sell within days or weeks. Appropriate pricing is more important than ever.  Even though prices are still rising, they are going up more slowly, and increases are expected to drop from double digits to single digits.  Multiple offers, which have been common here in the last few years are no longer common.  Buyer pushback may be the new norm as it becomes more difficult for buyers to purchase a home, much less a second home.   However, conomists are not expecting a housing bubble for a number of reasons.
What most economists are saying now is that this is a perfect time to sell
but that this window of opportunity is slowing closing.
Fourth Quarter
Hartstene Pointe continues to be plagued by lack of inventory.  For each listing posted, there are several potential buyers, and most homes are receiving multiple offers within days.  This is a region-wide dilemma. 
Some of you have notified me that you are receiving letters from out of area agents stating they have a buyer ready to pay fair market value for your home.  This is a common strategy for getting listings.  Most agents in the Shelton area have lists of buyers looking for homes.  (There are about 50 on my list.) This is a result of low inventory. 
What is fair market value?  Can a Comparative Market Analysis or appraisal give the answer.  We can be close, but with multiple offers, homes are likely going to go above any market-value estimate.  Listing is the best way to get the best price/buyer for your home.
Note:  Summary Sales for 2021 have been updated to include homes sold off-market.
Third Quarter - 2021
Third quarter has been another busy period for Hartstene Pointe.  We are still seeing prices rising, homes/island houses and lots often receive multiple offers above list price.  There is a huge backlog of buyers.  My list alone has close to sixty buyers looking for property here.  As of this writing (11/17/21), we have no island houses or homes listed for sale, and only two lots remain.  
According to Windermere chief economist, Matthew Gardner, price increases will trend lower.  Hartstene Pointe real estate activity is not seasonal as other markets, and often January brings out buyers.  Many of the renters coming of our vacation rentals fall in love with this community and decide to start looking for their own retreat in paradise.  Here is a link to the latest Gardner report on youtube:
Second Quarter - 2021
What would your home sell for today?  This is a question everyone asks?  The answer?  Until your home is listed for a reasonable price and receives multiple offers, you probably cannot guess the purchase price.  Most homes listed at the Pointe are getting multiple offers above list price within a few days.  The purchase price is mostly based on buyer motivation.  Our inventory is so low that we cannot meet the current demand.  People are buying here for a multitude of reasons, but many buyers are specifically looking for homes to use for vacation rentals as a business.
Since 2020, lots have received the most sales because there have been more lots than homes available.  Most purchasers are planning to build in the near future. 
First Quarter - 2021
We just completed the first quarter in my history with not one home listed for sale.  The only listing/sale was for one island house which was purchased by a buyer who viewed it the morning it was listed! There are still many buyers waiting to purchase a home or island house here, and any listings will likely have multiple offers within days or hours.  If you are considering selling this is the time!
Due to lack of homes, the lot sales picked up and by March 31, four were sold and one is pending, leaving us with only two for sale.  This is great news for anyone who might want to sell a lot they no longer intend to use.
The buyers of these lots are all planning to move ahead with building projects as soon as possible, so we can expect a big building boom in the next couple of years.
Fourth Quarter - 2020
We are still in the extreme low inventory mode with NO homes or island houses currently listed for sale.  There were a couple of homes listed during this quarter, but they went pending within a week.  The last home that sold was over Thanksgiving week, with 14 offers reviewed on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  The state of the market is that is you want to sell, it will be fast.  There are many buyers waiting to find a place here.  Buyers and agents from Seattle are calling to ask me to let them know if I know of anything coming up.  
We currently have three lots listed for sale and one pending.
January 6, 2021
KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2021) - "Insatiable buyer demand" is keeping inventory scarce as house hunters try to outmaneuver and outbid each other, according to reports from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Its statistical summary for December showed strong activity throughout the holiday season with double-digit increases in new listings, pending sales, closed sales, and prices.
Update January 10, 2021 from Zillow:
Bold 2021 Predictions: A Stronger Housing Market Across the Board
By Zillow Research on Dec. 18, 2020
The for-sale housing market showed incredible strength in 2020, and we expect 2021 will be even stronger. 
Demand continues to stay high, and is expected to surge in cities as economies reopen. Annual home sales growth is expected to be the highest in almost 40 years as life and financial certainty brings more sellers into the market to meet the heavy demand and technology allows for faster connections with interested buyers. Even so, home prices, mortgage rates and rents are likely to rise, bringing affordability challenges that must be faced. 
We expect 2021 will be a year unlike any other as the housing market responds to the challenges and changing preferences that emerged in 2020.
Third Quarter - 2020
The phenomenon continues here at the Pointe.  The third quarter continued to bring buyers and as of October 1, we have NO homes and NO island houses listed for sale.  I personally have 33 buyers looking for various types of Pointe properties on my list, and other agents have buyers looking here also, including some out of area agents.  
We are down to four lots currently listed for sale and buyers are looking at lots several times a week, as buying a lot and building seems to be the only option for becoming part of our community.  Twelve lots sold this quarter, the largest number in a quarter in my known history.  In a two-week period of time, two lots that had been on the market for many years and two lots that were on the market for two days, all went pending.  
We have the lowest interest rates in my known history and a thriving economy, and many people looking to move out of the cities and the Pointe has been discovered!  If you are thinking of selling, this is a very favorable time.
Covid restrictions are still in place, but we are allowed to show homes with up to four people inside a home with required masks and social distancing.  Some seller are now opting for adding video tours to their listings to avoid having people do casual walk-throughsl  Also, agents expect that buyers will have a pre-approval letter or proof of funds before scheduling
Election Update:
Some of my friends have asked me how the elections might affect the housing market.  So during an election year in November, you typically see a slowdown of 15% compared to a normal market.  But this isn't a typical market cycle.  Today 71% of listings are selling within the first 30 days of being listed and they are receiving 99-100% of their asking price.  Most of them are receiving up to three offers per listing.  What is causing this?  Sixty year lows in interest rates!  So if you are even remotely thinking about putting your home on the market, this is the time!  Carolyn
Second Quarter - 2020
This report is coming to you late just because the market is currently so robust that there has been no time to stop and analyze and report. 
To summarize, the market is HOT!!  Covid seemed to add to the interest in purchasing at the Pointe and low interest rates and unrest in the cities are drawing buyers in droves to explore new options and purchase vacation homes.  There are buyers here almost daily.  Agents are bringing buyers out from Seattle to look at lots! While home sales have been robust, now lots are selling quickly also.  
Our inventory is still historically low, not only at the Pointe, but in surrounding areas. We are seeing quick sales and multiple offers even on lots which are historically slower to move.  Higher end homes are in demand from people who can work from home in an affordable waterfront home compared to homes in the cities.  Families are purchasing vacation homes and lots on which to build homes.  If we do not get more inventory, we will soon be sold out!
First Quarter - 2020
January continued strong like the fourth quarter of 2019.  Lots of buyers but still very low inventory.  This continued into February until Covid-19 became a factor in March, just when sellers started listing again.  The last listing to go pending was listed on March 10, and went pending on March 17.  Since the Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, there have been few inquiries about Pointe properties and only a couple showings.  Our inventory has slightly increased, but buyers are cautiously waiting this out as second/vacation homes are not currently a priority.  Most predictions are that the market will rebound forcefully.  Serious buyers are still active.  If you are considering listing, buyers are active online.  
Real estate brokers and Realtors are required to follow the Mandatory Protocols for In-Person Interactions per Governor Inslee's Order:
"The statewide "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Order requires that the following protocols are strictly followed for permitted in-person real estate activities:
In-person activities must be by appointment only.
No more than two people, including the broker may be at the property at any time; and
Those two persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.
If real estate brokers do not comply with the required protocols or violate other provisions of the Order, the Governor may place further restrictions on the real estate industry."

