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May 2009

Seattle Condo market: Bottom, anyone?

Couldn't help but notice a nice shape starting to form in Altos Research's median price chart.

Median prices  


Hard to say if this is a blip or if it's the end of dropping prices.  If it is, so much for the wisdom of the crowds (at least the SCR poll respondendents) since half of the readers out there were predicting bottom would be in 2010 or later.  I too was a bit more pessimistic than the chart above and had predicted bottom this fall but glad to be proven wrong if this trends holds up ;-)


Some fun quotes from the original post.


Da' bears:


I think the end of fall is quite optimistic. Seattle has not felt the effects of layoffs from WaMu, Boeing, Weyerhauser, and Microsoft to name a few. Seattle tends to lag in the real estate market compared to other markets in the U.S., so only time will tell. If I had to predict the bottom for Seattle, I'd say 2010 Q4.
Posted by: John | Apr 13, 2009 9:56:48 AM

I predict the bottom will be end of 2012. Seattle's problems with traffic, dying companies like Microsoft and WAMU, and unsupportive state government will cause prices to come down an additional 50-70% before hitting bottom for Seattle at the end of 2012 and even after that, there will be no improvement, just lack of losses. My advice is to buy precious metals and short the US equity markets.

Posted by: Albert | Apr 13, 2009 1:44:57 PM


Da' bulls:



Seriously? C'mon dude, get a grip. It's a recession, it's not Armageddon. Have fun in your bunker with your canned food.
Posted by: Harry | Apr 13, 2009 8:58:00 PM


My intuition says bottom at end of the Fall and slow, gradual, not too exciting "normal" growth over the next few years. 

Posted by: Wendy Leung 




Lumen Auction

Lumen auction 

Lumen announced today that they are auctioning off 19 of their remaining homes on Saturday, July 11th at 1.00pm at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  A pre-auction seminar will be held for interested buyers on Wednesday, July 1st at 7.00pm.  Home buyers can learn more about the auction process during the seminar and participate in a mock auction as well.

Floor Plan                              Minimum Bid                  Square feet

One Bedroom                     $155,000-$175,000               629-829

One Bedroom + Loft                    $260,000                     1,003-1,034

Two Bedroom                     $275,000-$325,000             1,075-,1286

Large One Bedroom + Loft          $395,000                        1,631

Large Two Bedroom + Den          $795,000                        2,082


Related Posts:

Queen Anne High School Auction

Press Auction: Going once, Going twice, Gone!

Seventeen07 Auction


Madison Lofts cuts Prices

Madison Lofts sent out this email recently.   


Prices reduced up to $50,000.
Example of new pricing:
Home 204 - Was $699,950 - Now $649,950
Home 306 - Was $569,950 - Now $539,950
Home 310 - Was $499,950 - Now $479,950 
Madison Lofts is 55% sold and approved for FHA financing. With FHA financing, buyers' down payments can be as low as 3.5% for qualified buyers.

Seaboard Condo #1002

There was an interesting open house held yesterday at the Seaboard building #1002.  The home is currently owned by longtime developer, William Justen.  If you are wondering how the home of a reputable developer looks, check this out.

(Photos from NWMLS, archived at Seattle Condo Review Gallery)

The condo has a feel of new mixed with old feel plus some techy features.  Some of the highlights of the home are the exposed brick walls, original curved windows, coffered ceilings, fireplace, reclaimed wood floors, built-in shelves, heated bathroom floors, modern art lights, a concealed closet (probably can be used as a panic room as well : ), and plenty of walls for artwork.  It only has one bedroom and a second bedroom can be created near the media space which has a hidden murphy bed.  This home is approx. 2,535 square feet and asking for $2.29M.

Continue reading "Seaboard Condo #1002" »

Alex Condo Update

Alex condos

I received this update from the Alex condo marketer. It looks like Alex will be completing in the summer though the developer is hoping the market picks up some more before they officially start selling.

Furthermore, it also looks like they're going to try and avoid over-pricing and dropping prices after a few months by pricing more "reasonably" and consistent with market conditions.  

Lastly, if/when the developer does decide to start selling the homes, they plan to have 3 model homes available to show it to the public.

(Alex has been renamed as Volta in 2010)

Related posts:

Condo Update
Alex Condos Update

$8,000 Tax Credit can be used as down payment

FHA update picture The Secretary of Department of Housing and Development, Shaun Donovan said yesterday that FHA would permit lenders to allow first time borrowers to use the $8,000 tax credit recently put into law as all or part of a down payment on a home.  Read more here.  Details of the plan will be published soon.

Washington State Foreclosure Stats

Stumbled upon this neat map on CNN.  Here's a link to the original article.


Seattle condo foreclosure


As you can see, Washington state looks like it's fairing much better than the rest of the country (Florida and Nevada look particularly troubled).  


The open question is whether Washington is better off due to fundamentals and relatively less frothy prices a few years ago or as many have suggested, is Washington simply lagging the rest of the country and will have its comeuppance like the rest of the country in a year or two?

April 2009 Seattle Condo Market Stats: Pending Sales Up 50%


Remember when we reviewed the Feb numbers in early March and there was pretty much zero good news.  I have to admit, even the optimistic side of me was pretty unsettled that month.

Well, compared to Feb, April was a fantastic month ;-)  Year-over-year prices and closings were down but pending sales were up year over year and way up versus the previous month!  It's hard not to get excited about these glimmers of hope but we'll have to see if next month shows similar trends.  If it does, I think it might be a big step towards a non-falling and hopefully normal market.

Pending sales chart

Continue reading "April 2009 Seattle Condo Market Stats: Pending Sales Up 50%" »

Gallery Gets Creative with Condo Purchase Incentives

Here's the low down on Gallery's latest buyer incentives:


You pick one item from Column A:


(1) 3-2-1 Rate buy down (rates starting as low as 1.875%)


(2) 3% credit for closing costs


(3) No homeowner dues until Jan 2011

You pick two additional items from Column B:


(1) $500 gift card to Crate and Barrel, Target or Best Buy


(2) 2 hours design time with an interior designer


(3) Portable Air conditioner installation


(4) $500 credit to California Closets or Bartlett Blinds


(5) 3 Hours with a professional organizer

It kind of feels like you're ordering an entree and appetizer from a restaurant prixe fixe offering.  I think many buyers would prefer a price reduction or cash but there is some value in these options (especially category A 1 and 3 which helps buyer cash flow post-transaction).