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Seattle is Officially the Hottest Real Estate Market in the Nation

Color - Elliott Bay to DowntownAccording to new data from S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, Seattle is now the hottest real estate market in the nation. Seattle's home prices rose 11% between September 2015 and 2016.

This appreciation is being driven by the technology boom, which is increasing our population with skilled workers who can typically afford higher priced homes. Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce and eBay are among some of the tech giants leading the storm. Add to that low inventory and high demand, and you have 11% increases in year over year prices.

It isn't just Seattle that is seeing large annual gains. The national number is 5.5% for September, the highest it has been since the last peak in 2006.

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


Tentative Deal Reached for Bosa to Buy Civic Square Project and Build Condos

Civic SquareMayor Ed Murray has announced that the city has reached a tentative deal with Bosa Development, the developer of Insignia Condominiums in Belltown, for the long-delayed Civic Square project in Downtown Seattle. According to PSBJ, if the Seattle city council approves the 21.7 million dollar deal, Bosa will begin building a condominium tower on the full block site in 2018. The site is located between 3rd and 4th and Cherry and James.

According to the deal, Bosa will still provide an area for a public plaza but that plaza will be owned and maintained by Bosa. The city hopes to have a decision by early next year on whether the deal will be approved and will move forward.

We will continue to monitor this and hopefully we will see a condo tower coming out of the ground in 2018 in Downtown Seattle.

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


New Condo Building Coming to Belltown

6On the site that now houses US Bank at 2401 3rd Ave, on the corner of 3rd Ave and Battery St in Belltown, a new condominium building is being planned. According to a recent article by the Seattle DJC, the Taiwan-based Chainqui Development is planning to construct an 12 story condo tower that will evoke the feeling of living in a French villa. It will be their first US development.

The project will be called Urban Green Villa and will have 116 condo units along with first floor retail and 112 below grade parking stalls. Proposed design elements include a roof top deck and garden and green screen walls of landscaping along the side of building.

We will continue to follow the progress of this potential new condominium building in the Belltown core.

Image by GWest Architecture

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


Curious About Your Condo's Assessed Property Value? – Here is your chance to hear it from the source

KC Assessor
Ever been curious about how your condo property taxes are established, are they linked to your condo’s market value, or what about how often they are calculated and re-assessed?? Here is your chance to hear it right from the source.

Join King County Assessor Lloyd Hara who is hosting Seattle Condo Owners at an educational event on Capitol Hill this weekend.

The Assessor and representatives from the Department of Assessments will be on hand to provide a condo real estate market update, explain the property assessment process, and answer questions.

Date: Saturday September 26, 2015
Time: 11:00AM – 12:30PM
Location: 12th Avenue Arts - 1620 12th Ave, Seattle WA, 9812

Continue reading "Curious About Your Condo's Assessed Property Value? – Here is your chance to hear it from the source " »


Where are the Condo Projects in Seattle? Perhaps Coming Soon.

IMG_0862The Puget Sound Business Journal put out a great article today on the state of new construction condo projects in Seattle.

With all of the cranes you see around town you might think there are a lot of condo projects in the works, but you would be wrong. The majority of those are apartments and office building along with some hotels. Only 1 crane belongs to a condo building currently under construction, Insignia Seattle.

So where are all of the condos you ask? This is what the PSBJ article tackles and here is what they say. According to Polaris, a new-condo brokerage and advisory firm, "more condo developers will begin building, or at least announcing projects in the Seattle area next year. A couple of groups already have bought sites in the region "but haven't been very vocal about it". Polaris representatives have been talking with six or so investment representatives doing condo deals in Seattle."

Interesting insight into what might be coming in 2015 in terms of new construction condominium buildings breaking ground  here in Seattle. It seems that with the loosening of the lending crunch for this type of building financing, the strong sales at Insignia, and our job growth numbers, we might be seeing some more condos in our future.

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

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


Who Should Sell Their Seattle Condo Right Now?

MeridianHere is a true story of a client to help illustrate who should sell their condo right now~

The Client:
She is a single woman working in technology (no, not at amazon), very responsible with her money and has some savings.  She is not an all cash investor or a long term Amazonian with 50% down, but she is like a lot of you, with maybe enough savings for 10%-20% down.  She has a budget of maybe $2,400 a month max for a mortgage payment (including dues, taxes and insurance).  She is looking for a nice one bedroom of average size (at least 650 sqft), with parking and storage, and in a building with some amenities like a gym and concierge staff.  She wants a newer building. She wants to be close to downtown where she works, wants to walk to the market every weekend, maybe take a stroll along Myrtle Edwards Park with friend now and then and take a quick cab ride, long walk or light rail ride to a Mariners or Sounders game in Pioneer Square.

