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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