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February 2010

Escala's New Pricing

Escala new pricing 
The long anticipated Escala price drop has finally happened.  Rennie Marketing released the new pricing and it looks pretty significant.

1 Bedroom , 1.5 Bathroom, 952 sq.ft. homes starting at $384,000
2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, 1,607 sq.ft. homes starting at $699,000
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom, 2,442 sq.ft. homes starting at 1,574,000

In additional to the price drop, there will be a couple of changes for Club Cielo as well.  First of all, the Club will go back to an exclusive amenity for residents only.  In place of a fully staffed Bar, Restaurants and Spa, they are moving to a User- Pay System (fees will be billed directly to residents).  This arrangement seems to make more sense than the $250/monthly spending imposed previously.  This decision according to Rennie Marketing will greatly reduce the homeowner dues.

Escala's sale office will be opened to the public on March 27th at 1920 4th Ave.

Related posts:

Escala Scaling Prices Soon
Escala Update Dec 2009
Escala Hard Hat Tour 
Escala Update
Escala Update February 2007
Escala priority presale event
Escala: Cristalla's biggest competition?  


5th and Madison Auction Update

5th and Madison Auction 
Kennedy Wilson just released the starting bids for 18 homes in 5th and Madison set for auction on Sunday, March 27th.

Floor Plan--------------------------------------------- --

1 Bedroom/ 1 Bathroom, 808 sq.ft
Starting bid $195,000

1 Bedroom + Den/ 1.5 Bathroom, 978 sq.ft.
Starting bid $275,000

2 Bedroom/ 2 Bathroom, 1,957 sq.ft.
 Starting bid-$994,000

FHA financing will also be available.  More info here.

Related posts:
Downtown Seattle Condos Update
Seattle Condo Auction Roundup


Downtown Seattle Condos Update

Four Seasons Seattle 
Four Seasons Hotel/Condo has reduced their prices on 13 of their remaining homes.  I just received the latest price sheet.  The price reduction ranges from 8%-47% with average price per square foot ranging from $1,097-$1,960.


5th and Madison is auctioning off 18 of their remaining homes on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Kennedy Wilson Auction, Inc will be conducting the auction.  Kennedy Wilson successfully auctioned two other projects in Seattle: the Press and Queen Anne High School.  Matt @ urbnlivn has more details.

Related posts:

Four Seasons Hotel/Condo New Prices



Seattle Condo Market Starts 2010 with a 25% increase in Pending Sales

  • January 2010 was a solid month for the Seattle Condo market.  Median prices were were up 21% versus December 2009 (albeit down slightly, 6.3%, versus the same time of year in 2009).    
  • Pending sales were up 25% versus the same time previous year as well as up over 25% versus the previous month. Supply was flat year-over-year but up 20% versus December 2009.
  • Belltown/Downtown saw the most improved activity with a whopping 150% jump in pending sales year-over-year and almost double what we saw the previous month.  For those wondering, it doesn't look like another pricing bubble since, Belltown/ Downtown median prices were down 35% year-over-year.
  • Queen Anne/Magnolia also saw some strong condo market performance with double the closed sales versus the previous year, 20% higher median prices year over year, and 18% more pending sales year over year. 

Related post:

Seattle Condo Neighborhoods


Belltown Boulevard and South Lake Union

I came across two interesting developments covered by the Seattle Times:

1. With all these construction projects over the last few years, ever wonder if Belltown will get greener?  I remember years ago when there were high hopes for the Growing Vine Street project which, while not exactly Central Park or Marlborough Street, certainly makes a slice of Belltown a bit more walkable and livable.  Now there's talk of making Bell street a bit less sketchy.  Read more about the Belltown Boulevard project.

2. Vulcan wants South Lake Union to go higher.  Interesting story about different points of view on the tension between economic and other benefits of greater urban density and some new Vulcan residents worried they'll feel walled in.  Vulcan wants to go up to 30 stories.  More details here.



Condo Purchase Timing

Interesting read in the NYT last week.  Below is one excerpt but the whole article is worth a good read:

Buyers who sign before construction is completed have always taken a risk that the building won’t look quite the way they imagined it. But these days, the biggest hazard of the preoccupancy purchase is that the building will lose its construction financing and then languish unfinished, wrapped in tarps — and wallpapered with your down payment — for an indefinite period of time.

If you are determined to buy in an unfinished building, research the construction lender. Many commercial banks are still on shaky footing. See if there has been any coverage in the media about the bank’s solvency. You can also try looking it up on the Web site of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; go to the Enforcement Decisions and Orders page, look up your state, and see if any actions have been taken against that bank.

Full article here.


Ballard Condos Update

The Danielle 
Danielle, the newest project in Ballard is slated for completion in 3-4 months.  31 homes will be offered in this boutique style condo.  Unlike the larger condos like Canal Station and Hjarta, amenities will be minimal, a 2,000 square foot rooftop deck.  Emphasis will be on the unit features which will include hardwood floors, gas cooking, and smart home wiring.  Some homes come with either large terraces, patios or decks.

24 1Br/1 Ba        590-760 sq.ft.          $269,000-$329,000

3  1 Br/1.5 Ba    1,080 sq.ft.              High $300,000's

7  2 Br/2 Ba       1,250-1,300 sq.ft.    Start at mid $400,000's

Golf Savings bank is financing this project and is the preferred lender as well.  

Continue reading "Ballard Condos Update" »

Escala Scaling Prices Soon

Escala 022010 
The developer for Escala has brought a new sherrif in the front office, Rennie Marketing System from Vancouver will manage the sales of project.  Team Builder JLS will be the listing agent working along side them.  So what is going to happen over the next few weeks?

1.) Current home buyers will be contacted and offered reduced prices.

2.) The developer is planning to scale back services at Club Cielo so that high homeowners' dues can be cut. 

3.) The sales center will probably be reopened sometime in March once everything is sorted out.

I'm most curious to know how much of a price reduction they're going to make on the remaining homes.  Read more here (Scroll down to middle of the page).

Related posts:

Escala Update Dec 2009
Escala Hard Hat Tour 
Escala Update
Escala Update February 2007
Escala priority presale event
Escala: Cristalla's biggest competition?