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A Condo Comeback: 10 New Developments in the Puget Sound Pipeline

Market makers say they will sell more than a half-billion dollars in newly built multi-family units by 2020.
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Sponsored by Realogics, Inc.

What a difference a decade makes. For the first time in ten years, Realogics Group of Companies and its brokers are again representing ten new multi-family, for-sale condominiums and townhomes in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods. Although the project marketing specialists admit the current condo cycle is just a fraction of the last one. Still, the newly announced inventory has spurred the redeployment of the once popular website UrbanCondominiums.com and a planned opening of a New Developments Preview Center in Belltown. The firm seeks to help prospective homebuyers compare the “new but few” for-sale opportunities in what’s otherwise considered to be anemic condo supply in the city. The reality is, despite the rising demand to own, developers (and their construction lenders) have overwhelmingly preferred to build apartments for rent in recent years. In fact, of the 27,000 new housing units more than 94-percent of this supply will deliver this decade for lease and not for purchase.

“I think the condo market overcorrected since the last economic downturn,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “A sustained supply and demand imbalance has led to dramatic median home price increases in downtown Seattle where resale properties in 2017 experienced a 19-percent jump over the prior year. Today we find fewer than three dozen active listings in an urban district of more than 80,000 residents and the median asking price is now $1.2 million. Clearly, we need more inventory choices for purchase.”

At this time a decade ago, developers of more than a dozen high-profile condominium projects were advertising presales in The Seattle Times.  All that activity fueled property search websites, such as UrbanCondominiums.com (owned and operated by local real estate marketing company Realogics, Inc.).  The regional housing market was coming off of a record year of median home price growth, there were more than 3,000 condominiums in development planning and most were available for presale. Mortgage lending and consumer confidence was supporting record sales, but there were clouds forming on the economic horizon including indications that the US stock market, led by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was coming off its 2007 market peaks. Within a few months the bloom had fallen off the rose, the US entered the Great Recession, construction capital and consumer confidence collapsed and many mortgage lending options dried up.  

PICTURED ABOVE: A report by Realogics illustrates the supply of new condominiums in their year of substantial completion, as well as the present status of sales – clearly the boom of new for-sale developments a decade ago is not replicated in more modern times, despite the market fundamentals being substantially better.

“About ten years ago, our firm, Realogics, Inc. was representing a number of planned and developing high-rise condominiums in and around downtown Seattle,” Jones says. “Then it suddenly became clear that construction financing was crimped and projects that weren’t started were stopped in their tracks. Other projects began recalibrating to the new market realities and it was the beginning of the end of that condo cycle.”

PICTURED ABOVE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average today is approximately twice the value it was before the Great Recession and is one of the reasons savvy investors are looking for alternative investments like real estate.

Fast forward to today, and downtown Seattle is a fundamentally different market and in a much better economic position, even during the best of times in the past cycles, according to Jones.

“Today we have sustainable employment, thousands of would-be buyers in expensive apartment towers and mounting traffic challenges, which are all resulting in increased demand for homeownership in downtown Seattle,” adds Jones. “It’s a much better fundamental picture to the conditions we experienced in the middle of the last decade yet we have a fraction of the new condominiums today compared to back then.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Downtown Seattle lost a considerable number of jobs during the Great Recession, but quickly recovered and has since established a new benchmark of employment thanks to robust hiring at urban tech firms like Amazon.

To be sure, the mortgage lending industry is operating with a materially different set of guidelines today with numerous safeguards.

“We’re not in the same situation as we were the last time we saw robust condo demand – we’re qualifying our buyers very carefully, which limits the number of speculators in the market,” says Trevor Bennett, a Mortgage Banker with Caliber Home Loans. “The mortgage free-for-all conditions that were present before the correction are just not present now. If anything, we appear to be undersupplied in for-sale housing and the real challenge is rising property costs, increasing interest rates and diminishing affordability.”

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: The number of home sales and the number of available listings offered for sale below $750,000 has been in dramatic decline within the resale market as median priced homes rise and new construction offerings, few as they are, struggle to deliver meaningful numbers of homes at more affordable price points. 

 

RSIR’s Top Ten New Condo Developments in the Puget Sound Pipelinelisted in the order of substantial completion:

1. The Florera | Greenlake

Located in Seattle’s own “Central Park”, Florera offers urban conveniences, while just steps away from the bucolic Green Lake and its vibrant surrounding neighborhood, awaiting the anticipated arrival of the LINK Light Rail at NE 65th Avenue and Roosevelt Way NE. Designed to be eco-friendly, the building is LEED Silver certified.

Address: 413 NE 70th Street, Seattle

Units: 25

Unit Types: Studio, One and Two-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Spring 2018

Square Footage: 578-1,215

Price Range: $400,000 - $700,000

Listing Broker: Dehlan Gwo

Developer: Create World

2. The Central Townhomes | Columbia City

Ideally located between Mount Baker and the Columbia City Light Rail stations, the Central Townhomes provide true in-city location with access to multiple points of the city. Designer accents can be found throughout the 3-bedroom homes, plus the incredible benefit of an attached oversized one-car garage.

