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2715 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98121
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Seattle Condominium Demand Rises

Eleanor Heyrich

We’ve seen the headlines over the last 12 months—local experts claiming Seattle is experiencing a pause in the market. Yet, we remain the fastest-growing large city in the U.S. and have seen a growth in population by 89 percent since 2010. So how can this be?

President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) Dean Jones said, “With rising resale supply and new construction offerings, there was less urgency, and the headlines, in part, helped create a self-fulfilling prophecy about a slowing market. The market trajectory has since turned more positive—both pending and closed sales have grown each month in 2019 and both are now trending higher year-over-year. I think we’re witnessing an inflection point, and sales are rebounding.”

According to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Services (NWMLS), resale and condominium values are recovering—resale by an increase of 39 percent. In addition to an increase in sales volume, the median home price in July 2018 was $650,000 compared to $617,500 in July 2019. While the values remained relatively level year-over-year, we are seeing an increase in sales at slightly lower price points.

After years of double-digit median home price increases, it’s unsurprising that in the context of 2018 prices and demand slowed. What we’ve seen in 2019, is the continued decrease of interest rates (at a two-year low), a booming stock market and increased consumer confidence which has led to an increase in sales.

 

Tech continues to invest in Seattle and the Eastside with companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Expedia all occupying new campuses with tens of thousands of jobs waiting to be filled. This job growth will continue to spur housing demand—both rent and for sale. Matt Van Damm, Vice President of New Developments for RSIR, said,” More than 1,000 people a week are moving to the area and while most new residents will initially rent, thousand of recently delivered apartments act like incubators for future condominium buyers.”

Seattle currently has less than four months of resale supply technically making the market neutral; however, buyers are continually encouraged by sharp prices, low interest rates and more choices. The problem, is that new construction is not always well-represented in market data. More than 600 new condos have presold since September 2018 and only a fraction of the new units are listed on the NWMLS. “There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye, both domestically and internationally,” added Jones. “Seattle is viewed globally as the new West Coast gateway with a long runway for investments, especially when considering the 20 percent foreign buyer home taxes in Vancouver, BC and higher housing costs and state income taxes of California.”

Seattle continues to hold the title of having the most tower cranes than any other US city and experts don’t expect this to change anytime soon. By the end of 2018, $4.8 billion in construction projects were in progress with an additional 15 million square feet in the queue. “Looking ahead, new high-rise condominiums will need to fetch more than $1,200 per sq. ft. on average—easily 10-15 percent more than the current crop of units being built today,” said Brian O’Connor, Principal of O’Connor Consulting Group – a leading appraiser that specializes in urban development. “If the presales aren’t there, then the project will defer or won’t get built. If we don’t add more supply, then the market will be unbalanced and prices will rise until they do pencil.”

Coined by the Brookings Institution as one of four “superstar cities” in the US, Seattle displays some of the nation’s greatest job density and growth rates. With job opportunities and a relatively lower overall cost of living, in comparison to other major West Coast cities, Seattle has positioned itself as a valuable city that attracts new residents who will ultimately fuel the upward trajectory of homes and values into the next decade.

Featured on Curbed Seattle!

Eleanor Heyrich

Last week, Curbed writer Tom Trimbath, wrote about an intriguing property in an article entitled “Bulls, Blues, and a Buddha in Ballard”. The property, located at 6408 17th Ave NW in Ballard, is listed by our team!

The 1,880 square foot Cape Cod home, built in 1918, is filled with fine home décor, creating an attractive ambience within. From the bull head motif, to the John Coltrane posters, to the Buddha statue that sits at the entrance, this is truly a unique home; “The posters probably won’t stay, but these fans of the blues have filled this Ballard home with fine decor. Maybe a stager would go that far, but they probably wouldn’t have included the bulls head motif as well” remarks Trimbath.

The home has had modern updates without interfering with the historical attributes of the house including “hardwood floors, columnar room dividers, and linteled doorways. The ceilings are boxed by beams that cross creating a bit more interest above”. These classical arrangements are beautifully contrasted with modern improvements such as updated appliances and plumbing and details such as new cabinets and backsplash in the kitchen.

