Update on Koda Condominiums

Koda KitchenKoda Condominium Flats has announced their sales center, presale and ground breaking timeline. They also released new renderings and their future cityscape tours.

SALES CENTER, GROUND BREAKING & PRESALES
The Sales Center will be located at at 510 Occidental Ave S in Pioneer Square, just north of Century Link Field, and it will open in the fall of this year. The Ground Breaking will also be in fall 2018 and that is when the presales will begin. More information about the presale process will be released in the next few weeks. Occupancy is scheduled for fall 2020. 

CITYSCAPE TOURS
The newly released cityscape tours are a collection of dynamic interactive tours to provide potential buyers an immersive virtual environment showing the building orientation and digital model home walkthroughs. They are also working on developing a virtual reality tour, which will show the evolution of the surrounding neighborhood and Seattle waterfront  as it might look in 2020 when KODA is complete.

FINISHES
The condominium homes will have hardwood flooring in the living spaces, carpeting in the bedroom space, quartz countertops, thermofoil cabinets, glass backsplash and stainless appliances. There is a light, medium and dark color scheme for these finish packages.

AMENITIES
For amenities, KODA will have a voluminous lobby and co-working space. The 7th floor will have a library, business center and conference room with outdoor Zen garden, fitness center with outdoor stretching and yoga retreat. The 17th floor has a rooftop deck entertainment space. 

RESERVATIONS
There are still units available for reservations before the presales officially begin. There are studio, one and two bedrooms condos available from $400,000 to $1.5M. A $5,000 refundable deposit will be due at the time of the reservations and provide the reservation holders with the first right to enter into a Purchase and Sale Contract within the set price range.

Rooftop deck Koda Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koda Lobby Koda Gym


Solis Condos Coming to Capitol Hill

SolisSolis condominiums are coming to Capitol Hill. The building will be constructed at 1300 E Pike St and will be built using super-green "passive house" design and constructions methods.

Solis will be a 6 story building with 45 condominium homes. The units will be between 475sf and 850sf consisting of studios, one and two bedrooms. They will be priced from the mid $400,000s to just about $1 million.  Construction will begin in the next few months with completion set for early 2020 according to the Developer, SolTerra.

The contractor is Cascade Built, a leader on passive house projects, and the architect is Weber Thompson.

This building was originally planned as an apartment building but will now be the first condominium building to be constructed in Capitol Hill in ten years.

Weber Thompson Rendering

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


The Emerald Condominiums - Sales Early 2019

20180807_075325The tower you see rising up at 121 Stewart St right by the Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle will be The Emerald condominiums.

Developed by Daniels Real Estate, the Emerald will contain 365 condominiums in 40 stories. The sales gallery will open for sales in early 2019.

Their website describes the tower as "bringing a new level of high-rise living to downtown Seattle. The tower's iconic, façeted-glass exterior houses a collection of 265 signature residences with unrivaled views and breathtaking amenity spaces." Based on the plans submitted to the city, the Emerald will have one, two and three bedroom condos ranging in size from 540 to 1,700 square feet. It will have retail on level one and amenities including a gym, yoga studio, pet area, guest suite and rooftop level party room and outdoor space.

We look forward to seeing the renderings, unit finishes and confirmed amenity offerings along with the price points.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.





Bosa Plans Second Condo Building in Bellevue

New Condo Tower - BosaAccording to the PSBJ, Bosa Development, the developer of Insignia in Seattle and One88 in Bellevue, is planning on building another condominium tower in Bellevue. It will be across the street from where One88 is currently under construction at 205 105th Ave NE, where Sushi Maru is currently located. The new tower, like One88, is also planned as a 21 story tower.

Also mentioned in the article is the possibility that more planned apartment buildings will instead be built as condos. This is interesting insight and with Spire in Seattle being switched from apartments to condominiums, we might indeed start seeing more of these switches of use coming down the pike.


What’s Happening in the Market? Shift, Change, Adjustment or What?

JUNE-SEATTLE-2018-MONTHLY-TALKING-POINTS_Page_2We have all seen the news media articles over the past few weeks reporting that there has been an over 70% increase in our current market inventory, that the market is slowing down or that there is another recession coming, and so on. If you are a seller, let’s not panic or get into modes of desperation just yet.

