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December 2012

Seattle Condo Market Update: Soft Landing for the Winter

November 2012 data are in.  Here's some key takeaways and of course, the charts.

  • After several year-over-year thumpings of monthly 2011 sales, November 2012 was higher than November 2011...but only by ~15% (versus the ~30% advantages we saw in September and October year-over-year comparisons).  Perhaps the we're finally settling in for our winter hibernation.
  • Median prices for Seattle overall saw a soft landing, slightly higher than November 2011 but considerably lower than the banner October 2012 numbers ($245K versus $275K).
  • At the neighborhood level Belltown/Downtown remains the most solid overall with sales almost as high as October 2012, median prices up 10% month over month, and inventory still tight.   


Seattle Condo Sales MOM

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2200 Condominiums in South Lake Union Settles with its Developer

05After approximately two years of warranty investigation work and negotiation, the 2200 Residential Homeowner Association and the 2200 Master Association (that represents the hotel, retail and the Whole Foods) received an early holiday gift of sorts. A settlement was reached for the 2200 Association's claim for repair of construction defects. The settlement summary was discussed with owners at the annual meeting of the HOA held earlier this week. The $26 million dollar settlement represents what is rumored to be the largest construction defect settlement of its kind in the state for a residential condo building.

This settlement comes at a good time for the owners in the 2200 complex who have been somewhat limited from being able to refinance or sell condo units for some time due to the fact the resale certificates and condo questionnaires needed by lenders disclosed issues related to the construction defects and its mediation.  These can now be changed, which should open up some possibilities for sales and refinances to happen since buyers and their lender might be more confident about the long term financial health of the building and the HOA.

Early indications are that the 2200 community will start to see the work start some time in 2013 but it’s not known exactly when, nor exactly how long the work will take.  It also remains to be seen which of three condo towers will be first and if a full wrap of each building will be needed. The board indicated at the meeting they will be working hard with the project contractor to try to make the repairs as efficient as possible and with the least amount of impact on the residents and businesses within 2200 as possible. It is not yet officially known who that contractor will be.

Although none of us owners at 2200 are looking forward to the inconvenience of the repair work that follows, it is likely that the settlement amount will cover the expenses of the needed repairs and there will not be a need for additional funds from the owners through an increase in dues nor a special assessment, which is the silver lining to the whole thing and a relief for many. In fact, the new budget for 2013 reflects a decrease in dues now that the settlement has been finalized.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle Condos exclusively for buyers and sellers

Olive 8 Update - Including its Debut on Top Chef Seattle

Olive 8You may or may not already know but the Bravo show, Top Chef, was recently filmed in Seattle for season 10, which is now airing.  The chefs compete in a number of challenges that feature local cuisine, restaurants, and events in the host city. The show also puts the chefs up in a posh residence for their stay during the competition.

Guess where the chefs stayed? Downtown Seattle’s Olive 8 Condominiums! The “cheftestants” all lived in a unit on the 38th floor of the Olive 8 tower giving this condo a great national stage to be seen on. The program showcases Olive 8 with scenes of the chefs lounging around, using the gourmet kitchen and shows off the beautiful view as the chefs sit out on their private deck. Olive 8 was a good choice, I would say.

So what’s going on at Olive 8 in terms of condo sales you might ask? Here is the latest update on Olive 8’s Developer owned condo units:

  • 90% sold
  • 196 closed sales
  • 9 pending sales in November
  • 19 developer owned units left: 10 one bedrooms and 9 two bedrooms (all on floor 30 or above)

There are also a couple of units being sold by individual owners (resales) in the building:

  • 1 active resale unit
  • 2 pending resale units

Continue reading "Olive 8 Update - Including its Debut on Top Chef Seattle" »