What to Expect from Whidbey Island Real Estate in 2022

What to Expect from Whidbey Island Real Estate in 2022

  • Tim C. Miller
  • 03/20/22

Whidbey Island is claimed to be the largest island in the contiguous United States. In reality, it is the fourth largest island in the U.S., but it is the largest island in Washington’s Island County. Home to approximately 70,000 residents, the people who live on Whidbey Island distinguish themselves as either Northenders or Southenders, depending on which part of the island they live. The island is approximately 55 miles long and varies in width from one and a half miles all the way up to twelve miles, providing plenty of room for exploring.

Whidbey Island luxury estates offer access to some amazingly fresh seafood, craft breweries, elite wineries, outdoor activities, along with many opportunities for art and culture. Life on the island is as calm or exciting as you would like it to be, so many believe that life on this quaint island offers a lifestyle we often only see in movies.

You can spend the day fishing for saltwater fish, such as salmon or cod, setting crab traps, or digging for clams. If catching your own food does not sound like a fun day to you, you may enjoy visiting the island's many wineries, distilleries, and craft breweries. There is a different wine for every wine lover, made from a full range of Washington varieties and regions. Enjoy a date night at any of the award-winning restaurants, or catch a show at the Whidbey Playhouse or the Whidbey Island Dance Theater. There is even a Whidbey Art Trail with a map leading to over two dozen artists across the island. If life on Whidbey Island is something you want for your future, you’ll want to know how to secure a home here.

What to expect from Whidbey Island real estate in 2022

Similar to real estate in many other regions of the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, there are several key trends in 2022 for Whidbey Island real estate. 

Social distancing with upgrades

The things that buyers once listed as “nice to have” items are now being listed as “must-have” features when looking for their new home. Space has become one of the most appealing features to buyers. The pandemic has changed how and where people want to live, along with wanting more out of their homes.

Living on an island allows buyers to get the space they are needing, both inside and out. Having high-end appliances, aesthetically-pleasing outdoor spaces, and lots of room to move are the types of “must-have” list items buyers are searching for. Whidbey Island luxury estates offer sprawling homes or smaller cottages with many upgrades. Most homes are on wooded lots with available acreage or surrounded by windows with ocean views. Both provide a space that provides comfort and distance when needed.

Outdoor upgrades like large wrap-around decks for soaking in the summer sun, walking paths through your property, or lush gardens make living on the island a fantastic option when craving space. In addition to having their own private space, buyers want to feel connected to outdoor space and nature.

Living on Whidbey Island gives residents this connection by offering everything from wide water views, old-growth cedar trees, lush forest undergrowth, and amazing sunrises. This peaceful island allows its residents to heal from the past two years of tragedies and to pull strength from the pure beauty surrounding them. 

Increased interest in island living

Gaining more space inside their home, often with acreage or large outdoor spaces, has been at the top of buyers’ lists when looking for Whidbey Island single-family homes. The city of Seattle is just 30 miles north of Seattle, and living full-time on the island is not so isolating with a bridge or ferry service connecting the island to the mainland.

Living on an island is not for everyone, but even before the start of the pandemic in 2020, more people were choosing island life, impacting the available real estate inventory. The available inventory on the island will continue to be an issue in 2022. New development and profit-minded sellers will provide some relief.

Low supply and high demand are driving down the days on the market for Whidbey Island single-family homes. Sellers should expect multiple offers over their asking price when listing. When finding their perfect island home, buyers should be prepared to move quickly and aggressively.

High-performing stocks, increased savings, and cryptocurrency gains are factors allowing more buyers to purchase a second home. Some buyers are expressing a desire to have both an urban home with immediate access to the city lifestyle and an island home with space and privacy. Owning two homes also gives buyers the opportunity to adjust their lifestyle as needed in response to world events, such as the pandemic. Whidbey Island luxury estates offer buyers an idyllic place for a second or retirement home.

Land sales have also increased on the island. While building a home on the island does pose a few obstacles, the current labor and supply shortages drastically increase the time for construction. New construction will speed up and help alleviate a portion of the housing inventory issues once supply chain problems are solved.

Rising prices

The correlation between decreased inventory and home prices is well known. Whidbey Island single-family homes are not immune to the price impact from lower available inventory. Whidbey Island home prices have increased over 27% in the past 12 months. Predicting the future price of homes is largely based on historical data, and home sales in 2021 were at historic highs, complicating the ability to develop accurate predictions.

There are some inconsistencies amongst experts as to how the prices will change in 2022. Most experts believe housing prices will stabilize or rise only a few percentage points. There are others that anticipate a higher increase in home prices in 2022.

Luckily, there are four major islands in Puget Sound, and Whidbey Island maintains the lowest median sales price. At the end of 2021, North Whidbey’s median sales price for single-family homes is $465,000, with Central Whidbey’s median price at $550,000, and finally South Whidbey at $650,000. Even with the potential of an increase in pricing, Whidbey Island is a great investment opportunity.

Looking for Whidbey Island luxury real estate?

If viewing Whidbey Island luxury estates is on the top of your list, reach out to trusted local agent Tim C. Miller for expert guidance.

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