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!

Site Near Pike Place Sells For $16 Million, 400-ft Tower Planned

construction

The Seattle skyline is about to welcome its newest addition – a 400-foot residential tower that is planned for the development site at 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street that Bellevue’s Continental Properties bought for $16 million on Thursday.

According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, it is unknown whether the 324 residential units will be condos or apartments, and there is no definite timeline for construction, yet. Continental Properties also built the Metropolitan Tower Apartments at Seventh and Westlake, and the Cosmopolitan Tower Condominiums at Ninth Avenue and Virginia. According to the PSBJ article, the site, which is one block east of Pike Place Market and is at the highest point in Belltown, is one of the last prime development sites downtown.

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.

Home Prices in King County on the Rise!

For the first time in a very long time, home prices in King County rose last month, and have increased significantly in the Seattle city limits. According to the Seattle Pi, the median sale price was $360,000 countrywide in April and was $425,000 in Seattle. Rates have risen 2.9% nationwide, and 10.4% in Seattle alone. There’s something to be said for the Northwest after all.

Of course, there are still areas within King County that aren’t seeing the same increase that Seattle is, such as South King County where activity was simply OK. Lender owned homes, which generally sell for less went up this month as well, and overall sales of homes and condos were up in Seattle, and nationwide 19.2%.  Pending sales in our city have risen, indicating an increase in activity even though some of these don’t always close. It’s very promising that although the prices of homes are continually on the rise in Seattle and the surrounding King County areas, sales are just as high as ever. For listings in the Seattle area, click here.