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2009 Market Trends and Outlook

June 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, National, Puget Sound Region

We had our 2009 Market Trends and Outlook meeting by local economist Matthew Gardner yesterday.  For the most part, Gardner has been right on with his predictions over the years and we really enjoy attending his speeches, since he’s also very good at presenting both the good and bad sides.  Gardner usually presents the bad, then the good and that’s important to know. A lot of his slides that we’ll be posting will agree with those who might prefer to trust in the gloom of the market, but will also show that comparably, the Seattle market fares extremely well over the rest.

Revolving Debt

Before jumping into how resilient Seattle is, lets first look at the positive side of the recession.  The U.S. is currently seeing a steep decline in revolving debt.


So, we’re saving money, which is good.  The flip side is that we can expect to see more Chapter 11’s filed in the retail sector.


National Home Sales

In addition, national home sale prices have in fact hit bottom back in January (almost half a year ago now).  Predicting that the market will pick up can no longer be assumed as a prediction considering that the last three months has shown positive appreciation in prices.


Over the last four months, we’ve continued to see an establishment of a base, but we feel pretty safe in saying that prices have shown they’re stabilizing.  Most importantly, they’re not going down.  Gardner is predicting the flatlining of prices will get a lot more first-time home buyers off the fence, which in turn will allow those selling to move up themselves.


Unfortunately we will start to see a lot of our builders closing their doors due to the lack of funding and high construction costs.  As a result, we should start to see much more of our current inventory taken up.  Like we’ve said before, if it’s not under construction, it won’t get built–especially when referring to the downtown market where we more than likely will not see any new inventory break ground other than that that are already under construction.

Escala (274 units)
ENSO (135 units)
Alex (units) until 2011 or later

SF = Single Family



In 2008, we saw 31.2% declines in San Francisco, 26.4% in Los Angeles, 24.8% in San Diego, 28.8% Miami, 33% in Las Vegas, and a whopping 34% decline in Phoenix.  Whose to say Seattle won’t see up-and-coming declines similar to those markets?  Our highest decline so far has been 17.1%.  Seattle has only experienced an appreciation of 17.1% in 2005 (during our local condo boom) while the other major markets in mention have seen 30%, 24.9%, 26.6%, 31.5%, 45.5% and 44.9% appreciation rates which are simply unsustainable!



But what about all those lost jobs?  Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks…  ? Unemployment in Seattle is still lower than what it was during the dot com bust in 2001/02.


…not by much, but we still ended up on top when it came time to create more jobs.

viaductTo those who might worry the jobs just won’t be able to be created, consider the huge amount of upcoming city improvements.  The rapid transit/light rail is well underway and has already begun testing.   The amount of road construction for 2009 alone makes it impossible to even make out what’s even going on when attempting to look at the City-Wide Planning Transportation Construction page on  The Pike Place Market is undergoing $68 million of renovations which is expected to be completed in 2012.  Another very exciting improvement adding to the thousands of jobs we can expect to see over the next couple of years is the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s cremation and burial.  Although Gardner didn’t address all these new jobs, it is very much of a contributing factor to our city being the most likely to rebound as already mentioned in Forbes.

Unemployment is a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator. -Gardner


Consumer Confidence

With all those “yeah, but’s,” we’re finding it really difficult of find any real data that our market has not shown a positive trend since the 1st quarter.  It does seem as though the hard climb we’ve had to make getting to somewhat of a level ground is over, and we can begin to get on with our lives during the final half of the year just as Gardner had predicted.


What’s your confidence level?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

1521 Second Dominates Top Residential Sales

June 15, 2009 by  
Filed under 1521, Featured, Madison Tower

The Puget Sound Business Journal featured an article this week about luxury home buyers taking advantage of the current buyer’s market, and shows 1521 Second as having 12 of the 25 top residential sales in King County over a two month period (March and April).

  1. 1521_pedestal1521 Second = $5.35 Million
  2. 1521 Second = $5.29 Million
  3. 1000 1st Ave. = $4.2 Million
  4. 9343 Fauntleroy Way SW (W. Seattle)
  5. 1521 Second = $3.69 Million
  6. 1521 Second = $3.68 Million
  7. 1521 Second = $3.46 Million
  8. 1521 Second = $3.42 Million
  9. 1521 Second = $3.41 Million
  10. 8411 Juanita Dr. (Kirkland)
  11. 1521 Second = $3.07 Million
  12. 1521 Second = $2.85 Million
  13. 1521 Second = $2.80 Million
  14. 800 Lakeside Ave. (Leschi)
  15. 1701 Bigelow N. (Queen Anne) *Zillow link shows the 5 bedroom home to have sold for $521,000?
  16. 2704-B 212th SE (Sammamish)
  17. 1521 Second = $2.29 Million
  18. 1905 193rd SE (Sammamish)
  19. 1907 38th E (Madison Park)
  20. 1521 Second = $1.98 Million
  21. 4052 E Mercer Way (Mercer Island)
  22. 3020 Magnolia Blvd. W. (Briarcliff)
  23. 13911 SE 47th St. (Bellevue)
  24. 15617 SE 83rd Ct. (Newcastle)
  25. 8418 Maple Lane (Mercer Island) *hmmmm