We have to keep in mind, we see a seasonal slow down every year in our market during mid-summer (due to factors such as buyers and their agents being on vacation and sellers putting their homes up for sale at a higher rate in order to move before the school year starts, etc. - see photo for seasonal trends), so I wanted to chime in and speak to what I am actually seeing out here.

We are seeing, what I would call, a shift in the mindset of buyers. There are less multiple offer scenarios on both condos and single family homes as well as a lot of buyers doing more of a wait see approach to the offer review dates. This is quite opposite of what we were seeing earlier in the spring, which was a very aggressive approach of doing pre-inspections, waiving all contingencies, and being willing escalate well above list price. Also, there is a significant increase in the inventory. Homes and condos are still selling, but they are going into contract slower than they were in the spring.  We are also seeing the percentage over list price not being as aggressive. This will apply to most neighborhoods of Seattle, and appears to happening in most price segments as well. 

Now, does this change how I, as a broker, might approach the market? Yes, of course, our strategies must change with adjustments in market conditions. But does this mean we are in a changing market or a just a slightly more aggressive seasonal slowdown? I’m not sure yet. But my sense is we have some slowing due to general buyer fatigue and frustration and increased summer market inventory from sellers who are trying to ride the coattails of the spring sales pricing. Sadly, we are also seeing a lot of homes that just aren’t presented well, such as not being in the best of condition, poor quality flips, or disadvantaged locations, etc. These condos and houses might be too aggressively priced by sellers and agents that are just too optimistic that the hot market will have buyers buying anything they can. The buyer fatigue is stalling sales on homes that simply aren’t properly prepped and priced for the summer market conditions. I do think that these factors are causing some lethargic market conditions right now that are affecting even those homes and condos that are spruced up and ready to sell as the mere fear of a slowing market will cause more slowing in the market.

I’m predicting that the market will absorb, although slowly, the summer inventory and we’ll see a bit more of the frenzy return in the fall when buyers and their brokers are returning from vacations and ready to be realistic and get back to the market.  

Timing is everything, and we might have missed a bit of a window for some sellers, so holding off until fall might be a new thing to consider. If you are thinking about selling, make sure you are realistic about how long it will take to sell your home and what price you are likely to get.


Downtown Area LID Assessment Information

We have received a ton of questions about the potential local improvement district (LID) assessment for the waterfront improvements that would affect some property owners in Downtown, Belltown and South Lake Union.

Since we live in the boundaries of the LID we received additional information on the proposed assessment and thought we would summarize what we know for our readers:

  • The Seattle City Council passed a Resolution declaring their intent to initiate the formation of the LID to construct certain elements of the Waterfront Seattle ProgramLID Info_Redacted_Page_2
  • The LID is a funding tool by which property owners are assessed to help fund the costs of a public improvement that they benefit from by way of a increased property value due to the improvement (special benefit)
  • The LID assessment cannot exceed the property's total special benefit
  • The LID only pays for a portion of the Waterfront improvements
  • It is the city's intent that the LID shall be a one-time assessment and shall not include any future supplemental assessments
  • There are still public hearings you can attend where you can submit your public comments in support of or objecting to the LID
  • The preliminary assessment percentage is 48.23% of the estimated special benefit of the LID improvements for each specific property
  • For example:
    • Our estimated special benefit of LID improvements to our condo: $823.50
    • Our estimated assessment for our condo: $397.14

What we heard from our readers and neighbors, who own residential property in the LID boundary, was that they anticipated having to be thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars for their LID assessment. This was causing a bit of panic for people and causing several of those concerned to sell or consider selling their properties to avoid having to pay the LID assessment. We were also hearing concerns voiced from potential buyers that they didn't want to buy a condo within the boundary of the LID not knowing what they would be on the hook for in terms of this LID assessment amount.

I would think that this information will help quell people's fears a bit as it is much less than we heard most people were anticipating. Hopefully this news, and the Head Tax being squashed, will help the Downtown area condo market to heat back up and maybe open the dam a bit on the buyers who were sitting on the sidelines fearing the Head Tax and LID assessment repercussions.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Tower Near Space Needle Will be Condos & Named Spire

Spire3Laconia Development, who is developing the triangle shaped lot located at 600 Wall St, has announced that they will be building condominiums and not apartments.

