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New Research Spells Out Downtown Condo Market

January 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Featured

Data compiled from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service by Seattle based real estate group Urban Condominiums, LLC. is showing that local in-city condos are doing fairly well compared to regional and national housing trends.  The report credits a lot of Seattle’s above average condition to low inventory of new construction.  Sales Director for Urban Condominiums, LLC, Marco Kronen, also points out that not only has there not been much built, but no new construction development has broken ground since the rise of the commercial credit crunch during summer 2007. With no plans for further downtown development until 2010/2011, the market could very easily make a fast change in favor for sellers.  New listing activity year-over-year was also reported as steadily decreasing since May of 2008.

New Condo Construction and Sales for MLS Area 701

New Condo Construction and Sales for MLS Area 701

Here is a few more of their findings:

  • Fewer active listings remained on the NWMLS at year-end 2008 versus 2007 (14% less inventory active today)
  • Pending sale activity slowed by 29% in 2008 with fewer presales of new construction as buyers “wait-and-see”
  • Overall inventory absorption in 2008 retreated only 13% versus 2007 (partially due to presales from prior years)
  • While median condo prices below $600,000 decreased by 5%, median prices above $600,000 increased by 32%
  • Median prices year-end in aggregate (all price points) dropped by 2.35% – less than a quarter of regional decline
  • Factoring all new construction not listed on NWMLS, median prices are actually much higher in 2008

Another blurb in the report suggests that agents who specialize downtown and developers of new construction have noticed more buyer activity since the election.  We can even vouch for that ourselves.  However, some of their survey data shows that some buyers are attempting to time the market bottom.

“Finding the absolute bottom of any market is only ever known in hindsight,” says Kronen. “While price is always a factor downtown, I think preferred selection and securing favorable interest rates will become a larger issue in 2009.”