Seattle Condos Appreciating Faster Than Homes

Madison Tower cropped

Featured condo – 1000 1st Ave., Unit 2202, Seattle, 98104

Condominium property values were some of the hardest hit after the housing crash, with the typical condo in the U.S. losing a third of its value. But according to a recent Zillow survey, condos are finally making a long-awaited comeback and are appreciating more quickly than single-family homes in many U.S. markets, including Seattle’s.

According to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), the median sales price for a condo in Seattle in October was $368,000, up 23 percent over the year, compared to an 8 percent price increase for single-family homes. Condos in many neighborhoods within the city saw much higher rates of appreciation. Prices increased by 55 percent in Southeast Seattle (Columbia City, Rainier Valley, Seward Park), and by 45 percent in both Beacon Hill and the Ballard/Green Lake/Phinney Ridge area. Prices for condos in Seattle’s most expensive market, comprising Downtown and Belltown, rose by 34 percent over the year to a median of $539,000, and Queen Anne condo prices are the highest in a decade.

The condo market may be especially attractive to first-time home buyers, who are largely being priced out of Seattle’s expensive single-family market. Condos are often more affordable and lower maintenance, and many offer the urban lifestyle that young professionals are increasingly attracted to. Seattle’s condo market is also suffering from a lack of inventory with only 1.18 months’ worth of supply available (compared to the 4-6 months’ worth that is generally considered a ‘balanced’ market) which could be another factor helping drive price increases. Currently, there are 107 condos on the market in Downtown Seattle, ranging from $209,900 for a 447-square-foot unit at Vine and Western, to $9,990,000 for the 6,758-square-foot full-floor penthouse at the Madison Tower.

Zillow’s Chief Economist Svenja Gudell wrote in the survey summary that, “Over the past few years, buying a condo hasn’t always been considered an investment on par with buying a single-family home. Clearly, the most recent data indicate that notion may be due for a second look.”

If you are curious how much your condo might be worth, please do not hesitate to contact one of our real estate agents!

Downtown Seattle Condos Starting to Fill Up

Downtown Seattle Penthouse Condo Available

The past two years have not been promising for the Seattle Condo Market, and condo developers are finally starting to see a turn around in the Downtown area. According to the Seattle Times, roughly two dozen new projects were at work between 2007-2010 during big the real-estate crash. Many of those who bought the pre-sale backed out and several developers ended up converting their buildings to rental units to cater to the economy. Those who stuck it out had to slash prices, and in many cases had to lower the costs by up to 40 percent.

Today the market is starting to look more appealing and beginning to have the first signs that it will bounce back. A few good indicators include Escala raising  some of their prices; one of the largest downtown projects to date, Escala did so quietly, with the majority of their condo units selling for 99% of the asking price, they’ve begun upping the anty as their inventory gets smaller. Also of the 2,500 condo projects that have been built in downtown and surrounding areas, fewer than 250 units is left unsold. There are currently no new projects in place; most developers and lenders have put condos on hold to allow the market to recuperate. If you’re interested in learning more about finding a condo in the Seattle area, here is a list of available units.