2019 Economic & Housing Forecast

Matthew Gardner 2019 Forecast (2)_Page_1Windermere Real Estate's Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has released his 2019 Economic and Housing Forecast. Although it is not specific to condos, we think the information is valuable for anyone who owns real estate, or is thinking about buying and/or selling real estate in 2019. Here are the highlights.

THE US ECONOMY

  • He expects the US Economy to have one more year of relatively solid growth before we likely enter a recession in 2020
  • Any cyclical downturn will not be driven by housing
  • This cyclical downturn in 2020 (not 2019) will likely be caused by either the ongoing trade war, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, or excessive corporate debt levels

THE US HOUSING MARKET

  • Existing Home Sales - In 2019, he anticipates that the number of home sales will rebound modestly and rise by 1.9%
  • Existing Home Prices - In 2019, he expects prices to continue rising, but at a slower rate as we move toward  a more balanced housing market and he forecasts the median home price to increase by 4.4%
  • New Home Sales - In 2019 he expects that sales of new homes will increase by 6.9%, the highest level since 2007, but this is still well below the long-term average and will likely be higher-priced homes being built which does little to meet the substantial demand by first-time buyers
  • Mortgage Rates - In 2019, he expects interest rates to continue to trend higher but we may see periods of leveling and will likely end the year with the 30-year fixed rate at around 5.7% and jumbo rates will remain competitive

CONCLUSION

  • He does not see this as a housing market bubble, just because a market might be overvalued does not mean a bubble is in place
  • The big story for 2019 will be the resurgence of first-time buyers - he believes those buyers will purchase more homes in 2019 than any other buyer demographic

Click this link to read the entire report: Matthew Gardner 2019 Economic & Housing Forecast.


Only Six Units Left at Hendon Condominiums in Phinney Ridge

Hendon Condominiums in Phinney Ridge is down to 6 units.

To hopefully sell out the remaining units, they are having a 72 hour sale from this Friday 1/11 through Sunday 1/13 with discounted prices on 5 of the 6 units still remaining. The one unit not included in the sale is #407, a 1 bedroom 1.5 bath 836sf top floor unit with a private roof top deck and parking.

Here are the 5 units Included in the 72-hour Sale:
Hendon 72 Hour Sale_Page_1

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


403 13th Condominiums in Capitol Hill Ready for Move-in March 2019

403 13th, a new construction condominium building in Capitol Hill on the corner of 13th Ave E and E Harrison St, has released their floorplans and will be ready for move in in March of 2019.

403 ThirteenthDetails:

  • Boutique building with only six condominium units
  • 4 stories tall - 2 units on floors 1 and 2, 1 unit on floors 3 and 4
  • Ground floor is the parking
  • Starting from low $500k's
  • Studio, 1 and 2 bedroom homes available
  • Central Capitol Hill location

Units:

  • Unit 1A- 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 394 square feet, deck
  • Unit 1B- 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 512 square feet
  • Unit 2A- 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 555 square feet, deck
  • Unit 2B- 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 518 square feet
  • Unit 3- 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,199 square feet, deck
  • Unit 4- 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,197 square feet, rooftop deck

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


Floorplans Released for The Emerald Condominiums in Seattle

EmeraldThe Emerald Condominiums in Downtown Seattle, located at 121 Stewart St, has released floorplans and views. They plan to begin sales in early 2019.

Basic Details:

  • 40 story tower
  • Studios on floors 4-16: range from 569-675 square feet
  • 1 bedrooms on floors 4-16: range from 579-791 square feet
  • 1 bedrooms (some with dens) on floors 17-33: range from 771-957 square feet
  • 2 bedroom with one bath on floors 4-16: range from 897-1,128 square feet
  • 2 bedroom 2 bathroom (some with dens) on floors 17-33: range from 1,041-1,189 square feet
  • Penthouse levels are from floor 34-38 and those floorplans were not released
  • One block from Pike Place Market
  • Many units have panoramic vies of Elliott Bay, mountains and/or the city

Amenities:

  • Full-floor rooftop amenity space with indoor/outdoor lounge
  • Media room with catering kitchen
  • Outdoor firepits, dining tables and grills
  • Guest suite
  • Fitness center with open-air terrace
  • Yoga studio
  • Lobby entrance
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Outdoor pet run and spa
  • On-demand luxury electronic vehicle carshare

Finishes:

  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Operable triple pane windows
  • Wide-plank European white oak hardwood flooring
  • Wood cabinetry in kitchen and bath(s)
  • Quartz countertops and backsplash in kitchen and bath(s)
  • Bosch stainless appliances - dishwasher and refrigerator with panelized door, gas cooktop
  • Kohler kitchen faucet
  • Chrome bath and shower fixtures
  • TOTO toilet with soft close seat
  • In-unit washer and dryers

Observations:

  • Most units do not have individual outdoor spaces - 2 stacks of units have decks on floors 4-13, only 1 stack of units have  a deck on floors 14-16 and there are no decks above floor 16
  • All of the kitchens are in-line style kitchens (no islands)
  • Most units have walk-in closets
  • No units have powder rooms so you either have one bath or two baths

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


Design for Chromer Building Condominium Tower Released

ChromerThe new condominium tower, that we mentioned in a blog post in August, that will be constructed in Downtown Seattle where the Chromer building now stands at 1516 2nd Avenue has released its preliminary design.