The 41 story building will be called Spire and they will break ground today. There will be 352 residences from studios to 3 bedroom plus den homes. They are indicating that pricing will range from $450,000 to over $5 million. This Developer will also allow units to be combined. Amenities will include 2 rooftop decks. They anticipate the construction to take 28 months due to the challenges associated with the small sized lot.

This switch from apartments to condos reflects the softening rental market due to the influx of new buildings being constructed and the condo price increases that we are seeing in our current real estate market.

Being located on the intersection of Denny Way, Wall St (the current off-ramp from Aurora) and 6th Avenue is a definitely a busy intersection to be located on. We will see if that location in Belltown can fetch prices near $5M.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Tower Site at 1516 2nd Ave Sold to Original Elev8 Developer

Chomer BuildingUrban Visions sold their tower development site near Pike Place Market, located at 1516 2nd Ave across the street from Fifteen Twenty-One condominiums, to the developer who was planning the 4 tower Elev8 mixed use project in Bellevue, which includes offices, apartments, and condos. The developer, Plus Investments USA, has sold its controlling interest in Elev8.

Will this tower now be developed into a condominium building? It is unconfirmed at this time but according to the PSBJ article "the plan seems to be a condominium project". So we are hopeful! The previous owner of the site, Urban Visions, was planning a building containing retail and office space so condominiums would be a shift so we will have to wait to see what this new developer plans for this site.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


The Secrets to Buying Right Now! Really, This is Good Info.

Ppw 11It’s a long and detailed article, but I highly recommend you read the article put out by the Seattle Times earlier this month, How to Buy a Home in the Seattle Area: The Survival Guide.  It includes data collected from lots of interviews with buyers, agents, and industry players and I really think it’s a great read.

Although this isn't condo specific, we feel it is important for our readers who are buyers, and even those who are sellers, to understand what is happening in the market out there and what things buyers should be doing to better their chances of success.

Some of the key points in the article that I loved and can absolutely agree with and endorse:

  • Discount brokerages, such as Redfin, are a 'you get what you pay for' situation. There is a reason they can offer a discount and that discount may not save you any money in the end by the time you factor in how long it took for you to finally get a house.
  • Lenders- pick the right one, and make sure they are local. This is key right now.  As listing agents, we give much higher credibility and weight to pre-approval letters from local lenders who have a good local reputation and who we know can close quick and close on time, without surprise delays.
  • Look for stinkers. Buyers that have flexibility in terms of doing repairs and are open to condos or houses in not perfect condition, can benefit in this market by buying a proeprty with less competition.
  • Make the offer about the seller and what they need.  Not all offers are just about price.  A good agent will research, connect with and find out what’s important to the seller.  Certain offerings such as rent backs, guarantees you are not an investor that will rent the home out, etc. can go a long way to winning in bidding war.  Not all sellers are created equal, and not all offers are either.  Be creative and make sure your agent knows how to communicate with the other agent effectively.
  • Be aggressive and do it early. Don’t take 7 or 8 offer attempts to realize you need to be aggressive. As Mike wrote in the article, “ Home prices in Seattle have increased an average of $226 per day through the past year” so by the time you finish reading this editorial post, and the article itself, that 6-7 minutes is costing you another dollar or two in home price.  My point being, the longer your learning curve is as a buyer, and the more offers you need to write before you get that figured out, the more money it’s costing you. So let’s get you educated, armed for success, and ready to buy.

Great read and great article.  Check it out.


NEXUS Pre-sale Opportunities End 6/30

The NEXUS model home and presentation center will be closing on June 30th and all pre-sale opportunities will stop at the time of the presentation center closure.

If you are considering purchasing at NEXUS now might be the time to do it so you can benefit from the pre-sale price offerings, still select your interior color palette and receive a $25,000 buyer decorator allowance, which they are throwing in from now through June 30th.

At this time, NEXUS is 90% sold and the available options are 2 and 3 bedroom floor plans, ranging in size from 1,022 to 2,142, and priced from $1.2 million to $3.5 million.

Here is the current availability:
NEXUS Availability 5.22.18
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.