A dozen years after it broke ground in northeast Lacey, the master planned community known as Jubilee is nearing completion, as builders unveiled 107 final lots this month for prospective homeowners.
Not only is Jubilee approaching a 1,000-home milestone, but the lots come on the market at a good time as buyers hunt for, or have to compete for a house, because of a lack of inventory in the region.
The 100-plus lots are known as Whidbey Passage, one of several neighborhood names that dot the Jubilee development. Whidbey slopes to the treeline, offering views of Puget Sound and Anderson Island. Eight homes are under construction and three have been sold at the new development, said Mark Gray, president of Shea Homes in Washington state.
Shea Homes bought 300-plus remaining lots at the development in June 2010. It is now known as Shea Homes at Jubilee. Jubilee is restricted to those 55 and older, offering two golf courses, a lodge, and access to the waterfront and a variety of clubs and activities.
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The homes at Whidbey Passage are single-story, single-family residences, as they are throughout the development. At Whidbey, Gray said the homes range from 1,500 to 2,300 square feet, starting at mid-$300,000s to around the median price in King County — which in May was $560,000, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.
About 300 people attended the Whidbey Passage grand opening this month, Gray said.
“We expect the scarcity will create a lot of urgency,” said Gray about real estate inventory levels. “By next summer, most, if not all (of Whidbey Passage), will be spoken for.”
The lack of inventory is most acute in King County, where months of inventory — an estimate of how quickly the supply of single-family residences would be exhausted at the current pace of sales — stood at about one month in May. In Pierce and Thurston counties, it is less than two months, the Northwest MLS data show.
Jubilee buyers come from King and Snohomish counties, and 11 percent are California residents who have some ties to Washington state, Gray said. They move to be closer to family as well as for the South Sound lifestyle, which is more relaxed, yet still offers recreation and health care options. The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is just east of Jubilee.
Carol Rudisaile and her husband, Harvey, moved to Jubilee in October. When her husband, a former hospital chief executive in Los Angeles, retired, they moved to Maine, wanting the four seasons of New England after living with just one season in Southern California.
But after 17 New England winters, they had had enough, so her husband looked up Shea Homes on the Internet and they moved. The move to Jubilee gets them closer to their son, who has gone to work for Blue Origin, the Jeff Bezos-backed company that builds rockets in Kent.
“I love your big ol’ trees,” said Carol about the Northwest.
She attended the Whidbey Passage grand opening, and while she said it was a nice site, she wouldn’t give up her home in Jubilee’s Fox Run for anything.
“I love where I am,” she said.