Green Lake condos Feed

Florera - Green Lake Condominiums Coming Back to Market

FloreraSome of you might remember when Florera originally came to market back in 2008. It is a building  located at 413 NE 70th St in the heart of Green Lake. There are 59 condos built with sustainable materials ranging from 578 square foot studios to 1,215 square feet two bedrooms. The building is LEED certified and has amenities including a rooftop deck, courtyard and party room.

Unfortunately for Florera, it came to market right as the recession kicked in affecting real estate throughout Seattle and the country. The majority of the condominium units in Florera were rented out and remained that way until now. As renters vacate their condo units, those units are being offered for sale so this is a great opportunity to snag a condominium in desirable Green Lake. There are very few condo building in Green Lake and Florera's pricing is now starting in the low $400,000s so this will open up quite a few options for folks who love this location. They are also offering to sell units that are tenant occupied so if you are an investor you have the chance to purchase a condo unit that is already leased up, which is a nice bonus.

If you are thinking about purchasing at Florera let us know as we have been in close contact with the Seller's agent and have a lot of information that we are happy to share with you about the building, the purchase process and the current challenges with financing.

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


 


Our New and Improved Seattle Condominium Building Map

Seattle Condo Map (2)Since our blog's inception back in 2006, our Seattle Condo Map has been a place where our readers could go to find information about the various buildings in and around the Downtown Seattle core.

We decided that it was time to revamp SCR's Seattle Condo Map, expanding it to include all buildings in Seattle, to include more detailed information about each building and to create it in a format that allows our readers to search it for information important to them that might not be readily available either online, or within other real estate sites that rely only on information from the MLS.

We are very proud to announce that our new and improved Seattle Condo Map has launched!!!

Our new map contains information about all condominium buildings in the city of Seattle! It is a constant work in progress as condo buildings go through updates, condo buildings become apartment buildings, apartment buildings become condo buildings, new condominium buildings are proposed and new construction buildings are completed. The information contained in our Seattle Condo Map will continue to be updated so please make sure you check back in with the map often. We intend to add links to our Condo Review articles to each building as we review them so our write ups with pros, cons and stats about the building will be available via one click from the map listings. This is something we are actively working on and think will be an amazing resource tool for those looking to buy or sell their condo. 

A couple things to know about our new map:

  • There is a directory of buildings that is organized by area - Downtown Area, Northeast Seattle, Northwest Seattle, Queen Anne & Magnolia, South Seattle, Central Seattle and West Seattle
  • The buildings are also color coded to denote the following categories - luxury, proposed, under construction, historic or co-op
  • You can search the map if you open it up - for example, you can search 'concierge' and see all of the buildings in Seattle with concierge services

Since this map will forever be dynamic, we encourage you, as our readers, to let us know if any buildings are missing or if any of our information is incorrect. We want to do our best to provide the most accurate information we can and we need you all to make that happen!

We hope you find the map interesting and helpful and we hope it is a tool you will bookmark and enjoy using for many years.

Check the map out here! Or from the navigation bar on our website.

Cheers-
Marco and Loren Kronen


Rumors of a Condo Building Coming to Aurora Ave in Green Lake

Zion ChurchAccording to King 5 News, the 100 year old Zion Lutheran Church on Aurora Ave N and 71st in Green Lake has been purchased to make way for a condominium building.

The church, after suffering declining attendance numbers at their services and the building falling into disrepair, decided to merge with a larger church in Lake City and sell the Church on Aurora to a Chinese Development Firm. The rumors are that the new owners will demolish the building to construct a condominium building.

After doing some digging, we could not locate any additional information on the intentions of the Developer but we must remember that often people incorrectly assume that when a developer is constructing a multi family residential building that it is condominiums, but more often than not, they are building apartments that will be rental units. We will just have to monitor the Land Use bulletins to see what will actually be built here.

From our perspective, it would nice to have additional condo options in North Seattle for folks looking to live in that area but who can't afford a single family home or even townhome. However, having an address right on Aurora might make the sales a little more challenging. There are many condominium buildings on Aurora but they do tend to have longer market times due to the perceived stigma of living on the highway.

We will keep you posted as we hear more, and if anyone knows any additional info about whether or not this project will indeed be a condominium building  vs a rental apartment building, please feel free to post and let us know.

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


November 2014 Seattle Condo Stats

Each month we go back and take a look at condo market sales here in Seattle as reported by the MLS.