Architect Julia Nagele of Hewitt Seattle is designing the building and has described her sketch of the building design as "a mom holding the hand of a child". There will be a 484 foot tall building, or the "mama" tower and a "baby" tower that will be a third as tall. Having two towers will allow for light and air to stream through the towers and create a transition between the shorter buildings on the block and the skyscraper.

This project will contain 540 condo units (previously stated as 498 units) ranging in size and price to appeal to the most amount of potential buyers.  There will only be 310 parking spaces.

Construction is set to begin in a year and a half.

Rendering by Hewitt

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


Jade Condominiums is Coming Soon to Kirkland

JadeJade Condominiums is coming soon to Kirkland. This 5-story 135-unit project located at 11903 NE 128th St, near Totem Lake Mall, is set to break ground in early 2019. Terrene Homes out of Bellevue is the Developer and Jade will be its first condo development.

Along with the addition of Jade Condominiums, Totem Lake Mall is also being redeveloped into the Village of Totem Lake, which will include retail and apartments. This building will be the first condo building to break ground in the Kirkland and Juanita area in five years.

Condominium homes will range in size from 500-1100 square feet and prices will start in the low $400,000s and go up to more than $1M. Also, it is being reported that 13 of the condo homes will be reserved for people whose income is 85% of the area median income, which is $72,380.

Finishes and features of the condo units will include 9-foot ceilings, walls of windows, quartz counters and stainless appliances. There will also be a rooftop deck amenity.

Jade Condominiums is set for completion in late 2020.

Rendering from Johnson Braund Architects


Unique Condo Offering Coming Soon to Downtown Seattle - First Light by Westbank

KK091_0017778_VIEW_04It’s not often I truly get excited about a condominium project that is coming down the pipeline, but after a recent trip to Vancouver to personally meet the developer, Ian Gilespi of Wesbank, and hear his story, learn his philosophies on development, and discover the visions he has for our condominium market here in Seattle and how Westbank would like to fit into that, this feels different and very unique to me. I also had the opportunity on to tour current and past projects of Westbank’s in Vancouver, such as Vancouver House, Shanghai-La Hotel and Residence, and community changing Woodword's.  I am looking very much forward to First Light based on what I saw and experienced.

Why? Well, I am really looking forward to something innovative, fresh, with high design that will truly raise the bar here in Seattle. Living in our condo in South Lake Union now and in our Belltown condo in the past, I feel our developers have been building a lot of the same type of thing over the years, and I’m excited for a condo developer that hopes to have an impact not only on our local condo market, but also positively impact the way we live in our condos, have an impact on the community, and inspire others. I think First Light will be just that condominium community.

As the developer rolls out new information and announces the sales process to the public in the coming weeks, I want to start to get the word out to our clients, both past and present, so that you can decide if this might be a condominium community you could possibly see yourself being a part of.  So read on, and let’s set up time to connect so we can get you in a position to set up a private session.

What Makes Westbank Different?

In this first post about First Light, I’m going to skip talking specifically about the building itself, the unit sizes, the potential price points, layouts, etc. and will instead highlight some of the things about Westbank and this condominium project that I feel are unique, iconic and worth considering for my clients, and who knows, maybe even possibly for Loren and I.  I will focus on each of these in more detail in upcoming blog posts.

  • Bettering the Community They Develop Within

Each and every project incorporates a way to truly improve or help make the local community better.  And I’m not just talking about giving money to affordable housing, which all developers are basically required to do, but going further and actually investing money and resources in the very neighborhood they are developing within. Westbank recently announced they will be working with Food Life Line as their chosen charity and will contribute money from each and every sale at First Light. In addition, at the event I attended this past week, they announced a large $10,000 donation to Food Life Line, to get things started. Chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau, who both sit or have sat on the board at Food Life Line and attended the event, said this would contribute to 40,000 meals here in Seattle.  

  • Art/Culture, Music, and High Design are Requirements of Westbank’s Projects

For Westbank, the condo project has to be more than just a building with condo units and some building amenities, and ground floor retail. I appreciate how they intentionally work to ensure that art, culture and high design that inspires are required elements of their projects. I encourage you to do your own research and look at the works of the Architect, James Cheng, and local glass artist John Hogan, who will be creating several elements that will be a part of First Light. 

