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December 2015

Condo Review – Asia Condominiums in the International District

Asia Condominiums in the International District
668 S Lane St
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Asia Condominiums was converted from an apartment building into a condominium in 2006. It is located in the International District right across the street from a pocket park. Close to the stadiums, Pioneer Square and in the heart of the ID, the location is vibrant and active. Asia is close to every major transportation hub for buses, light rail, the Sounder, Amtrak, the soon-to-be street car and is super convenient to I-5 and I-90. It is also just a jaunt to both the Mariners and Seahawks stadiums. The building’s aesthetic overall is fairly traditional, and is starting to feel a bit dated, but is still clean, and seems to be well run.

To see a video of an example of an actual unit at Asia Condominiums click here.

The stats:

  • 75 units – studio, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 453 sqft to a 998 sqft
  • Built in 2005
  • 6 stories
  • Most units have a parking space but 13 units do not have parking and there are no storage units
  • 4 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $120,750 (a bank owned unit) to $255,000; at the time of this post there is are not units pending and no active units on the market
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, building maintenance, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room with full kitchen, gym, terrace pagoda

Continue reading "Condo Review – Asia Condominiums in the International District" »


Condo Review – Enso Condominiums in South Lake Union

Enso Condominiums in South Lake Union
820 Blanchard Street

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Enso Condominiums was built by Vulcan and designed by Callison Architects and was one of the first anchor condo buildings in the Denny and Westlake corridor that helped kick off all things in this part of South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle. Enso was also one of  Seattle’s first LEED certified condo buildings. It’s unique characteristics are that is sits on an angled axis on its lot and the eastern side has a unique curved curtain wall glass exterior, which allows for unique view corridors up and down Denny and Westlake Avenues. At the time, it was considered the higher-end of the 3 Vulcan built condominium buildings due to it’s luxury finishes (Veer Lofts and 2200 Condominiums being the other two).

To see a video of an example of an actual unit at Enso Condominiums click here.

The stats:

  • 135 units – studio, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 589 square feet for a studio on the 9th floor to a 2,279 square foott two story corner unit
  • Built in 2009
  • 19 stories
  • All units have at least 1 parking space and all condos have a storage unit
  • 4 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $510,000 for a 794 sq ft one bedroom to $1,499,000 for a 1,893 sq ft 2 bedroom unit on the 18th floor; at the time of this post there is 1 unit pending a sale listed at $528,000 on the 5th floor. There are no active units on the market.
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, central hot water, natural gas (cooks top and ranges), building maintenance, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room with terrace, TV room, gym, yoga room, guest suite, concierge staff

Continue reading "Condo Review – Enso Condominiums in South Lake Union" »


Housing Bubble in Seattle? Not according to our Chief Economist

Housing Bubble GraphicRight away I know some people reading this will think, I’m just saying that there is not a real estate bubble in Seattle because I’m a Realtor and I want people to keep buying. But that is not true; I genuinely want people to do what’s right for them, at any particular time in their lives. But the discussions I’m hearing out there about pricing leading to a bubble that is about to burst is just not true and can cause buyers and sellers to not make informed decisions.

So let’s set the record straight. There is no bubble coming any time soon here in Seattle. I felt this was a great credible article in the PSBJ last week on this subject that furthers this opinion because our economist here at Windermere, Matthew Gardner, considers factors and forces beyond just the numbers of real estate when making his predictions. He uses factors such as job growth, health of the economy, both local and national indicators and averages. I feel his approach to this topic is a very valid and healthy approach to the question of bubble or no bubble.

So my message to buyers is to stay in the hunt and work really hard to find the right condo. Prices and demand for housing are not going to come down anytime time soon, so buy now if you can. Hang in there, be creative, stretch your budget if needed, and don’t let the frustrations of the lack of inventory and multiple offers discourage you. Don’t put your home search on hold, hoping for a better “buyers’ market” because it could be a loooong ways away.

Happy home hunting! No Bubble here.

 


Condo Review – Avenue One Condominiums in Belltown

Avenue One Condominiums in Belltown
2721 1st Ave
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This month we are focusing on doing more Condo Reviews and as always, I try to be impartial and neutral with my Condo Reviews so our readers, who either might be considering buying or those considering selling,  will be able use this information to help them in their decision making process.

Avenue One Condominiums was built in 2005 and sits on the quieter north end of Belltown, close to both the amenities of Belltown and Lower Queen Anne as well as the Seattle Waterfront and the SAM Sculpture Park. The building was built by the developer Intracorp, who also built the neighboring Parc Condominiums. It’s a nice middle to upper-end condo building and the units were not built with ultra-high-end finishes, it tends to have affordable price points and a design aesthetic that is a mix of traditional and modern.

To see a video of an example of an actual unit at Avenue One Condominiums click here.

The stats:

  • 120 units – studio, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 435 sqft to a 1,338 sqft
  • Built in 2005
  • 13 stories
  • All units have at least 1 parking space and all condos have a storage unit
  • 4 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $265,000 to $640,000; at the time of this post there is 1 unit pending listed at $429,950 and one active unit on the market listed for $799,950
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, natural gas, building maintenance, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room with terrace, gym, guest suite, concierge staff, roof top view deck

Continue reading "Condo Review – Avenue One Condominiums in Belltown" »


Solo Lofts Cancelling Pre-sale Contracts - another one bites the dust, sadly

Solo LoftsAccording to another Broker in our office, whose clients were in contract on a pre-sale unit, Solo Lofts in Ballard is cancelling all of their pre-sale contracts and will return all earnest deposits to the buyers due to unforeseen delays and a dispute with their contractors. This news comes just before the project was slated to be completed.

Our guess is that, just like their condominium project Salt in Ballard did earlier this year, this project will turn into an apartment building. 

This news is particularly unfortunate for those buyers who have been in pre-sale contracts since early 2014 as they have left the equity that has been building since then, on the table.

Also evidenced by this news, is that the costs of constructing a condominium building still seem to be so high that making the projects pencil is proving difficult for some developers.

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


Third Quarter Report for State of the Market in Western Washington

Buyer Seller Market RangeRecently our Chief Economist at Windermere Real Estate, Mathew Gardner, released his 3rd Quarter Report. I always love his reports as they are inclusive of not just the typical real estate stats of what sold and for how much and how fast, but he also monitors and reports other important factors that affect our local real estate market, such as job growth and population growth.

Take a look and make your own conclusions, but my key take away points are although we have seen strong increases in the number of sales and in price points in our region, the velocity is slowing a bit and is likely not a long term sustainable market condition. Also, while King County still has the fastest moving inventory in the region with an average of 26 days on the market, we are actually in the middle of the pack with annual change in home sale prices. Other parts of our region are seeing much higher percentages of price increases right now.

But, in general, unless we start to see a “rapid escalation in construction activity” Mathew Gardner, is predicting “the market will remain remarkably tight well into 2016, which to me is likely an indication of more of the same Seller’s market characteristics.

Please note that this report does not separate the single family and condo markets but condos are included in the data and this information is still a great indicator of overall market conditions.

View the report here: Western Washington 3rd Quarter 2015- The Gardner Report

For a PDF printable copy of the report contact us at info@urbanmarco.com

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