We first take a look at the whole city of Seattle to get a general overview of our area’s condo market and then we drill down by neighborhood using the MLS areas focusing on the areas that have the largest concentration of condos here in our city.  Those areas we closely track are:

  • Capitol Hill/Central/Madison Valley (area 390)
  • Queen Anne/Magnolia (area 700)
  • Downtown/Belltown/SLU (area 701)
  • Ballard/Fremont/Wallingford/Phinney (area 705)

We then use this data and information to make forecasts and to help buyers and sellers make decisions on their real estate needs.
SCR Market Chart (Nov 2014)_Page_1

Continue reading "November 2014 Seattle Condo Stats" »


Seattle Condo Summer 2013 Update

As we wrap up summer and head into our fall real estate market, it's a good time to look back at how our condo market did over the summer months and see where the numbers fall in the areas we regularly track.  In this update we are also adding a new area at the request of several readers who asked us to also report on the Ballard /Fremont/ Phinney/ Wallingford neighborhoods.  This is known as area 705 within in our MLS. 

In general, pricing for all of Seattle condo sales is up on a year-over-year comparison to 2012 summer months.  Up 10% in June, 12% in July, and up 16% in August.  Again these are over last year's prices for each respective month.

Despite the pricing increases,  buyers still seem to be motivated to purchase and the numbers confirm this as we saw a consistent trend up for the number of closed condo sales throughout the Seattle condo market when comparing on a month-over-month basis throughout the summer.  On a year-over-year basis we saw June being somewhat flat (slight decrease below 2012) but July and August showed large increases in the number of closed condo sales over 2012 at 21% and 24% higher respectively.

With both prices as well as the number of sales increasing, one big factor that is  interesting is the number of new listings for buyers to choose from is not coming up that much. For the summer months, all three posted lower number of new listings over the same months last year.  21% less for June, July was 14% less, and August had 2% fewer new listings coming on the market over last year.  My guess for this is that many would-be sellers are still upside down on what they owe on their mortgage balances in relation to their condo values, but as prices continue to edge up, it will be interesting to see when this turning point of increasing inventory will start to kick in.  It is important to note , however, that month over month, the number of listings did trend up this summer from June through August, so perhaps that will continue.  We will see.

Diving into the stats for the specific neighborhoods, this summer we saw area 701 (Downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union) with the highest median prices with a blended average of the median prices coming in at  $418,000 and area 705 (Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford) at the lowest of the areas in this update that we track at $240,000 for the blended average of the median prices over the summer.  In the middle was area 390 (Cap Hill, Madison, Central) at $296,000 and Queen Anne/Magnolia (area 700) at $303,916 for the blended average of the summer month's median sales prices.  Just for comparison, city wide,  the blended average of June, July and August's median prices came in  $294,983 which was a 6% increase over the summer months of  2012.  

So no major surprises that prices are up and sales are up, but with inventory remaining somewhat flat we still have some interesting times ahead in the Seattle condo market.  Barring any major increases in interest rates, it seems to me that prices should still continue to inch up until we see more condo inventory coming to the market. 

Aug 2013 Market Update Chart_Page_1

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Summer 2013 Update" »


It's a Seller's Market: Seattle Condo March 2013 Update

I took a look at March 2013 data and pretty much every neighborhood has the same story.  Sales up. Median prices up.  Inventory flat.  

If you were one of those condo investors waiting for the market to pick up to avoid having to have a unit sit on the market too long, your time may have come.  You'll not reap huge windfalls from a pricing point of view but you'll certainly see some action and at a price that's considerably more than you would have gotten a year ago.

In terms of neighborhoods, Belltown/Downtown and Queen Anne/Magnolia both had almost double the units sold in March as they did in Feb but number of listings available was either flat or down versus February.  

 

Seattle Condo Sales MOM

Continue reading "It's a Seller's Market: Seattle Condo March 2013 Update" »


Seattle Bank Owned and Short Sales Update

Thanks Marco on the great wrap up for 2012 Seattle Condo Market!

For those of you who are still curious about distressed properties and their impact on the market (bank owned and short sale inventory), this is for you. More than 6 months ago, we pulled some data from NWMLS on bank owned and short sale condos. At that time, bank owned and short sale condos made up about 19% of the total listings. Last month's data shows that it was almost the same. However, if you compare that to almost 2 years ago, distressed assets as a percent of all on the market went down significantly.

