Western Washington’s five priciest homes in 2019 were — surprise, surprise — all on the Eastside.
In fact, they were all within three miles of each other, in the uber-luxe ‘hoods of Medina, Yarrow Point and Hunts Point.
Together and individually, they smashed previous sales records, according to data compiled by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which catalogs home sales in Western Washington.
Last year’s five most expensive homes sold for a combined $113.2 million — nearly $30 million more than the sum of the previous year’s top five properties, and more than twice as much as the top five homes in 2016.
Two properties last year went for more than the previous record-holder for most expensive home — a Medina mansion at 7887 Overlake Drive West, sold in 2018 for $26.75 million to a mysterious entity called “Steel Gear LLC.” (“Steel Gear Condo LLC” also purchased 2018’s most expensive condo, an $11.95 million penthouse at Bellevue Towers.)
Last year, a 1.9-acre property at 8845 Overlake Drive West, formerly owned by boater and race-car driver Pamela Lyford, sold for $30 million to the PYLV Revocable Trust. The new owners are demolishing the single-story, be-turreted home, agent Terry Allen said.
And cruise-line magnate Barry Ebsworth’s former pad, a 3.3-acre estate at 4053 Hunts Point Road, sold for $37.5 million to Hunts Point Properties Trust.
In fact, with one exception — the $14.25 million sale of 9011 N.E. 38th Place, on Yarrow Point, to Bellevue auto dealer Maria Smith — the identities of all the buyers of last year’s toniest digs are obscured by trusts.
Real-estate kingpin J. Lennox Scott’s Mediterranean-style villa on the tip of Medina’s Groat Point went to the Scarlett Housing Trust for $16 million.
Nordstrom-affiliated financial consultant Kerry Bunday offloaded his Yarrow Point cottage, floatplane lift included, to 4601 Yarrow Point Trust for the tune of $15.4 million. (That home was the former residence of Chris and Alice Canlis, of eponymous fine-dining fame.)
All told, the four transactions with unlisted buyers count for a combined $99 million in property.
It’s not uncommon for high-end parcels to be purchased through a trust or corporation. Increasingly, Allen said, the buyers he works with prefer the anonymity granted by such an arrangement.
When he started selling homes in Medina three decades ago, “most of the names were old Seattle money,” Allen said.
Nowadays, Allen said more of his clients are tech-sector employees with young families, relocating to Seattle for work from places like Europe, Asia, New York and California.
And, he said, “they don’t want people finding out where they live.”