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King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for May 6th, 2009

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

Timing the Bottom of the Market?

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Finance

If you’re waiting for bottom to hit, there’s been a few clues lately that may lead you to be believe it has.  Consumer confidence is on the rise with the index increasing from a score of 26.9 in March to 39.2 in April–its highest reading in 2009.

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved moderately in April. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” declined to 45.7 percent from 51.0 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” increased to 7.6 percent from 6.9 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was somewhat mixed. The percentage of consumers stating jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 47.9 percent from 48.8 percent in March, however, those saying jobs are “plentiful” edged down to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent.

Locally, median home sale prices in King County have also gone up for the first time in months.  Let’s not also forget the hefty amount of current pendings which should contribute to a second month of what appears to be a positive trend.  There are currently 46 pending units in the downtown area alone!  That’s huge news, considering there’s only been 69 solds since the first of the year, 15 of which have closed in the last 30 days.

Despite news that the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent in April, employers have cut fewer jobs in April.  The Census Bureau also began hiring 140,000 temporary workers last month to start the population count that happens every 10 years.  Although temporary, that alone will eventually bring 1.4 million jobs over the next year and get some over the hump.

Construction spending is also up by 0.3 percent despite the forecasted 1.0 percent fall!  Why is that important?  Construction spending has a direct bearing on stocks, bonds, and commodities since it’s affected by interest rates and business cash flow.  Generally, businesses only put money into construction if they’re confident that the demand is strong.  A quick Google search for “construction spending” proves that this holds a lot of weight with those reporting on the real estate market.

Historical Belltown Address to Become Youth Hostel

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Land Use

photos courtesy of citywalker

photos courtesy of citywalker

A new, yet historical addition will soon be made by Gibraltar of Seattle since they received a “go ahead” regarding the secretly famous William Tell Apartments.  Many of those in the film industry (managers, studio representatives, and movie stars from companies like Colombia, Warner’s, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and more) used to stay at the address when, from the 1920’s to 1960’s, it was known as the Lorraine Hotel (with Belltown the center of the film industry for Puget Sound).

Plymouth Housing Group purchased the building in 1986 and turned it into low-income housing. Gibraltar purchased the property from Plymouth for $3.1 million, and plans are to  convert the building to a youth hostel. Plymouth earlier reported that the repairs needed just wouldn’t be worth the investment and are using the money to help pay for a newer, larger building on 1st and Cedar.
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Should $86 Million Housing Levy increase to $145 Million?

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Puget Sound Region

greg_nickelsA housing levy put into action in 2002 to assist in rental housing for people earning low wages, with disabilities, who are homeless or need emergency rent assistance to prevent homelessness, and downpayment assistance for first-time buyers expires at the end of 2009. Mayor Greg Nickels is proposing to renew the levy this November.  The controversy over the subject is that the new proposal is seeking to increase the amount from the current $86 million to $145 million.

Nickels is quoted as feeling confident that voters will support the increased tax considering that, “…in hard times there’s even more need.  That’s what we saw in 2002 in what was actually a worse economy locally.”  However, both the Downtown Seattle Association and Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce are asking to renew the levy, but not increase it.  While Nickels is pushing for the increased tax to cater to public need during the current financial squeeze, the Association and Chamber are asking to not increase the levy due to the current financial squeeze.  No one seems to be opposing the renewal as of yet.

levy_goals
Areas of improvement for the seven-year levy renewal include:

  • $104 million affecting 1,670 rental units.
  • $9.1 million in loans assisting first-time homebuyers in approximately 180 homes.
  • $7.9 million dedicated to 220 apartments for disabled and elderly.
  • $6.5 million to buy land or buildings for future homes.
  • $4.2 million in rent assistance.
  • $14 million to administrate programs.

No buyers that have been aided by the city has faced foreclosure…

Stroupe Scoop: March 2009 Sales Statistics

May 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Stroupe Scoop

This month we have featured Lumen as the building of the Month.  We also have two featured listings at The Vine and The Newmark.

Be sure to receive the Scoop when it first comes up by subscribing!

Download pdf

Download pdf

King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for April 29th, 2009

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

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