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New Blog Coming Soon!

December 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Featured

We’ve been working diligently over the holiday to try working with another blog layout so that searching for information is easier and more appealing to the eye.  We’re excited to have finally found a new layout, but for those of you who visit this blog often, you’ll see some technical issues over the next few days.  Some of the formating and search functions will need to be programmed before everything is at 100%.  In addition, we’ll be holding off on posting.  Please be patient and be sure to let us know what you think when you see the change.

Condo King County Weekly Sales Ratios for December 11th, 2008

Condo Only, NWMLS Area 701 (Belltown & Downtown Seattle)

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701


Condo King County Weekly Sales Ratios for December 4th, 2008

Condo Only, NWMLS Area 701 (Belltown & Downtown Seattle)

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701


Everything You Wanted to Know About the Current Financial/Economic Crisis

December 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Finance, MARKET TRENDS, National

The Bravern Residence in Bellevue hosted an intimate educational seminar for the areas top agents this morning with keynote speaker Professor Michael Palmer. On the way there during our carpool, we wondered if this was going to be a sales pitch on how great the market is and why buyers should buy at Bravern.  However, it wasn’t.  The guest speaker and professor of finance with Leeds School of Business (University of Colorado) delivered an informative 2-hour presentation on the national and global economy whereby he discussed the past, present, and future.  Mr. Palmer addressed issues such as the sub-prime market, Greenspan’s push on rates, consumer confidence/spending, unemployment rates, and of course his prediction on how much longer we should expect this recession to last.

According to Mr. Palmer, the economy got into this mess by creating unsustainable bubbles which were created between 2002 and 2006 by over stimulation (monetary & fiscal).  As a result, the housing bubble was the first to burst.  Statistics on foreclosures were presented to support this idea, although it’s not really any new news.

  • Foreclosures in 3rd Quarter ’06:  223,223
  • Foreclosures in 3rd Quarter ’07:  446,726 (+100%)
  • Foreclosures in 3rd Quarter ’08:  765,558 (+71%) and the highest since records began in January 2005.

In addition to the slide of home prices, the world has been affected by other factors which were identified as:

  • Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout on Sept. 8th
  • Lehman Brothers failure  on Sept. 12th
  • Merrill Lynch take-over by B of A on Sept. 15th
  • AIG $85 billion rescue plan on Sept. 16th
  • Washington Mutual take-over by JP Morgan on Sept 25th
  • Federal Reserve rescue of commercial paper markets on Oct. 7th

Palmer also discussed how household debt has skyrocketed and personal savings have plummeted — creating a even stronger decline in consumer confidence.



Another interesting topic was the feds lowering of interest rates and how the intention of doing so is to fuel consumer confidence.  However, Palmer states that, “While lower interest rates might make us feel better — they have done little up to now to stimulate buying or lending or to restore confidence.”  Most importantly to note was that lending institutions appear to have no tolerance for risk.  The money pumped into system from the  feds appear to not being trickling down to public quite yet.  Instead, it appears that lending institutions are placing money into secure investments to shore up assets rather than take the risk at lending.  This is displayed below (notice how little return they’re willing to except rather than taking any risk at higher returns):

Early Nov. to Dec. 4, 2008

Early Nov. to Dec. 4, 2008 - (

But, what kind of Realtor would we be if we didn’t end with the good news?  Palmer’s prediction is that the nation will experience an 18-month recession.  Since the nation began experiencing it’s recession in December of ’07, Palmer pointed out that we’re already 12 months in with U.S. history showing an average of 13 months for previous economic troubles since 1900.  That would place an expected recovery by the 2nd or 3rd quarter of ’09.   However, since these predictions are national, Palmer communicated a more probable rebound happening sooner for Seattle based on a number of factors including our employers (Microsoft, Boeing, Expedia, Amazon, etc.) and the metropolitan area being the fourth largest export market in the nation with Japan, China, and Canada.


View Michael Palmer’s complete slide presentation.

Nobody Wants the Streetcar Expansion?

December 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Streetcar

streetcarAn article in the P.I. yesterday quoted councilmen Nick Licata in asking, “Why would you put a streetcar in a neighborhood when the neighbors don’t want it?”

Granted, gas is now under $2.00 a gallon, but the Times reported yesterday in another article regarding the progress of the streetcar expansion that ridership has exceeded what was expected.  By December 12th (the S.L.U.T. 1-year anniversary) the streetcar will have carried approximately 500,000 riders–80% of which .  150,000 more than what was estimated.  With that said, it begs the question of what neighbors Licata is referring to?

With downtown condo prices being the way they are (even in a “slump”), it would seem that the streetcar expansion would create more opportunity for those to live and work in the city without having to pay the downtown premium.

However, the argument from those who oppose is the lack of planning on how the $685 million streetcar project will be paid for.  Suggestions have been made that the money would come from a tax on local business’s.  The S.L.U. streetcar was paid for by nearby property owners, and there certainly is much more of a buzz in the neighborhood that was not long ago, not a neighborhood at all.

We want to know if you are for the streetcar?  Let us know what you think.

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