Greater Seattle Waterfront Homes – 2022 Mid-Year Report

Greater Seattle Waterfront Homes Market

Following is a look at Greater Seattle waterfront homes and condo market.  While we refer to it as Greater Seattle, we are actually looking at the greater region, including Puget Sound waterfront and even further up to the Canadian border, as well as the two biggest lakes in the Seattle area: Lake Washington between Seattle and the Eastside and Lake Sammamish which is further to the east.

Puget Sound Waterfront Homes

Seattle Waterfront
Puget Sound Waterfront Home on the South End of Whidbey Island - Available for $1,895,000

Puget Sound

Puget Sound waterfront is easily defined technically, but buyers and sellers often define the Sound broader than its official parameters.  To clarify, the Puget Sound is officially the body of water between Olympia in the south to Deception Pass at the north end of Whidbey.  Nevertheless, for our purposes we will include sales even further north to include the San Juan Islands and up to the Canadian border  Thus, using this definition, there are 35 Puget Sound Islands as well as the mainland (ex Seattle) where one can find waterfront properties.

Puget Sound Waterfront Market

According to our search of the NWMLS, there were 315 Puget Sound waterfront home sold in the first half of 2022.  The most expensive sale was for nearly $8 million ($7,995,000) on Orcas Island.  The 4,686 sq ft Japanese-inspired home was built in 2014 and sits upon a nearly 5.5 acre waterfront lot.  Furthermore, eight total homes sold for over $5 million.  These  waterfront homes sold all over Puget Sound.   As stated above, the most expensive was on Orcas, but in addition, there were two on Shaw Island, and one each on Whidbey, Seattle, Bainbridge, Gig Harbor, and Camano Island.  Additionally, another favorite area is Vashon Island.  The most expensive sale on Vashon this year was for $3.5 million.

Number of Sales315 385
Number of Sales Over $5 Million8 6
Most Expensive Sale$7,995,000 $7,600,000

How to Get There

Orcas and Shaw are both San Juan islands and accessed by ferry via Anacortes (85 miles north of Seattle).  On the other hand, Whidbey and Camano are both accessible by bridges, but Whidbey can be also accessed by a ferry via Mukilteo.  The ferry at Mukilteo is only 25 miles north of Seattle while the bridge to Whidbey is 82 miles away.  Similarly, Bainbridge can be access from a ferry from Downtown Seattle, but also by driving “around” via Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the south.  Gig Harbor is south of Bainbridge.  Thus, Gig Harbor is typically accessed from Seattle by driving via Tacoma but you could take the Bainbridge ferry and drive south.  Unlike the others, Vashon Island is accessible by two different ferries. Firstly, via a ferry from West Seattle to the north end of the island and secondly from a ferry in the south that goes to Tacoma. 

Alternatively, Kenmore Air is a travel option that can be popular especially to the San Juan islands.  However, it can be more expensive, especially when traveling with multiple people.  For example, taking a ferry with two adults and two kids in the car costs about the same as traveling with one adult.  In contrast, flying with 4 people will generally cost about 4 times as much than if traveling alone.

Seattle Waterfront Homes - Lake Washington

Hunts Point
Hunts Point Home Sold Off-Market by Ewing and Clark for $32 Million in April 2021

In the first half of 2022, there were 41 homes that sold on Lake Washington.  The luxury market in the Seattle area is dominated by the Eastside.  Lake Washington sits in between Seattle and the Eastside, so there are homes from both on the lake.  Only two of the most expensive 15 sales on Lake Washington are in Seattle.  Indeed, the most expensive sale was a Bellevue waterfront home that sold for $12,125,000.  Moreover, the next three luxury homes sold in Medina, Hunts Point, and Bellevue before Seattle had two homes in Laurelhurst that both sold for over $8 million.

In the first six months of 2021 there were 52 sales on Lake Washington.  Similarly, the most expensive was an Eastside waterfront home on Hunts Point that sold for $32 million.  The home was sold off-market by Ewing and Clark’s Betsy Terry and Jane Powers.  Again, the top 9 sales were on the Eastside with the 10th being north of Seattle in Lake Forest Park.

Eastside Waterfront Homes - Lake Sammamish

Lake Sammamish
Part of Puget Sound (Left), Part of Lake Washington (Middle), and Lake Sammamish (Right)

In the first half of 2022, there were 10 homes that sold on Lake Sammamish.  The most expensive sale was on the Bellevue side of the lake.  The Lake Sammamish waterfront home sold for $12,750,000.  On the other end of the scale, the least expensive home had shared access to the lake.  It sold for $1,550,000.

