Recently a client emailed me a great question that we felt many people would benefit from knowing the answer to.
“Marco, I recently received a tax assessment notice in the mail and it showed my condo value has gone down since I bought it earlier this year. But I'm seeing condo prices in the area are increasing. Should I appeal to the tax assessor’s office to increase my tax assessment to be more in line with recent market sales, as I'm afraid this might hurt my condo's value now and in the future? I realize this might mean my annual taxes may go up, but I'm just not sure what is best.”
The August 2012 Seattle condo sales and inventory numbers are in. The most interesting takeaway in my opinion is below:
1. We've not seen inventory levels this low since 2007. Only 551 listings in August -- lowest number of listings we've seen in years.
2. Year over year sales improved from 172 units to 200 units.
3. Now, here's the zinger. Even though there was 1/2 the supply and more buyers than the year before, the price...stayed the same. Median prices were almost identical ($249,975 this August versus $246,000 August 2011)!
I guess this just goes to show how weak of a position sellers are in and how cautious buyers are about price. More charts below.
Vulcan Real Estate recently announced that they put the 11 building Amazon campus in South Lake Union up for sale. Their reason? The sale will allow them to continue to build on the remaining 30 acres they own in the neighborhood and it will help to diversify their portfolio by liquidating some of the office space they own. Right now, they are constructing a new apartment building, the Stackhouse, and the next phase of the UW Medical Research facility in the area. And, announced yesterday, they will be starting construction in January on a two building expansion for Amazon at Westlake and Mercer. More info here and here.
What this likely means for the South Lake Union neighborhood in the future is more development, more businesses moving in, and, who knows, maybe a condo building will be in the mix. Only time will tell what Vulcan will do with their remaining land in the area but we can be sure that whatever they do will continue to help this neighborhood grow and expand.
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle Condos exclusively for buyers and sellers
Feels like 2004 when new projects were being announced every week (except these aren't condos and they're all by Amazon).
Yesterday, Vulcan announced that Amazon has just entered yet another agreement to expand it's Seattle footprint. This time, they agreed to two new buildings along Westlake and 9th and between Mercer and Republican scheduled for occupancy in 2015. More details here.
At the current rate of Amazon's explosive growth in South Lake Union, you almost wonder if Jeff Bezos or a visionary developer should build a giant high-tech condo in South Lake Union tailored to the needs and preferences of tech workers. Maybe the building should have it's own app, social network, iPad elevator controls (or more likely Kindle given the audience), chargers and wifi in the lounge, crazy high speed connectivity, a virual kindle library for the residents, and electric charging stations for all the Leafs and Volts ;-)
In related news, Washington State was recently rated the #1 state for tech with higher concentration and % growth in tech jobs than California. Check out the cool map here.
By Wendy Leung with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle Condos exclusively for buyers and sellers.
Marco Kronen is the co-author and a condo Realtor. He and Wendy have worked together serving clients in Seattle since 2007. Feel free to contact Marco here.
Wendy Leung is the founding editor of the Seattle Condo Review. She's also a full-service Seattle realtor.
Seattle Condo Review is the Seattle's longest-running guide for buying and selling Belltown Condos, Queen Anne Condos, Capitol Hill Condos, Green Lake Condos, Ballard Condos, and Downtown Seattle Condos.