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April 2010

5th & Madison and Trace Lofts Update

The 5th and Madison Auction happened on March 28th.  Sixteen condos were auctioned off with prices ranging from $357-$579 per square foot. Matt has more information.  It looks like some of them did not make it to the closing table.  Kennedy Wilson just sent this flyer that they have a few condos remaining that will be available at the auction price.  Also, two homes that were auctioned off previously, #1102 and #1805 are now back on the table.  Both are one bedroom homes.  It's unclear from the flyer if there are more available. 

I also recently got this info from the folks at Trace:

Prices have also been reduced on most homes at Trace North and Trace Lofts.  At Trace North, price reductions range from $10,000 to $75,000 on studio, open one bedroom and one bedroom homes, with prices now starting at $229,950.  At historic Trace Lofts, four homes remain including open one bedroom, one bedroom, and two bedroom plans with reductions from $30,000 to $150,000, with prices now starting at $369,950.  Most remaining home feature outstanding views of the downtown Seattle Skyline, Olympic Mountains and Space Needle from floor-to-ceiling windows. .


Trace is located at the heart of the Pike/Pine Triangle neighborhood on Capitol Hill, and scores a near-perfect 98 on Earlier this week it was announced that downstairs neighbors Tavern Law and Barrio will be joined this summer by The Local Vine, a wine bar and restaurant.


Trace is 70% sold and ready for move-in and approved for 3.5% down FHA financing. There’s just two weekends left to shop for a home and qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for First-Time Buyers, up to $8000 for qualified buyers who enter into contract by April 30, 2010


Danielle Update

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Danielle had their open house this past weekend.  The condo is still a construction site but I took a quick hard hat tour to see their one bedroom and two bedroom homes.  The building is slated for completion in June and the project is seeking FHA approval.  Close to 30% are under contract.  

Examples of floor plan pricing:

Continue reading "Danielle Update" »

McGuire Building to be Demolished

We've all heard of construction defects in condos.  This usually comes with major hassles as homeowners go through repairs of leaks, windows, and other common issues with new construction.  It's almost a rite of passage for a condo to be completely wrapped in plastic a few years after its launched.  Apparently, condo owners are not only group at risk of these type of inconveniences.  

The McGuire in Belltown, a nine year old apartment building is heading for demolition - yes, demolition - by end of the year and and is asking their existing tenants to vacate their units.  This seems like a good idea if they're really going to demolish the place.  Most have heard of condo sidings failing but an apartment building that needs to be teared down is quite a story.  I wonder if they're going to try building another condo in place of it.  Read more here

" KOMO News has learned that the issue involves cables, concrete and corrosion that have become so costly to repair that it would be cheaper for the owner to tear down the building that to fix it."


Seattle Condo Recovery Continues

March 2010 numbers are in and they're looking quite tasty.  Let's compare March 2010 to March 2009.  

  • Listings were up 6% showing sellers are coming back but not flooding the market.  
  • Buyers on the other hand were snapping properties up.  Closed sales were up 50% and pending sales were 86.71% higher than last year.
  • Median prices were up a tick, 5.8%, but seem to be fairly stable and the same as February 2010.

No two ways about it, a very solid March for Seattle condo sales.  One neighborhood standout was the Belltown/Downtown area.  Belltown /Downtown seattle condos saw triple the pending sales and double the closed sales versus 2009.  


HAFA to Ease Short Sale Process


Sellers hoping to sell their homes through short sale (where the mortgage lender agrees to accept less than the value of the mortgage) may have an easier time working with their lender with the new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program.  The Obama administration introduced this program last week.

"Short sales are often riddled with delays and red tape," Vicki Cox Golder, president of the National Association of Realtors, said in a recent prepared statement.

The goal of HAFA is to streamline the short-sale procedure, clarify guidelines and set deadlines for completing deals. It also creates a process for the homeowner to get preapproved short-sale terms even before listing the property. Knowing what terms would be acceptable to the lender would speed up the entire sales process.

If they could accomplish that, it would take a lot of guesswork out of buying a short sale home for a buyer as well.  Many realtors and buyers currently avoid short sale properties due to the uncertainty and complexity of these transactions.  Hopefully, this program will make the process a lot more palatable to buyers and sellers.

Read full article here.