Kitsap Condo Activity Slows to Crawl

By Rachel Pritchett

Condominium sales slowed to a trickle in Kitsap County in 2008, and the few condos that sold went for a lot less money than they would have previously.

A year-end recap from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows only 110 condos were sold in Kitsap County in 2008, a 70 percent drop from 2007. They sold for a median price of $209,250, down 38 percent from 2007. Median means that half sold for more, half for less.

Terry Taylor, listing agent for the Harborside Condominiums in downtown Bremerton, didn’t mince words:

“If you want to sell something today, you have to be priced right.”

He pointed to the Harborside units he represents as examples of condos whose prices haven’t been brought down enough.

“They haven’t come down at Harborside hardly at all,” he said.

Harborside units range from $310,000 for an 850-square-foot unit to around $1 million for one of the three available penthouses in the complex owned by Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.

Forty-five of the Harborside’s 78 units remain for sale, said Taylor, an agent at Prudential Northwest Real Estate of Port Orchard.  

The slide in Kitsap County condo prices stood in stark contrast to King County. The median price for condos there was down just 2 percent from last year, to $280,000. But the pace of condo sales in King County also was slow.

The median price of a single-family home in Kitsap in 2008 — $265,000 — was 9 percent less than in 2007, not nearly as severe as the 38 percent drop in condo prices.

The number of houses sold was down 25 percent, to 2,437.

Still, the median price of single-family homes in 2008 in Kitsap County was 60 percent higher than it was in 2002, according to the NMLS.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate, said 2008 will be seared in memory because of the credit crisis, high gas prices, the demise of Washington Mutual, the stock market and bad winter weather.

“We knew the real-estate market was due for slowing in 2008, but no one could have predicted all of these events or the profound effect they would collectively have on the housing economy,” he said.

Some other Kitsap tidbits for 2008:

Forty-three single-family homes sold for $1 million or more, the name number that sold in Snohomish and Pierce counties. And the median prices for single-family homes by school district were $588,250 on Bainbridge Island, $256,500 in North Kitsap, $259,880 in Central Kitsap, $199,950 in Bremerton and $315,793 in South Kitsap.

The real estate market, as bad as it is now, will turn around, said Taylor, the Harborside Condominiums agent.

“I think it’s at least a year, but who knows?” he asked.

The market for single-family homes will improve first, followed by condos.

And after that, the values again will rise.

“They’ll just keep going up,” he said.

“Time cures all.”

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