  • Development that is Diverse and Commitment to Specific Markets Long Term

This is one thing I’m really focused on when I make recommendations to my buyers and when I consider buying for myself.  Is the developer committed to the local market, or they building a “one and done” building. Westbank maintains long term ownership and involvement of their buildings. While most developers build and sell off the retails spaces, Ian likes to maintain ownership and have Westbank manage the retail and office spaces in their buildings. First Light is not the only building they are constructing, in fact Westbank has already broken ground on another multi-family development in Seattle, 1200 Stewart, and the Frye Building on First Hill is soon to come as well. Both are likely to be rental apartments and each incredibly unique and inspiring on their own. And there is more to come, as Ian made mention that he is looking to be developing in Seattle for at least the next decade and beyond. Westbank has chosen Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, and Seattle for markets that they are committed to and will focus on.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on information I have about First Light and more information will be announced in the coming weeks by Westbank and their sales team, and I look forward to sharing more about the specifics of the building, and having just received the floor plans, I’m excited to share my favorites with you!

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


Update on Spire Condominiums in Belltown

Spire3Here is an update on the details, amenities and units with price ranges for Spire Condominiums in Belltown.

Details:

  • Located at 600 Wall St in Belltown
  • 352 residences
  • 41 stories
  • Concrete and steel construction
  • Fully automated parking systems
  • Floor plans maximize efficiency
  • Walls of windows
  • Many homes include outdoor balconies or covered terraces
  • Ceiling heights of 9 to 10-feet
  • Solid-core interior doors
  • Smart thermostats
  • Engineered hardwood oak flooring
  • Kitchens with gas cooking, Pental™quartz countertops, Pedini™ cabinets with under cabinet lighting, Bosch or Sub Zero/Wolf ™ appliances and Kohler™ plumbing fixtures
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting throughout
  • Customization: two color schemes
  • Upgrades available: closet systems, automated or manual window shades, smart home lighting, security and integrated home theater systems
  • Occupancy 2020

Amenities:

  • Floor 1: Two-story lobby lounge with concierge and bike storage
  • Floor 3: co-working lounge,  yoga and spin studio, conference room, theater, terrace, gaming room
  • Penthouse SPIRE Club (floors 40 & 41): exhibition kitchen, private dining room, BBQ terrace, Billiards room, lounge, view terrace, dog run, gym
     

Homes:

  •  One bedrooms (531 - 823 sf): $466,000 - $1,210,000+
  • One bedroom + dens: (1,000 - 1,011 sf): $892,000 - $1,435,000
  • Two bedrooms (929 - 1,183 sf): $840,000 - $1,999,000
  • Three bedrooms (1,825 sf): $1,658,000 - $3,588,000
  • Penthouses and unit combinations also available

Sales:

  • Pre-sales have begun with 5% earnest money


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

 


Gridiron's Income Restricted Condo Prices Released

Gridiron Condominiums by Century Link Stadium in SeattleGridiron Condominiums, the project constructed next to Century Link stadium in Pioneer Square, is rare in that it is offering 12 income restricted condo units for sale. Through a special arrangement with King County, these 12 homes will be available at a restricted price for modest-income households.

Details:

  • 12 income restricted units (1 is sold)
  • Prices range from $350,890 to $400,882
  • Studios and one bedrooms throughout the building
  • Sized from low 400 square feet to mid 500 square feet, with one over 600 square feet
  • Available to households earning less than 115% of area median income - individuals whose income doesn't exceed $86,000 and families making less than $98,440 qualify

This is a great opportunity to purchase a new construction condominium home in Seattle if we meet the qualifications.

For those who do not meet the income restriction requirements, Daniels Real Estate (the Developer) and HomeStreet Bank (the preferred lender) are also offering a special financing offer on the 36 market-rate condo units that have not yet sold. The program allows for a 3.5 percent down payment option and mortgages starting at 2.5 percent, second year mortgages at 3.5 percent and then third year through remaining term at just 4.5 percent interest rates. In order to qualify for this special rate, a buyer has to live at Gridiron and they have to be in a contract to purchase by November 30th and closed by the end of the year.

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

 


Avenue Bellevue Mixed-Use Condo & Hotel Project Redesigned

Avenue Bellevue Mixed-Use Condo and Hotel Project in SeattleAt 10300 NE 8th St in Bellevue just north of Bellevue Square Mall, a two-tower condominium and hotel project will be built and will be called Avenue Bellevue.

The project will contain 251 luxury hotel rooms, a retail podium and 330 condominium residences. One tower will contain a mix of hotel rooms and residences and the second tower will have all condominiums.

Rendering by Weber Thompson

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