In the first six months of 2021 there were 21 sales on the lake.  However, unlike in 2022, the most expensive sale was on the eastside of the lake (Sammamish side).  The home sold off-market for $8,750,000.  The least expensive Lake Sammamish waterfront home sold for $2,375,000.

Puget Sound Waterfront Condos

Beautiful waters of the San Juan Islands

Seventy-two waterfront condos closed in the first 6 months of 2022.  The highest sale closed in June for $1,895,000.  It was a 3,053 sq ft townhome style condo in Blaine with west-facing views of the bay and islands.  Fourteen waterfront condos sold for over $1 million.  Two each in Blaine and Tacoma, three each in Edmonds and Bainbridge Island, and four in Seattle.  Of the Seattle waterfront condos: two were in West Seattle and two in Ballard

In 2021, there were 82 Puget Sound condos that sold in the first 6 months.  The most expensive was 3 bed/2.5 bath condo on Alki (West Seattle).  The waterfront condo sold for $1,900,000.  Again, fourteen condos sold for over $1 million.  In contrast to the previous year, the sales were more widespread: from the San Juan Islands to Tacoma.  Similar to 2022, Seattle lead the way with 4 Puget Sound waterfront condos over $1 million.

Waterfront Condos - Lake Washington

Seattle Condo
Waterfront Condo sold for $126,000 over list price

Luxury Condos on Lake Washington

Greater Seattle waterfront condos sell on the condo market all the time.  While they cannot be built today there are many condos that were built over the lake.  For example, picture above in the foreground, is the Madison Park Waterfront Park HOA built over Lake Washington.  A condo in that building sold this past March for over $126,000 over asking price.   

The luxury waterfront condo tends to be either on the Eastside in either downtown Kirkland or Juanita Bay (Kirkland) or in the Seattle neighborhoods of Madison Park or Leschi.  There are other luxury condo areas, but these mentioned neighborhoods built condos over the water prior to the regulations changing, thus they are uniquely different and therefore more desired than many other areas.  For example, in the first half of 2022 there were 18 waterfront condos that sold on Lake Washington all but two were in Kirkland, Madison Park, or Leschi. 

Lake Washington Condo Market

Forty-eight waterfront condos closed in the first 6 months of 2022.  The highest sale was in June.  It was a Kirkland waterfront condo that sold for $2.8 million.  The ground floor unit included 3 parking spots and a boat slip.  On the other hand, the least expensive was a Seattle waterfront condo that sold for $320,000 on Rainier Ave near Rainier Beach High School.

In 2021, there were 64 Lake Washington condos that sold in the first 6 months.  The most expensive was again in Kirkland.  The 2,632 sq ft Kirkland waterfront condo also came with a boat slip.  Likewise, the least expensive Seattle waterfront condo sold in the Seward Park area again near Rainier Beach High School.  The condo sold for $225,000.

Eastside Waterfront Condos - Lake Sammamish

Lake Sammamish

Eighteen waterfront condos closed in the first 6 months of 2022.  The highest sale was in May.  In that case, the Bella Mira condo sold for $2.9 million.  The 2,677 sq ft waterfront condo sold off-market. On the contrary, the least expensive was a waterfront condo that sold for $350,000 in the Villa Marina HOA.

In 2021, there were 14 Lake Sammamish condos that sold in the first 6 months.  The most expensive was again in Sammamish Shores project.  The 2,060 sq ft waterfront condo sold for $1,235,000.  On the other end of the spectrum, the least expensive was 615 sq ft unit in Lakewood Shores.  The condo sold for $335,000.

Greater Seattle Waterfront

Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish and Beyond

There is more to Greater Seattle waterfront than Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and Lake Sammamish.  Nevertheless, they are likely the most well-known and give a glimpse of the overall waterfront market,  In general, waterfront properties tend to hold their value more than non-waterfront properties.  However, it comes with additional issues as well (ex. more regulations, etc.).  To navigate theses issues, contact one of Ewing and Clark’s real estate agent. Ewing and Clark and its real estate brokers have been providing exceptional real estate service to Greater Seattle since 1900.  Whether you are looking for a Lake Washington waterfront condo, a Puget Sound waterfront home, a Lake Sammamish waterfront estate, or a cabin on a mountain stream, Ewing and Clark can assist.