Summary of Sales: 2022
2022 Sales 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
Houses 3 5 4(+1) 2
Island Houses 0 1 6 0
Lots 1 1 3 3

MLS Listings
Houses 3 4 1 2
Island Houses 0 1 0 1
Lots 3 3 4 3(+1P)
Summary of Sales: 2021
2021 Sales 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
Houses 2 4 6 (+2) 5 (+1)
Island Houses 1 2 (2 Pending) 6 2
Lots 5(+1P) 5(+1P) 1 (+2) 1

MLS Listings
Houses 0 1 1 (+2) 0
Island Houses 0   1 0
Lots 2 2 3 (+2) 2
Summary of Sales: 2020
2020 Sales 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
Houses 2 (+1 pending) 6 6 (+1 pending) 2(+1)
Island Houses 2 (+1 pending) 3(+2) 2 (+3 pending) 4
Lots 1 1(+3) 12 (+1 pending) 2 (+1)

MLS Listings
Houses 5 2 0 0
Island Houses 1 1 0 0
Lots 11 9 4 3
Summary of Sales: 2019
2019 Sales 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
Houses 4(+6) 10 3 (+8) 9
Island Houses 1(+1) 2 (+1) 4 2
Lots 13 1(+2) 3 (+1) 0

MLS Listings
Houses 3 5 1 2
Island Houses 1 0 0
Lots 13 12 16 17

Historical # of Sales
houses, Island Houses, & lots
Year Homes Island Houses Lots
2021 15 11 12
2020 16 11 4
2019 26 9 17
2018 20 4 12
2017 25 6 8
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