Bainbridge housing market still slow, but traffic’s up

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The real estate market on Bainbridge Island continues to flat-line as numbers for January reveal very little activity.

According to Northwest Multipile Listing Service, there were a total of 53 new properties (35 houses, 18 condos) listed in January compared to 85 a year ago.

Of the 35 residential homes listed, 11 closed and 19 had pending sales – which was actually an improvement over January 2008.

And a small amount of optimism has been detected coming out of the market.

“The market seems to be gaining momentum and buyers seem to be feeling more confident,” Northwest MLS director Meribeth Huchings said about activity in the Puget Sound area. She said housing inventories are still large, but there are beginning to be some signs of it decreasing.

Locally, Jim Laws, manager and broker at Windermere Bainbridge Island, is encouraged by the amount of traffic in recent weeks even if actual sales are sparse.

“Agents are working a lot of people right now,” he said. “Traffic has been good at open houses and it seems that the people are real buyers, shoppers that are actually looking for a house.”

He said lenders indicate there’s money available and that the rates are lower than ever. Laws said prices continue to be static but there’s still a lot of pentup supply.

“Why aren’t they buying? Some are waiting for ‘the bottom’ to happen and others are a little afraid of the economic news. But you sense that they want to pull the trigger and buy something.”

The median price for residential units that sold on Bainbridge in January was $549,00, which was down only $14,500 from a year ago.

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