Seattle Condos In The Downtown Area Are Filling Up

seattle real estate

If your serious about buying a condominium in downtown Seattle the you must know that consumers are returning into that market.

The last several years have not been good ones for condominium builders in and close to downtown Seattle.

They created two dozen new projects to market between 2007 and early 2010– just in time for the real-estate crash.

Hundreds of pre-sale customers backed out. Some developers transformed their properties to rental apartments. Others surrendered their projects to loan providers.

Many seriously reduced prices, in some situations more than 40 percent. Nevertheless, sales were still unenthusiastic.

At this time, however, the market at last appears to be to be rebounding. Here’s some of the most convincing evidence:

Early on this year the largest downtown project, Escala, began increasing prices a hair on some units. And it did so quietly, without the sensational advance announcement developers often make just to scare up business.

On average, condominiums in the 31-story tower have been selling for 99 percent of asking price so far this year, according to listing-service reports.

Market analysts agree the symmetry between condo supply and demand has shifted lately– if only due to the fact that most of the supply, finally, is gone.

Of 2,500 new condominiums built in downtown, Belltown, Lower Queen Anne and South Lake Union through the market’s darkest days, less than 250 developer-owned units are still unsold, according to county records.

That number drops below 200 when you count pending sales expected to close in the next few months, according to data assembled by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, which sells several of the new buildings.

And there are no new developments in the pipeline– developers and financial institutions have renounced condominiums for now.

There’s additional unsold inventory in downtown Bellevue, where more than 350 condos in two giant projects, Bellevue Towers and Washington Square, still haven’t sold.

But Bellevue Towers, like Escala, increased prices 1 or 2 percent early on this year on a few models that were close to selling out.

That’s what’s expected to happen in a well-balanced market, says researcher Glenn Crellin of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.

For the most part, the new-condo stockpile has sold off gradually and steadily. County records show no big spike in overall sales lately– as a matter of fact, closings at several big projects lag last year’s pace.

Most industry experts concur it most likely will be a number of years before the next big downtown condominium project breaks ground.

Most observers predict the remaining developer-owned condominiums in Escala and other new buildings will sell out in the next year or two. Where will the new condo inventory come from thereafter?

The bottom line is, there’s not much new supply on the horizon and that’s helping to steer the condominium market now, experts agree.

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Seattle Real Estate News is updated every week with a variety of information that you can use in and around your home. In the Seattle Real Estate News, we share relevant and insightful information about the Seattle real estate market.

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Is A Housing Recovery For Seattle About To Happen?

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There’s no proof the old housing boom could return. Americans are confronted by too much housing inventory and too much personal debt.

Gurus have been predicting a bottom for the housing market ever since the bubble began to collapse in 2006. They’ve been consistently wrong. But are we ultimately there now?

Many say yes!

House prices across the country are predicted to become stable by the end of the summer months and begin to increase by an annualized rate of 3.9 percent over the next five years. For the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro region, prices are seen moving up at a 5 percent annualized rate.

But that won’t come before an additional 3.3 percent price drop-off through the remainder of this year. The Seattle region was late to the party, with prices hitting their peak in the second-quarter of 2007 compared with a nationwide peak in the first quarter of 2006.

However, a number of encouraging factors are bounding to put a floor under prices.

Among them, more desirable employment numbers, fewer markets influenced by foreclosure sales and bank-owned homes, and affordability at record levels.

So many real estate experts forecast Seattle to become stable sooner that the rest of the country.

Other facts back this up. According to the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington, sales of existing properties in King County climbed more than 12 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2011, even as median prices fell 6.6 percent.

Indeed, anecdotal information suggest there are now bidding wars for houses in the best locations, primarily in Seattle.

House resales went up 10.9 percent in Pierce County and 18.5 percent in Snohomish County. Building permits for single-family residences are very slowly rebounding, and apartment development is flourishing in central Seattle.

Still, there’s no proof the old housing boom can come back. Americans are still coping with too much housing inventory, excessive debt.

Seattle Real Estate News You Can Use!

Seattle Real Estate News is updated every week with a variety of information that you can use in and around your home. In the Seattle Real Estate News, we share relevant and insightful information about the Seattle real estate market.

Make Seattle Real Estate News your exclusive source for information and ideas related to your home!

Plus, be sure to check out all of the wonderful local Seattle businesses here on our website! They stand ready to serve you today! Please don’t forget to mention to the merchant that you saw their information here in the Seattle Real Estate News.

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Seattle Homeowners Beware: An Important Tax Break Is Set To Expire

Any person coping with a distressed mortgage situation should get things worked out prior to the end of 2012…

A valuable tax break for thousands of homeowners is set to end at the end of the year.

For the last five years, the federal government has provided tax breaks to distressed property owners who cut a deal with their mortgage lender to reduce or release home mortgage debt. But unless members of Congress confirm an extension, starting next year any break you get on your home mortgage debt will be deemed taxable income.

In distressed mortgage circumstances like we’re observing across the nation, the lender’s monetary loss is regarded a financial asset to the homeowner who avoids paying their full debt. In a short sale for instance, where your mortgage balance is $250,000 and your home sells for $200,000, the remaining balance of $50,000 is deemed forgiven debt and would usually be ruled taxable income.

But since 2007, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, forgiven debt has been tax free. That’s set to change after the end of this year.

If nothing changes, in 2013 mortgage loan debt that’s forgiven is going to be treated as taxable income.

So if you are facing a distressed mortgage scenario you should get the details worked out before the end of the 2012, to be on the safe side.

What qualifies for the income tax break? Short sales, loan modifications, deed in lieu transactions, where you turn your home over to the bank, and in many cases, foreclosure. Just bear in mind the Debt Relief Act only applies to principle residences. It does not apply to rental property or second homes.

Seattle Real Estate News You Can Use!

Seattle Real Estate News is updated every week with a variety of information that you can use in and around your home. In the Seattle Real Estate News, we share relevant and insightful information about the Seattle real estate market.

Make Seattle Real Estate News your exclusive source for information and ideas related to your home!

Plus, be sure to check out all of the wonderful local Seattle businesses here on our website! They stand ready to serve you today! Please don’t forget to mention to the merchant that you saw their information here in the Seattle Real Estate News.

Seattle Real Estate News!


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