Seattle Condos Feed

Solis Condos Coming to Capitol Hill

Solis Condos is coming to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle.Solis condominiums are coming to Capitol Hill. The building will be constructed at 1300 E Pike St and will be built using super-green "passive house" design and constructions methods.

Solis will be a 6 story building with 45 condominium homes. The units will be between 475sf and 850sf consisting of studios, one and two bedrooms. They will be priced from the mid $400,000s to just about $1 million.  Construction will begin in the next few months with completion set for early 2020 according to the Developer, SolTerra.

The contractor is Cascade Built, a leader on passive house projects, and the architect is Weber Thompson.

This building was originally planned as an apartment building but will now be the first condominium building to be constructed in Capitol Hill in ten years.

Weber Thompson Rendering

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


What’s Happening in the Market? Shift, Change, Adjustment or What?

Seattle condo market update and recommendations for sellers.We have all seen the news media articles over the past few weeks reporting that there has been an over 70% increase in our current market inventory, that the market is slowing down or that there is another recession coming, and so on. If you are a seller, let’s not panic or get into modes of desperation just yet.

We have to keep in mind, we see a seasonal slow down every year in our market during mid-summer (due to factors such as buyers and their agents being on vacation and sellers putting their homes up for sale at a higher rate in order to move before the school year starts, etc. - see photo for seasonal trends), so I wanted to chime in and speak to what I am actually seeing out here.

We are seeing, what I would call, a shift in the mindset of condo buyers. There are less multiple offer scenarios on both condos and single family homes as well as a lot of buyers doing more of a wait see approach to the offer review dates. This is quite opposite of what we were seeing earlier in the spring, which was a very aggressive approach of doing pre-inspections, waiving all contingencies, and being willing escalate well above list price. Also, there is a significant increase in the inventory. Homes and condos are still selling, but they are going into contract slower than they were in the spring.  We are also seeing the percentage over list price not being as aggressive. This will apply to most neighborhoods of Seattle, and appears to happening in most price segments as well. 

Now, does this change how I, as a condo broker, might approach the market? Yes, of course, our strategies must change with adjustments in market conditions. But does this mean we are in a changing market or a just a slightly more aggressive seasonal slowdown? I’m not sure yet. But my sense is we have some slowing due to general buyer fatigue and frustration and increased summer market inventory from sellers who are trying to ride the coattails of the spring sales pricing. Sadly, we are also seeing a lot of homes that just aren’t presented well, such as not being in the best of condition, poor quality flips, or disadvantaged locations, etc. These condos and houses might be too aggressively priced by sellers and agents that are just too optimistic that the hot market will have buyers buying anything they can. The buyer fatigue is stalling sales on homes that simply aren’t properly prepped and priced for the summer market conditions. I do think that these factors are causing some lethargic market conditions right now that are affecting even those homes and condos that are spruced up and ready to sell as the mere fear of a slowing market will cause more slowing in the market.

I’m predicting that the market will absorb, although slowly, the summer inventory and we’ll see a bit more of the frenzy return in the fall when buyers and their brokers are returning from vacations and ready to be realistic and get back to the market.  

Timing is everything, and we might have missed a bit of a window for some sellers, so holding off until fall might be a new thing to consider. If you are thinking about selling your condo, make sure you are realistic about how long it will take to sell your home and what price you are likely to get.


Tower Near Space Needle Will be Condos & Named Spire

Tower Near Space Needle Will be Seattle Condos and Named SpireLaconia Development, who is developing the triangle shaped lot located at 600 Wall St, has announced that they will be building condominiums and not apartments.

The 41 story building will be called Spire and they will break ground today. There will be 352 residences from studios to 3 bedroom plus den homes. They are indicating that pricing will range from $450,000 to over $5 million. This Developer will also allow units to be combined. Amenities will include 2 rooftop decks. They anticipate the construction to take 28 months due to the challenges associated with the small sized lot.

This switch from apartments to condos reflects the softening rental market due to the influx of new buildings being constructed and the condo price increases that we are seeing in our current real estate market.

Being located on the intersection of Denny Way, Wall St (the current off-ramp from Aurora) and 6th Avenue is a definitely a busy intersection to be located on. We will see if that location in Belltown can fetch prices near $5M.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


The Secrets to Buying Right Now! Really, This is Good Info.

Ppw 11It’s a long and detailed article, but I highly recommend you read the article put out by the Seattle Times earlier this month, How to Buy a Home in the Seattle Area: The Survival Guide.  It includes data collected from lots of interviews with buyers, agents, and industry players and I really think it’s a great read.

Although this isn't condo specific, we feel it is important for our readers who are buyers, and even those who are sellers, to understand what is happening in the market out there and what things buyers should be doing to better their chances of success.