Sounds like a reasonable request of Seattle’s downtown area condo market right?  Does this sound like the condo that you own?  Well guess what? This is the most common type of buyer we are seeing right now in Downtown Seattle.  They want the Seattle lifestyle, to be close to activities, work and recreation, and it’s important to them to be in nice building that is either new, or is updated and modern, feels safe, and will be a good investment in the event they need to relocate for work and need to sell in the future or keep it as a rental. 

Why is this important to you if you own a Seattle condo in the Downtown area and are considering selling? Keep reading.

Continue reading "Who Should Sell Their Seattle Condo Right Now?" »


Two New Vulcan Towers in South Lake Union

Currently housing Vulcan’s South Lake Union Discovery Center and the Denny Playfield, the lot on the corner of Westlake and Denny will soon be developed. According to PSBJ, Vulcan is in the early planning stages of developing the property and has applied for land-use and construction permits.

It is too soon to tell the details of what they will erect there and when, but the permit does mention both an office building and a residential tower. So perhaps it will be similar to their development across the street with Enso Condominiums and the office building attached to it.

Map of Discovery Center Site

Condominium Buildings Affected:

  • Enso Condominiums- the units facing NE & NW might have their views affected depending on how tall the buildings might be and where on the lot they are situated.  Luckily the view corridor up Westlake to the North would be intact of course.
  • 2200 Condominiums- The outlooks from the units facing North and NW might their views altered depending on how tall the new buildings might be and where on the lot they are situated.

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


400 Foot Residential Tower Near Belltown and Pike Place Market

According to the PSBJ, Continental Properties, the developer of the Cosmopolitan Condominiums downtown, just purchased a lot on 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street near the Pike Place Market with plans to build a 400 foot tall residential tower.

Currently the site is a surface parking lot and is just south of Cristalla Condominiums. The plan is to construct at 400 foot tall residential tower with 324 units but what is not known is whether they will be apartments or condos. Continental Properties has built both types of residential properties in the past.

Map of New Construction Site on 2nd & Virginia

Condominium Buildings Affected:

  • Cristalla- All of the units on the south side of Cristalla will have their views affected with the addition of this building as they will look directly into it
  • One Pacific Tower- The outlooks from the bedrooms and kitchens in some of the units will now look into this building - SE corner units will be most affected
  • Market Place North and Market Place Tower condominiums- These condos will likely be affected by the construction inconveniences as well as their east facing views toward the city and South Lake Union area will change

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


View Obstructions likely for 2200 and Enso- Construction Advisory

The neighborhood:   Denny Triangle/South Lake Union

The affected buildings: 2200 Condominiums located at Denny and Westlake and Enso Condominiums located on Blanchard and Westlake

The units with likely view obstructions:  At 2200 Westlake, the units facing west in the west tower will have their views of the downtown buildings within the Denny Triangle obstructed and a reduction in light. The west facing units of the south tower might also have view obstruction and light reduction. Upper floor units might also lose some westerly mountain and sound views.   At Enso Condominiums, the west facing units in the entire condo tower will likely be affected by reduced views to the west, as well as reduction in light.
Map of New Construction Buildings

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New Melrose Promenade Proposed on Capitol Hill

MP
The Melrose Promenade will forever change the look and feel of the western edge of Capitol Hill. Through the efforts of the community, a transformation of Melrose Ave, Melrose Ave E and other public open spaces could take place. Right now this section of the Hill is simply a “freeway frontage road” but it could soon be “a vibrant and visually stunning promenade”.

The site for the new promenade is located along a one mile stretch of Melrose Ave and bounded by Pike Street to the south and Lakeview Blvd to the north.  Read on to see the goals of the project, the different zones and which condo buildings might be affected.

Some of the project goals laid out on the Visioning Project are:

  • Improve pedestrian connections and safety at intersections
  • Improve bicycle connections, parking and facilities
  • Enhance connections to transit corridors
  • Activate underutilized street right-of-way and park spaces
  • Take advantage of views of lake, mountains, and downtown
  • Create multiple vibrant neighborhood gathering spaces

Continue reading "New Melrose Promenade Proposed on Capitol Hill" »