Address: 3920 27th Avenue South

Units: 24

Unit Types: Three-Bedroom Townhomes

Anticipated Delivery: Spring 2018

Square Footage: 1,150-1,650

Price Range: Starting from $500,000s

Listing Broker: Ambili Sukesan & Helen Pederslie

Developer: Rainier Vista

3. Alaska Junction | West Seattle

Three thoughtfully-designed townhomes outfitted with endless options for a tech-savvy resident. Prewiring for various cutting-edge in-home tech tools, as well as solar panels complete these private homes, all with garage and off-street parking, as well as private rooftops with views of Downtown Seattle. Enjoy the conveniences of West Seattle’s Alaska Junction neighborhood.

Address: To Be Announced

Units: 3

Unit Types: Three to Five-Bedroom Townhomes

Anticipated Delivery: Summer 2018

Square Footage: 2,900-3,900

Price Range: From $2.5 Million to $3.1 Million+

Listing Broker: Carlene Pride

4. 111 26th Avenue E | Madison Valley

A rare opportunity for modern design, city lifestyle, and expansive floor plan can be found in two 4-unit townhome developments in Madison Valley. Open spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, garage parking, and private roof decks. More details to come, but stayed tuned for information on 111 26th Avenue E and 123 26th Avenue E.

Address: 111 26th Avenue E & 123 26th Avenue E

Units: 4

Unit Types: Three-Bedroom Townhomes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2018

Listing Broker: Carlene Pride

5. 123 26th Avenue E | Madison Valley

A rare opportunity for modern design, city lifestyle, and expansive floor plan can be found in two 4-unit townhome developments in Madison Valley. Open spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, garage parking, and private roof decks. More details to come, but stayed tuned for information on 111 26th Avenue E and 123 26th Avenue E.

Address: 111 26th Avenue E & 123 26th Avenue E

Units: 4

Unit Types: Three-Bedroom Townhomes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2018

Listing Broker: Carlene Pride

6. The Pinnacle at Alki | West Seattle

Experience 200-degrees of spectactular vistas of the skyline, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains in this 11-unit boutique building. Perched at the tip of Alki Point, The Pinnacle at Alki exudes northwest contemporary design with floor-to-ceiling windows, uncompromising quality, and outdoor living spaces with each unit. Just steps to Luna Park and a short walk to the Seattle Water Taxi, residents can have the offerings of downtown nearby while enjoying a West Seattle water retreat.

Address: 1118 Alki Avenue SW

Units: 11

Unit Types: Three-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2018

Square Footage: 1,806-2,128

Price Range: From $1.2 Million to $2.3 Million+

Listing Broker: Dave Janssens

Developer: Attollo Development

7. Fairview Shores | Eastlake

Unmatched quality and craftsmanship can be found in this collection of 5 elegant residences designed by award-winning architecture firm, Garret Cord Werner. Each three-bedroom townhome offers grand entertaining spaces framed by 12-foot walls of windows. Unobstructed westerly views from Gas Works Park to Downtown Seattle and beyond.

Address: 2364 Fairview Avenue E

Units: 5

Unit Types: Three and Four-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2019

Square Footage: 3,000-5,000+

Price Range: From $3 Million to $5 Million

Listing Broker: Jay Kipp

Developer: 47 North

8. Sonata | Columbia City

Perfectly placed in the heart of Columbia City, Sonata is the urban answer that connects its residents to all the city has to offer. Contemporary style, a variety of floor plans, thoughtful amenities, all just steps from the LINK Light Rail.

Address: 4561 Martin Luther King Way S

Units: 96

Unit Types: Studio, Urban, One and Two-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2019

Price Range: From $300,000 to $800,000

Listing Broker: TBD Stacia Smith (Branch Manager)

Developer: BDR Urban

9. NEXUS | Downtown Seattle

A vertical neighborhood with hotel-like and professional amenities, located in the vibrant “East Village” of Seattle. The next generation of in-city high-rise, featuring panoramic vistas and more than 25,000 square feet of interior and exterior amenities. 90% sold.

Address: 1800 Howell Street

Units: 389

Unit Types: Two and Three-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Fall 2019

Price Range: From $1.2 Million to $3.5 Million

Listing Broker: Michael Cannon

Developer: Burrard Group

10. KODA | Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle's historic Chinatown-International District has long been home to culture, cuisine and conveniences befitting of its urban renaissance.  At its heart is KODA, an artfully-inspired condominium that is set to rise at the corner of 5th Avenue and Main Street. Homeownership is finally within reach as is modern design, dynamic amenities and immediate access to the regional transportation hub at King Street Station and all that downtown Seattle has to offer.

Address: 450 S. Main Street

Units: 203

Unit Types: Studio, Urban, One and Two-Bedroom Homes

Anticipated Delivery: Summer 2020

Price Range: From $350,000 to $1.2 Million

Listing Broker: TBD Stacia Smith (Branch Manager)

Developer: Da-Li Development

Find a map of RSIR's Top Ten New Condo Developments in the Puget Sound Pipeline HERE.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty recently relaunched UrbanCondominiums.com and opened the New Developments Gallery in downtown Seattle. For more information, register online at UrbanCondominiums.com or stop by the New Developments Preview Center located at 2715 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle (open daily 11am-5pm). The official opening is scheduled for mid-February 2018.

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