Seattle Condo Update: Buyers Turn to Presales Amidst High Demand & Low Supply

Downtown Seattle condominiums continue to be a scarce commodity for homebuyers, particularly at affordable price points. As recent research of Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) available listings indicates, there are a mere 7 resale condominiums in Seattle priced below $700,000 as the November median home price increased 37.3-percent year-over-year. While some buyers feel defeated at the lack of opportunities, many are turning to reservations and presales, which can provide relief for those that can plan ahead.

“There’s a clear supply and demand imbalance driving up home prices in downtown Seattle,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s international Realty. “Several new condominium buildings are on the horizon but they’ll take several years to deliver. Despite this new inventory, I fear home values will continue ascending given the job and population growth, not to mention an increasing number of renters seeking homeownership.”

In an early December feature, Puget Sound Business Journal discussed Seattle condos with a graphic that demonstrates that there will be no new condominium deliveries in 2017 and an estimated 1,383 deliveries to round out the current decade. A deeper look at the pipeline reveals that of the nearly 500 units currently under construction, there are just 60 units still available for purchase.

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Presales can offer much needed reprieve from Seattle’s ever-growing home prices and hot market conditions, as a presale is typically accomplished with a 5-percent non-refundable deposit to lock in today’s purchase price on tomorrow’s residence. This provides desirable equity gains for current owners, with the flexibility to roadmap the future while they await completion.

The preference for presales was on full display just one month ago at the NEXUS Sales Center, as prospective buyers waited hours for their chance to secure one of 28 attainably priced City Suites that were released.

As Jones reflected, “It felt like Black Friday, except it was a Saturday and we were selling condos.” He noted that all of the new City Suites sold out by the weekend’s end, and the project is now 90-percent presold with remaining two and three-bedroom opportunities priced from $1.2 million. For more information, visit NEXUSseattle.com.