Some of the key points in the article that I loved and can absolutely agree with and endorse:

  • Discount brokerages, such as Redfin, are a 'you get what you pay for' situation. There is a reason they can offer a discount and that discount may not save you any money in the end by the time you factor in how long it took for you to finally get a house.
  • Lenders- pick the right one, and make sure they are local. This is key right now.  As listing agents, we give much higher credibility and weight to pre-approval letters from local lenders who have a good local reputation and who we know can close quick and close on time, without surprise delays.
  • Look for stinkers. Buyers that have flexibility in terms of doing repairs and are open to condos or houses in not perfect condition, can benefit in this market by buying a proeprty with less competition.
  • Make the offer about the seller and what they need.  Not all offers are just about price.  A good agent will research, connect with and find out what’s important to the seller.  Certain offerings such as rent backs, guarantees you are not an investor that will rent the home out, etc. can go a long way to winning in bidding war.  Not all sellers are created equal, and not all offers are either.  Be creative and make sure your agent knows how to communicate with the other agent effectively.
  • Be aggressive and do it early. Don’t take 7 or 8 offer attempts to realize you need to be aggressive. As Mike wrote in the article, “ Home prices in Seattle have increased an average of $226 per day through the past year” so by the time you finish reading this editorial post, and the article itself, that 6-7 minutes is costing you another dollar or two in home price.  My point being, the longer your learning curve is as a buyer, and the more offers you need to write before you get that figured out, the more money it’s costing you. So let’s get you educated, armed for success, and ready to buy.

Great read and great article.  Check it out.


NEXUS Pre-sale Opportunities End 6/30

The NEXUS model home and presentation center will be closing on June 30th and all pre-sale opportunities will stop at the time of the presentation center closure.

If you are considering purchasing at NEXUS now might be the time to do it so you can benefit from the pre-sale price offerings, still select your interior color palette and receive a $25,000 buyer decorator allowance, which they are throwing in from now through June 30th.

At this time, NEXUS is 90% sold and the available options are 2 and 3 bedroom floor plans, ranging in size from 1,022 to 2,142, and priced from $1.2 million to $3.5 million.

Here is the current availability:
NEXUS Availability 5.22.18
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Tower East of Escala Delayed Again- Interview with Developer Giving More Details

1933 5th Ave Rendering 4This story has been updated after a recent email interview with a representative of the developer, Douglaston Development:

According to the PSBJ, a new ruling by Seattle's hearing examiner will further delay construction on the 48 story tower planned just east of Escala Condominiums, where Icon Grill was located, at 5th Avenue and Virginia Street.

The residents of Escala have appealed the construction of the tower as it is currently planned, specifically taking aim at the tower being as close as 22 feet away across the alley, which would devastatingly affect their natural light and privacy. The city's examiner agreed with the Escala residents on that point pushing the issue to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to research, but ruled in the Developer, Douglaston Development's, favor on almost all of the other issues at the hearing.

Douglaston is now working on what options they have with regards to modifying the tower to address the issues raised by the Escala residents.

According to Douglaston CEO Michael Kaye, “During the design review process, we made major modifications to the design of the project to address the issues raised by Escala.”

Escala residents do have the option to appeal the city examiner's rulings against them to King County's Superior Court but they have not yet decided if they will proceed with any appeals.

It seems as if this ruling will delay the construction but not put a stop to it, so hopefully Escala's concerns can convince the Developer to redesign the new apartment and hotel tower to be set back farther from the alley and Escala preserving as much natural light and privacy as they can.

However, according to the developer speaking on the ruling , they indicate " the remand is actually on the procedural issue – not substantive", according to Kaye. "There is no reference in the remand regarding the distance between the two buildings."

Kaye would like to “reiterate Douglaston’s gratification that the Hearing Examiner ruled in our favor on almost every issue. Escala’s appeal was rejected on 22 out of the 23 claims made. Lastly, we’re committed to the project and we’ll keep working on it until it is built — we will continue to work through the process.” 

It will be interesting to see the outcome here as many condominium buildings in Seattle face this same or similar problem of loosing light and privacy due to a new larger and taller tower being constructed around them.

Updated 5/15/2018 By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.
Rendering courtesy of Perkins+Will


New Towers at 1916 Boren Ave in Denny Triangle

1916 Boren - rendering courtesy of GenslerSoon, at 1916 Boren Ave, a two tower project will rise comprising of a hotel and residential units. The developer, GZI out of China, has not yet revealed if the residential portion of the project will be apartments or condos.

The project, designed by Gensler Architects, will have two towers out of one podium, one tower at 16 stories and one at 48 stories. The podium will have retail on the ground level with 9 levels of hotel above to include approximately 280 hotel rooms. In the smaller tower will rise 6 stories of residential over the hotel and then in the taller tower will be 38 stories of residential over the hotel, to include around 500 units. There will also be two amenity levels, to include a gym and a podium-top roof deck, and underground parking. The taller tower will twist by stepping out from the base over the shorter tower and then stepping back in on the opposite side of the tower at the top, changing the massing as it goes up. This design is intended to compliment the twisting cubes of the NEXUS condominium tower nearby and add interest to the skyline.

At this point, we will have to wait to see whether or not we will have more apartments entering the pipeline or more condominiums for sale with the addition of this new project.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.

