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August 2011

Seattle Condo Appraisers Sound Off

Appraisal pic 2The last three years have been an interesting ride for most Seattle condo watchers.  When the market started slowing down in the fall of 2008, a lot of people believed (in retrospect, hoped) that the slow down in prices was just a small correction.  However, when prices continued to slide over the next few years, condo owners were and still are faced with a tough decision of either holding on, renting the unit out, selling it at a loss, or short selling.

With a higher proportion of shorts sales and bank owned properties on the market versus four years ago, we are seeing a split value in comparable data from the distressed and non-distressed properties.  Pricing your condo correctly today has become more critical than ever.  This important job lies mainly with your Realtor (assuming you're not doing it DIY).  If you have a buyer for your home, will it pass the buyer's bank appraisal?  How are appraisers valuing properties in this market and what has changed?

I interviewed two appraisers who shared their perspectives. This may be worth taking into account as you select what pricing strategy to use for your condo.

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Appraisers Sound Off" »

Million Dollar Condos in Seattle Reach 2007 Prices

I was curious how much of a hit the >$1M condo market in Belltown and Downtown (98121 & 98101) have taken since the peak in 2008.  Below are some charts and some observations.

  • The average price per square foot on >$1M condos has fallen below 2007 levels (10% below 2010).  
  • The average price sold so far this year is still above 2007 levels (buyers are getting a lot more for their >$1M money).
  • Total sales of >$1M condos in 2011 will likely be lower than 2007 and less than half the 2009 peak.
  • The most expensive condo sold was in 2008 at Four Seasons (#1703) and it sold for $11,386,525.

                      Avg.Price Per Square Foot Sold (Greater than $1M)

Continue reading "Million Dollar Condos in Seattle Reach 2007 Prices" »

Seattle Apartment Buildings Continue Circle of Life

As the demolition work at the McGuire Apartment is pressing on layer by layer, a couple of new buildings are emerging in Belltown and the circle of life continues.  Note these are not condos but rather apartments (my blog must go on).

New Apartments

One of them is located right across the street south of Mosler Lofts called Altos (2612 3rd Ave). Not so good news for Mosler owners who live on the south side of the building as most of their views will be blocked by this taller building. Altos is a 17-story, 184 unit building with an estimated completion date of Spring 2012. It looks like a nice building; perhaps, it would be a nice condo conversion towards the end of the decade?

Another apartment project will be built on 6th Ave between Lenora and Blanchard. Construction is already underway for this 654 unit luxury apartment complex which is comprised of two 24-story towers with retail space. This project is expected to complete in 2013. Read more on Sixth and Lenora Apartments.

According to Dupre and Scott Aparment Advisors' forecast model last year, rents will climb 2.3% in 2011. They expect rents to rise to 4.6% in 2012 and 5.1% in 2013. If all of this come true, it will be nice timing for Altos and Sixth and Lenora Apartments to enter the market.

I looked into some condo rentals on the MLS and landlords have a much better time renting out their condos these days than three years ago. The average days on market for condos in Belltown and downtown is 55 days as oppose to 91 days three years ago this same period.  Hope everyone's enjoying 2011, it's the year of the rental units :-)

Related posts:

2010 Seattle Condo Market in Review
McGuire Building to be demolished
For the Data Junkies: Dupre and Scott Apartment Investor Report
Conversion and Rental Market Report
Seattle Rental Market


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

Seattle Condo Market Muddles Forward for July of 2011

July numbers are in for the Seattle condo market and they're much like the national economy: nothing to get excited about.  

Some highlights:

  • After three months of increases in sales, July sales came in below March levels but above Feb and took an almost 30% drop versus June.
  • Those sales numbers were slightly better year-over-year with July sales about 6% below July of the previous year.  This was actually better than June 2011 which was 15% below June of the previous year.
  • Median prices month-to-month were up from $246k in June to $255k in July.  Total condo listings meanwhile stayed steady and dropped less than 4% versus June.

Overall, this data looked a bit like the national economy.  Some positive signs but pretty marginal.

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Market Muddles Forward for July of 2011" »

Almost Half of Queen Anne Condos Sold were Bank Owned or Short Sale

Back in April, I put together some charts on bank owned and short sale properties in Seattle looking at how long it takes to close on these types of properties.

This time we are going to look at which neighborhoods have the most bank owned and short sale inventory and sales. Active listing data is from the first day of August 2011.  Sold data is based on the last 6 months (2/11-7/11). Co-op's are removed from all these areas. So, we will be looking at purely condos.

Some highlights:

  • While Belltown may have the image of the epicenter of the condo bubble, almost half of all Queen Anne condo sales were either bank owned or short sales compared to 1/4 for Capitol Hill and 1/5 for Belltown/Downtown.
  • Of today's active listings, Capitol Hill takes the prize with 23% of short sales compared to 20% and 11% for Queen Anne and Belltown/Downtown, respectively. 
  • For those of you sensitive to what you can get for your money, the average price per square foot sold for short sale condos in Queen Anne and Capitol Hill is $258.11 and $304.31, respectively. As for Belltown/Downtown, they are going for $368.88/square foot.
  • Queen Anne has the highest number of bank owned condos sold (in fairness, 1/3 of them are from 200 W Highland project). 

  Sold Queen Anne Condo Listings








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