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November 2011

Seattle Rated #1 in USA for Tech Jobs

Forbes recently rated Seattle #1 in the country for our tech jobs.  Hopefully these techies will buy some condos ;-)  

During tough economic times, technology is often seen as the one bright spot. In the U.S. this past year technology jobs outpaced the overall rate of new employment nearly four times. But if you’re looking for a tech job, you may want to consider searching outside of Silicon Valley. Though the Valley may still be the big enchilada in terms of venture capital and innovation, it hasn’t consistently generated new tech employment.

Take, for example, Seattle. Out of the 51 largest metro areas in the U.S., the Valley’s longtime tech rival has emerged as our No. 1 region for high-tech growth, based on long- and short-term job numbers. Built on a base of such tech powerhouses as Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing, Seattle has enjoyed the steadiest and most sustained tech growth over the past decade.

Here's the full article from Forbes.

Congrats to all our Seattle geeks and to the local economy.  Nice to see some good news from time to time!


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

Olive 8 Closed 148th sale and Reducing HOA Dues By 15%

Olive 8 updated pic.

Olive 8 is 65% sold as of this press release. Since readjusting their prices over the new year, they are averaging 4.5 sales/month bring it to a total of 148 sales. The developer has also announced that the HOA dues will drop by 15% (from $0.54 per foot per month to $0.47 per foot per month). According to the developer, the reason for that is due to the building's operational efficiencies shared by the hotel and from lower utility consumption within the LEED Silver Certified building.

It's rather unusual for such a new building to have the HOA dues reduced within the first few years of completion. Generally, for new condos, the dues typically stay around the same or go up (within the first couple of years) by a few percent, sometime as high as 10% to reach a realistic budget. I guess this a good news for homeowners and buyers. I'm curious to see how that will hold up for the next two years.


Related posts:

Olive 8's Video and New Reset Pricing
Olive 8's New Pricing 
Olive 8 Auction Results
Olive 8 & 5th and Madison Update
Olive 8 going Auction


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

Developer for Queen Anne High School Conversion ordered to pay $9.4 million

Queen Anne High School

Puget Sound Business Journal
and Seattle Times PI recently reported about the lawsuit brought on by Queen Anne High School homeowners against the project's developer. The judge has ordered the developer to pay QAHS's HOA $9.4 million in liability and legal fees. 

"The lawsuit alleged leaks and cracks in the building, including such defects as exposed, unprotected drywall and wood framing, substandard windows and drains, missing and ineffective flashing, insufficient weatherproofing and unprotected joints. Reported damage includes water-stained drywall, covered-up rotted deck sheeting, water-damaged plywood, mortar turned to sand and powder, and cracked and flaking bricks and terra cotta."
(Source: Seattle PI)

If you recalled, the project was converted in the summer of 2006 and completed sometime in 2007 and had a successful close out auction in 2009. Matt over at Urbnlivn has the time line on the suit. It's quite amazing within a few years, the owners discovered the problems, sued the developer and won the lawsuit with such a substantial judgement. What a speedy process! I wonder which firm they hired. It must be a relief for the homeowners. Now, the hard part is probably going through all the repair work. Being through one myself for 1 1/2 years while living in a condo, I sympathize with what the owners will have to go through. On the bright side, when it's completed, it's just going to make Queen Anne High School that much more desirable as a livable historic condo. 

Related posts:

Queen Anne Condo Auction-by the numbers
Updates on Queen Anne High School
Queen Anne High School Updates
Queen Anne High School Begins Selling
Want to own a piece of Seattle History?


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

Comparing Seattle Condo Market Sentiment from Early 2011 to Late 2011

Earlier this year we had a poll asking readers how the condo market would do in 2011. Last month we had a similar poll asking for sentiment about 2012.

So has the vibe changed from last year to this year?

Feb 2011 Poll Results

Continue reading "Comparing Seattle Condo Market Sentiment from Early 2011 to Late 2011" »

Seattle Condo Inventory at Lowest Levels since Feb 2007

The Seattle condo market continues to show lower levels of inventory and lower median prices than 2010.  

For the month of October, we had 137 homes closed, an increase of 10.48% from October 2010 and at the same level of closing versus last month. Condo inventory dipped by 8% from the previous month and 32.47% from twelve months ago. There was only 911 homes on the market. This is the lowest level of inventory listed on the NWMLS we have ever seen since February 2007. 

Year-over-year pending sales shot up by 56.30% with 211 homes under contract (not closed yet) last month. The median price for October's closed sales was at $226,000, down by 9.60% from a year ago. Comparing that with the previous month, it was down by ~6%. Seventy five percent of the homes sold last month were under $400,000. Bank owned and short sales accounted for ~35% of the sales. 

The absorption rate for Seattle condos showed slight improvement from the previous month. We had about 6.6 months of inventory on the market based on closed sales and 4.3 months based on pending sales. Last month it was at 7.1 and 4.9 months respectively. A 6 month absorption rate indicates a neutral market so we are in that range now. 

Overall, we still have pretty consistent sales, although most of the sales are occurring in the lower price ranges. Short sales and bank owned condos also account for some price pressure on the condo value. Moving towards the end of the year with holidays around the corner, we can expect fewer condos coming on the market, fewer sales and most likely lower prices. 

 Seattle Condo Sales M-O-M

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Inventory at Lowest Levels since Feb 2007" »