Seattle's Condo Conundrum


The lack of available new condominiums in downtown Seattle has been in the spotlight lately, as a recent King 5 News feature outlines the severe inventory shortage as demand for in-city homeownership continues to rise. As reporter Jake Whittenberg said, it’s “hard to imagine a shortage in this environment,” yet that is the reality buyers face as developers overwhelmingly prefer to build apartments in the downtown core given stringent laws and regulations.

Referencing stats provided by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, Whittenberg says that only about 6-percent of the new construction in downtown Seattle in the current decade is offered for sale, and most of which is already in development has presold. A King 5 News graphic showcased just how deep the shortage runs, in comparing condo stats from the past three decades. In 1999, there were 2,141 condo sales. The number went up to just over 3,400 in 2008, and looking at 2017 is down to just 355. There are currently only 20 condos currently listed for sale on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service in Seattle for under $1 million, and just 7 under $700,000.

For more on the downtown Seattle condo conundrum, read a recent RSIR report here.