Another unique feature of this property is the detached building, about the size of an ADU, that has been converted to a media room which Trimbath says allows resident movie aficionados to “close the doors and curtains, crank the volume, and hopefully no one in the house or neighborhood will be disturbed by your movie night”.

Thanks for the fabulous feature, Curbed! 

To learn more about this inimitable property and read to full article, please visit: Curbed | 1918 Cape Cod in Ballard asking 650K

RSIR Adds Madison Park Office

Eleanor Heyrich

REALOGICS SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY TO OPEN A NEW BRANCH OFFICE IN SEATTLE’S MADISON PARK; WELCOMES BROKERS AS “RESIDENT EXPERTS” IN EXPANSION

Founding Member Brokers Envision “The Park House” Branch Operation to Serve Key Seattle Neighborhoods

Executives of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”) are pleased to announce a new branch office in Madison Park within its expanding global brokerage network. The branch will be comprised of a boutique retail storefront called “The Park House” located at 4031 East Madison Street with an administrative annex located across the street at 4020 East Madison Street that offers room to grow. Operations at the annex will begin in April 2016 as the retail experience center is currently under renovation. The Park House welcomes the following brokers as Founding Members: Carrie DeBuysLaura Halliday and Hoady Spencer. Together these three are resident experts who live and specialize within their immediate communities and beyond including Capitol Hill, Broadmoor, Madison Park, Madison Valley, Denny Blaine, Madrona, Leschi, Mount Baker and Seward Park, among others. Additional broker appointments will be announced as the branch operations expand.

 

“We are proud to become a long term member of the community and will offer real estate excellence through our resident experts that live and work in these neighborhoods,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR. “The Park House is offered as a retail living room but it will also be a venue for special events. We will showcase homes from around the corner and around the globe with a focus on sun, snow and surf destinations where our network is especially well-positioned to represent second home lifestyles and investment opportunities.”

Now that real estate values are setting new benchmarks in the region, Jones notes an increasing trend for downsizing empty-nesters divesting from larger estates in search of a “lock and leave” condominium or townhome lifestyle while exploring a second home purchase elsewhere. To be sure, the greater central and eastside markets of Seattle witnessed tightening supply so far in 2016. According to RSIR research, median home values in the area (NWMLS areas #380 and #390) skyrocketed by 24-percent for the first quarter 2016. With fewer listings there have been fewer sales overall, however in the luxury segment above $1 million, the total sales increased from 39 homes in 2015 to 49 in 2016 for an increase of more than 25-percent year-over-year.

“There will be sustained demand for Seattle’s infill neighborhoods by virtue of local job growth and a maturing professional demographic creating household formation and insurmountable traffic congestion despite recent announcements by Sound Transit,” adds Jones. “I believe this is a point of inflection and The Park House will be a timely addition to our regional network as these trends play out.”

Jones points to massive employment in downtown Seattle that’s drawing thousands of new residents each quarter in addition to job transfers, such as Expedia, which will increasingly relocate 3,000+ positions from downtown Bellevue to Interbay by 2019. Meanwhile, he says a new cycle of condominium developments in downtown Seattle will help compel a growing migration of downsizers while a new generation of homebuyers will seek these family homes within Seattle’s most nostalgic communities.

RSIR offers both new construction services to developers and a resale brokerage division servicing at all property types and price points throughout the central Puget Sound region. Its strategy to build out premier retail branches within key growth markets in downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland, Issaquah and now Madison Park are attracting top-producing brokers. Since forming in 2010, RSIR consistently posts the greatest average production on a per agent basis with the highest average selling prices amongst the top ten largest real estate brands in the region. Its robust marketing department has been innovative in the industry creating unique platforms such as the Asia Services Group targeting the rise of in-bound investment from overseas buyers as well as focused campaigns such as the #NoPlaceLikeOwn initiative that is helping renters understand the benefits of being a homeowner. As the largest affiliate for Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington State, executives at RSIR recently appointed Jennifer Johnsen to Vice President of Brand Development focused on broker membership and growth management for the expanding real estate network.