 

 

 


Update on Sonata Condominiums in Columbia City

Sonata 2Sonata, the new construction condominium project in Columbia City, is coming soon and they have released more information and floorplans for the project.

THE DETAILS:

  • 96 units
  • Live/work lofts, studio, urban one bedroom, one bedroom, one bedroom + den, and two bedrooms
  • Sized from below 400 square feet to more than 1,000 square feet
  • Priced from $300,000 to $800,000+
  • Clean, contemporary design
  • Emphasis on space efficiency and high functionality
  • Oversized windows and soaring ceilings
  • Hardwood floors, modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances and quartz counters, and spacious, spa-like baths
  • Host of color palette and customization options
  • Amenities: numerous outdoor gardens, a roof deck with outdoor fireplaces and BBQs, a large co-working space that will share the ground floor with an eclectic mix of retail and dining options, bicycle room and underground parking
  • Blocks from amenities, restaurants, cafes and services of Columbia City and across the street from the Link Light Rail station (15 minutes to Downtown!)
  • Occupancy in 2019

SALES DETAILS:

  • Prospective buyers will be able to reserve a home in advance of presales by putting down a fully-refundable $5,000 deposit held in escrow confirming a particular home with a set price range, and will be granted a first right of opportunity to enter into a presale just as soon as the developer is able to confirm the product offering
  • The reservation event is now scheduled to take place in June—exact date TBD

Looking forward to the reservation event!

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Hendon Condos in Phinney Ridge are on the Market

Hendon Condominiums, the new construction condominium building in Phinney Ridge, has released a smattering of their available units for sale. They will be releasing all remaining units in phases.

This is a great opportunity to purchase a condominium with no offer review date and potentially no competition and get into a newly constructed condo in a great north Seattle neighborhood.

20180413_131008Here is a price list of the condos available for purchase in this phased release:

  • #102: 569 sf studio $499,000 (no parking)
  • #103: 569 sf studio $485,000 (no parking)
  • #208: 815 sf 1 bed 1.5 bath $609,900
  • #209: 738 sf 1 bed $579,900
  • #210: 897 sf 1 bed + den 1.5 bath $629,950
  • #304: 705 sf 1 bed $550,000 (no parking)
  • #310: 897 sf 1 bed + den 1.5 bath $639,000
  • #406: 815 sf 1 bed $749,000 with private rooftop deck (and it is really a large space!)

Other details to note:

  • 6 of 32 units are unparked - all 4 of the studios on floor 1 along with two of the 1 bedrooms have no parking
  • All 32 units have storage
  • Common roof deck with views of Green Lake
  • 1st floor studios have private patios
  • 4th floor units have private roof decks and some also have decks off of the living space  as well
  • Units have mini-split heating and air conditioning
  • Sales are going straight to Purchase and Sale and require 5 % earnest money, however their Public Offering Statement (POS) is not recorded so they are estimating that they will have closings 60 days after the POS is ready for buyer review
  • They are not accepting investor purchasers at this time

20180413_131148 20180413_131519 20180413_131133 20180413_131751 20180413_131818 20180413_131426

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to 
Seattle downtown condos.


Massive Redevelopment of Northgate Mall Bringing New Services & Vibrancy to this North Seattle Neighborhood

Northgate 2According to a recent PSBJ article, the owners of Northgate mall will be taking on a major overhaul of the property to include reducing the retail space and adding in its place office space, residential units, restaurants and a hotel. This is exciting as this north Seattle neighborhood has started to become known for its aging mall (though it does have my wife’s favorite shoe store, DSW!) and the big box stores of Target and Best Buy across the street.  This image and the mall itself will be getting a substantial face lift. No, let’s call it a complete makeover!

The new mall will have the ground floor areas remaining as retail and restaurants while above that would be a mix of hotel, multifamily residential, and office space. They are also talking about adding green space that the neighborhood can enjoy and benefit from!

While this topic might not seem important to a condominium blog, we disagree. Northgate is going through a bit of a renaissance. With the new light rail station coming soon, able to whisk people into Downtown in 14 minutes, we believe the neighborhood will soon be booming when it comes to real estate popularity. Now add to that the redevelopment of the Northgate mall to include more neighborhood amenities, we think Northgate will be the next up and coming neighborhood in Seattle that will experience higher than average appreciation.

Hopefully the residential portion of the Northgate mall redevelopment will include at least some condominiums to help with the extreme shortage of newer condominiums in our city.  While this is not yet known, we’ll cross our fingers that the developers are able to deliver some pre-sale condo opportunities.  What we hear most from buyers is that they want to be close to amenities with an easy and short commute into Downtown and South Lake Union, so it seems like a great opportunity for that. Of course, not all people work Downtown or near a light rail stop, but for those that do, the light rail is a real benefit and directly affects real estate demand. Look at how much Columbia City and Hillman City have boomed since the light rail went in on the south end of the city.  With the addition of restaurants, cafes and a more modern retail, this neighborhood will have tons to walk to. If your job relocates to the new office space there, you will be even better off.

Amenities and transit, coming soon to Northgate. And hopefully, condos.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.