Of these 25 sales, 13 were downtown Seattle condos.  Of the 13 condos, 12 were 1521 Second.  The 13th wheel at 1000 1st Avenue is the boutique hotel/condo project Hotel 1000/Madison Tower.  The remaining 12 sales were all single family homes, most of which were waterfront with five bedrooms.

What kind of listing agents would we be if we didn’t insert a conveniently placed…

PLUG: If you’d like to catch the 1521 boat, we have a couple of impressive listings to look at:

1521 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA #2902 City, Sound, Water, Mountain Views w/ Rare 10’+ Ceiling Height
View Detailed Marketing Description & Extra Photos Here

1521 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA #2400 Northwestern Facing Unit with Needle View from Toto “Champagne Bubbles” Soaking Tub
View Detailed Marketing Description & Extra Photos Here

Contact us today!

Realogics Acquires OnSite Assets

June 11, 2009 by  
Filed under ESCALA, Featured, Gallery, Parc, Puget Sound Region

President and CEO of Realogics, Dean Jones, is announcing their recent acquisition of Windermere “OnSite” brokerage assets, which has been responsible for over 1,000 presales during the condo boom in downtown Seattle and Bellevue.

“An independent brokerage provides us flexibility to explore all opportunities while ensuring both continuity and the highest level of professionalism for our developer clients, the real estate community and the homebuyers for which we serve,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics, Inc.  “Realogics will now expand its offering beyond new construction to provide a broader spectrum of marketing and real estate services under one roof.”

Jones also announced that Sam Cunningham, prior Vice President of Windermere Builder Services, will be appointed as Designated Broker.

“We recognize the approaching dearth of new construction projects in the supply pipeline – so this acquisition is well timed for us”, said Pat Grimm, a co-owner of Windermere OnSite and the designated broker (and sole owner) of Windermere Real Estate / Capitol Hill, Inc. “Realogics is an exceptional marketing and sales enterprise and they are well positioned to manage their brokerage operations moving forward.”

Through personal experience with our clients, Jones and Cunningham have done a superior job in handling our clients’ needs throughout the transaction process, and we are excited to see a company like Realogics joining the team of boutique brokers in Downtown Seattle.  In the meantime, OnSite will retain their builder-oriented franchise agreement with Windermere Real Estate. Realogics has listed both Fifteen Twenty-One Second and The Parc, and helped Windermere Onsite assign agents to seller’s in-house sales teams at Escala, Gallery, Equinox and Bravern Signature Residences.  Realogics will also continue its relationship as a marketing partner with both Escala and The Bravern. The firm also launched an updated website.

King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for June 10th, 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


Expected Results of Lumen Auction July 11th

We know it’s old news, but everybody is talking about the auction at Lumen on July 11th.  We’re probably the last to post about it, but just in case you haven’t heard…

Based on Matt’s post about the auction results at Queen Anne High School, Lumen should do well considering the hype that seems to be getting around.  Their HOA dues are significantly higher than most other condo projects, but Ben explains why in a comment left in his post about the event.  Lumen is a unique property, and after the completion of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it will be across the street from FOUR Seattle landmarks (B&M Gates Foundation, Seattle Center, Space Needle, & EMP–not to mention PNB, Intiman, IMAX and the Science Center).  In addition, the address offers a QFC grocery store at street level, easy access to I-5 (not so easy during rush hour), and a hop, skip and a  jump away from  South Lake Union.

At any rate, if you’re planning on going, make sure you Register.

Alex Condos in Belltown Almost Ready to Show

June 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Alex, Featured

alex_constructionWe received an update regarding Alex in Belltown when looking into their 900 square foot commercial space this morning.  Just a quick note on this spot; the boutique-friendly “boomerang” shaped 1st floor location on 1st and Bell is ready to look at offers.  Interested parties may suggest a lease or a purchase of the space, and the developer is looking for the “best fit” operation for the location.   With regard to the residential units at Alex, the developer has opted to pace his launch of the condominiums with an expected market upswing, in lieu of attempting to price the homes based on the limited closed sales this season so far.

