Blog June 22, 2012

Seattle’s condo market is simmering

The Seattle condo market is making a comeback, reports the Seattle Times. Among the 2,500 new condos built by developers throughout downtown, Belltown, Lower Queen Anne and South Lake Union, only 250 remain on the market, according to county records. Escala, downtown’s largest condo project with 31 stories, has sold most units for 99 percent of asking price. The current climate is a far cry from the years between 2007 and 2010, when two dozen condominium projects stalled as pre-sale buyers backed out of deals in droves.

In some areas, prices have actually gone up, which is a sign of a healthy market according to researcher Glenn Crellin of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studie. Bellevue Towers and Escala in Seattle raised the prices of some units by 1 to 2 percent. Overall, the new-condo inventory has been steadily shrinking, and buyers who have kept a watchful eye on the market now feel confident enough to make their purchases.

May’s sales numbers show increases in median prices, pending sales transactions, and the number of closings, reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The median condo sales price in Seattle has increased to $268,500, which reflects a one-month increase of 3.3% and a year-over-year improvement of 7.4%. Downtown and Belltown registered an increase of 11.9% and Capitol Hill saw a rise of 7.1%, though West Seattle and Northeast Seattle experienced year-over-year declines.

Dean Jones, brokerage Realogics Sotheby’s president and CEO, notes that there’s not a lot of new inventory coming down the condo pipeline, which means that demand may outpace supply in the very near future.