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In a sustained trend, pending and closed sales continue to march upward for both resale and new construction properties in downtown Seattle, according to reports by market watchers. In July 2019, resale closings increased 35% year-over-year as pending sales spiked and active listings declined. For the first half in August 2019, pending resales have trended 75% higher than the same period in July, hinting at a possible inflection point in the market trajectory as outlined in a recent report by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR).
“Downtown Seattle is an established micro-climate that is benefiting from strong job growth and robust housing demand—both for rent and for sale,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR. “Resales have steadily increased all year and new construction inventory also crossed a milestone—half of the available units on the market have now been presold.”
On August 6th, The Seattle Times featured a front-page story entitled “It’s a Good Time to Shop for a Condo,” as consumers rejoice over improved selection, low interest rates and developer incentives.
Jones notes the market is “trickling upward” led by a bounty of first-time homebuyers seizing the timely opportunity to own. Most significantly, price points below $500,000 are up 70% for resales during the period between January and July in 2019 compared with the prior year. Fewer than 30 resale listings priced below $500,000 are listed on the NWMLS and the median home prices of resale properties appears to be rising yet again.
“Rising construction costs are challenging developers to deliver at these entry level prices,” adds Jones. “For new projects to pencil in the future, they will have to be priced even higher than those currently being built today.”
In new construction, homebuyer incentives are also fueling increased demand. SPIRE, for instance, is offering up to a $25,000 decorator allowance for new purchases while the developer can still accommodate these choices. The 41-story condominium tower is already elevated four stories above grade and is rising at a rate of one floor per week towards completion in late 2020.
“Given the quick pace of construction, we are starting to assign finish schedules for the available homes now,” said Michael Cannon, the Sales Director for SPIRE. “Prospective buyers that would like to personalize their home are encouraged to secure a presale soon.”
Cannon agrees with The Seattle Times—it’s a great time to make a presale. With more than 25% of SPIRE already presold, the building has validated market values. Just a 5% earnest money deposit is required to lock in presale pricing, and with approximately 18 months to completion, new homeowners have plenty of time to plan for their move.
“Some of our buyers are moving up from an existing condominium in downtown Seattle or downsizing from a single-family residence,” adds Cannon. “They are locking in their future home today and will resell their existing residence, just prior to the delivery of SPIRE.”
For more information, visit www.SPIREseattle.com.