The residential spaces have sheet rocking going up now, and model units are estimated to be ready in mid-summer.  The Alex will be ready to take offers on residential spaces at approximately that time, but the agent again stressed that they’re not in a race to finish.  It sounds as if the developer will be planning the release of these homes carefully.

At any rate, it will be interesting to finally see..something.  We tried to get some images of the views, or anything at all, but still waiting to hear back.  However, as long as the market continues to move forward as it has been, we may be able to start showing off their units very soon.

Still Lower than Last Year, but Rates are Beginning to Climb

June 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Finance

From year to year, June’s rates are lower than what they were the year before.


However, when we look at interest rates over the last 12 months, the jump up is quite significant.


Again, much of these clues pointing to market bottom could just be an illusion.  Seattle Bubble recently pointed out that many of the market bottom predictions have been completely off.

Bellora 2 is Definitely Maybe Back!

June 8, 2009 by  
Filed under 2700 Elliott, Bellora, Featured, Land Use, Schuster Group

An exciting Land Use Notice from DPD recently sent a notice of design review for 2700 Elliott Avenue, which has been referred to in previous rumors as Bellora 2.0.  The only information about the project that can readily be found is that for whatever reason, the project called for previous redesign/permitting. Below is the most recent information.

The proposal is for a new 13-story condominium building with approximately 120 residences and approximately 125 below-grade parking stalls. Street frontage on Elliott Avenue and Cedar Street will include small retail/commercial spaces. Project includes demolition of existing buildings.

The applicants have applied for Design Review related to development of this site.  At the early design guidance meeting, the applicants will present information about the site and vicinity.  The public may offer comments regarding the design and siting of the subject location; and, the Design Review Board members will also offer comments and identify those Citywide Design Guidelines of highest priority in developing the site.

Date:               Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Time:              5:30 p.m.
Location:      Seattle City Hall
Boards and Commissions Room L280 600 4th Av / 601 5th Av
(You will need to use the 5th Ave entrance after 6 p.m. If the doors
are locked, press red door button south of doors for the
security guard to gain access. Use center elevator to access L280)

However, there are some interesting sources leading us to believe that the project may be a whole new concept altogether.  In fact, the name Bellora 2 could very well be nothing other than a rumor itself.

Urban Condominiums is a longtime owner of the site, and lists the project under “Elliott Avenue and Cedar Street”.

Back in May 2008, The Business Journal reported that the Schuster Group plans to develop at that address and build something similar to their award-winning Mosler Lofts.  The article does state that they’ll be waiting a few years before  beginning, but it does appear that the team involved is one different than that of the original Bellora–leading us to believe that the project will more than likely not be named Bellora 2.

…maybe another one of our blogger friends may have more information about that.  We have placed in a call to Schuster and confirmed they are in fact involved with the project, but waiting for a return call to gather more information.

The Bellora itself is quite arguably one of the most quality-constructed condominium buildings in Belltown.  The award winning Mosler Lofts is also an impressively built address, almost a comparable upgrade of Bellora in regards to overall construction.  Based on what little information is available, we’re very excited to see renderings and review more details about the project.  It’s certain to be another boutique-like building.

And, since we’re on the subject of the Bellora, you might as well check out our Bellora listing since you’re here.  It’s only a click away.

Enclave – 2800 Fairview Ave E., Seattle, WA 98102

June 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Enclave


Address: 2800 Fairview Ave E., Seattle, WA 98102
Neighborhood: Eastlake


Here you can find all active listings at Enclave. If your dream condo is not listed, sign up to be instantly notified by email.

View Listings Button

Sign up to receive an instant email notification of new Enclave condos for sale as soon as they hit the market. Membership also includes a monthly review of all activity for this building.

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enclave_model1 enclave_night_view enclave_patio1


  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 21
  • Number of Stories: 3
  • Exterior: unknown
  • Parking: Private Garage
  • Pets: Unknown
  • H/O Dues Included: Unknown
  • Common Property Features & Amenities: Unknown



stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

HTI Gone Bankrupt!

June 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Lifestyle

Just as Matt Goyer was posting about the matter, a good friend informed us that HTI (Hydroacoustic Technology Inc.)has indeed filed for bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, the company has taken several large deposits from many of Seattle’s high-end luxury condos buyers who are still waiting for the company to even begin home installations.  We weren’t able to get too many details regarding refunds, but we’ll keep in touch as this becomes available.

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