In the first half of 2012, we had a total of 315 distressed condos, during the 2nd half, it went down to 259 sales. Interestingly, bank owned properties sales dropped from 186 to 93  in the 2nd half of last year while short sale condos went up by almost 30% from 129 to 166 sales perhaps an indication of banks starting to work with owners when a short sale is proposed.

In summary, we had fewer distressed condos coming on the market in 2012 than in 2011; so far we are not seeing any influx of bank owned properties coming on the market. I agree with Marco's prediction that we are not likely to see an increase in them in 2013; this will be a good news for sellers.  

2013-02-12_21-33-49
( Data extracted from NWMLS on 01/29/2013 and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

By Wendy Leung with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle Condos and Downtown Seattle Condos exclusively for buyers and sellers.

Related posts:

Seattle Bank Owned and Short Sale Properties July 2012

Seattle Bank Owned and Short Sales Properties April 2011


2012 Seattle Condo Market in Review - The Year of Dwindling Inventory

As we start off 2013, every year in January we like to take a quick pause to take a look back and recap the major events, trends, and milestone from the previous year and for the heck of it, make some forecasts and predictions for the upcoming year.

Trends of 2012 and Events Worth Noting

We saw our condo market absorption rates increase and inventory dwindle to the point nearly all segments of our Seattle condo market were leaning toward a seller’s market with less than three months of inventory. 

Multiple offers returned but interestingly enough we did not see a sharp incline in pricing. This is likely due to buyers who were much more conservative and resistant to overpaying in light of the recent market crash. This could also be due to more stringent appraisal review practices by lenders, which many applaud.

2200 Condominiums in South Lake Union reached the largest construction defect settlement in state history with its developer for $26 million dollars.

We saw the return of investor buyers. An increase in all cash purchases seemed to indicate investors gained confidence in spending again.

Many newer condominium buildings entered litigation with their developers in accordance with the Washington State Condominium Act’s construction warranty time frames. This further limited available condo units on the market because units that are for sale in buildings with pending litigation have a very hard time obtaining buyer financing.

Continue reading "2012 Seattle Condo Market in Review - The Year of Dwindling Inventory " »


Client Question of the Week: Is the VA Loan Program Available for Condos?

1This week, new clients of mine wondered what their options were for a downtown condo that would qualify for the VA loan program. The Department of Veteran Affairs loan program is available to those military veterans and active duty personnel that have accumulated enough service time to be eligible for the favorable terms afforded by this loan program.  Benefits over conventional loan programs include market interest rates, reduced down payment requirements, no monthly mortgage insurance, as well as more flexibility with debt to income ratios and closing costs.

What’s the catch? Condominium buildings must go through the VA's condo project approval process.  Similar to the FHA approval process, an HOA would need to provide supporting documents verifying the eligibility of the condominium community as a whole.  No longer can an individual condo owner seek VA approval if they are either refinancing or selling their condo.  It's all or nothing.  VA looks at things such as overall financial health of the HOA, percentage of rental units, percentage of units that are delinquent on dues, and level of insurance protection, to name a few.  Currently, very few VA approved condominium buildings exist in the downtown core of Seattle.  Newer condo projects in the Downtown, Belltown, Midtown and South Lake Union area especially, lack this VA approval.  So it can be challenging for those wanting to use the VA loan program to find options in our already low inventory market.

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FHA Changes Mean Help for Condo Buyers, Sellers and HOAs

2200_westlake_001The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) recently changed several of its outdated and controversial guidelines, which might help those looking to buy or sell a condo.  Rule changes are “temporary” but include things such as increases to the allowance on percentage of commercial space within a condo project, increased flexibility on percentage of delinquent HOA dues, less liability for HOA Board Members who sign off on the FHA application, as well as allowances for increases in the number of units that can be rented at one time or owned by one person in a building. All of these changes have the ability to help condo buildings, condo owners, and of course buyers who are using FHA loans.

A recent article in the Seattle Times summarized some of the key relaxed guidelines the FHA recently announced.   I wanted to share this article with you and go into more detail about how it affects us here in Seattle. If you are a buyer, seller, or HOA board member, and FHA has been a topic of recent discussions, you might want to revisit it. As of September 13th you now have more options so I’d take another look to see if your condo building or one you thought about buying in might now be in a position to get FHA approval.

Continue reading "FHA Changes Mean Help for Condo Buyers, Sellers and HOAs" »