Each month we go back and take a look at condo market sales here in Seattle as reported by the MLS.
We first take a look at the whole city of Seattle to get a general overview of our area’s condo market and then we drill down by neighborhood using the MLS areas focusing on the areas that have the largest concentration of condos here in our city. Those areas we closely track are:
- Capitol Hill/Central/Madison Valley (area 390)
- Queen Anne/Magnolia (area 700)
- Downtown/Belltown/SLU (area 701)
- Ballard/Fremont/Wallingford/Phinney (area 705)
For September, in Seattle overall, we saw a 2.1% decrease in the number of condo sales compared to August. However, on a year over year comparison to September of last year, the number of sales are actually up 9.3%. In other words, for this summer/fall the number of sales are trending down, but we are higher than same time last year for the number of sales.
It is a similar trend for condo prices. Compared to the previous month this year, the median price for September is down slightly by 2.2%, but compared to last year in September 2013, we are up 8.8% during the same time. Again this is looking at Seattle as whole for condo stats.
By the neighborhoods:
When we drill down to the local neighborhoods, we find this trend generally continues with the exception of Capitol Hill/Madison/Central (area 390) where the number of sales on a year-over-year comparison are actually down by 2% over the same time the previous year. But in all 4 of the urban core areas, we see median price points up on a year-over-year basis compared to September 2013. With the bright beacon being Capitol Hill, which shows an increase of 32% over last year’s September median prices. They are now showing $330,000 as the median price ($249,450 in 2013). It’s important to note, however, that the same area saw much lower performance compared to last year in July and August, where during both months saw decreases of 5.7% and 4.7% respectively. So this last month could be a little bit of the market making up for decreases in previous couple of months. Or it could mean a big price spike is happening right now for Capitol Hill/Madison/Central.
On the not so impressive end of the scale, Ballard/Fremont showed only a 5.4% increase over last year’s September, but this area (705) also showed gains over the same periods in July and August at 8.4% and 18.9%. So I might say Ballard is actually more consistent right now.
In summary, nothing too surprising at this point for September. We still are seeing a low amount of inventory in all four areas. With Capitol Hill/Madison/Central having the largest decrease in number of listings on the market, down by 25% over last year’s September. Belltown/Downtown was the only area that remained roughly flat. Likely, again, a result of the new inventory coming from Insignia Condominiums as well as Carbon 56 Condos.
Recent new announcements of new condominium developments that are in the early design phases in Ballard (Salt Condominiums) as well as one in Belltown at 4th Bell next to Fire Station #2 might provide some relief but they are likely 2016/2017 new inventory.
With the sales numbers in a couple of the areas still increasing but no meaningful new inventory, it appears no imminent end in sight for buyers woes and seller’s glee of low inventory market with a seller’s advantage.
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By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.