I just received this press release from Urban Condominiums charting the performance of condos in Seattle over the course of 2008.
The introductory comments are on the bullish side but the charts are definitely worth a good look.
I tend to agree that interest rates are favourable and it is encouraging that Seattle developers had investor caps to avoid over speculation. This should help Seattle moderate its correction compared to other major cities which were more supportive of condo speculation.
Update 01/09/09: Urban Condominiums just informed me that MLS had a few additional closings very late in 2008 that didn't get posted in time for them to inlcude in their previous numbers. They have an updated report. The numbers changed only slightly but their general findings are still the same.
Here are the changes:
- Fewer active listings remained on the NWMLS at year-end 2008 versus 2007 (10% less inventory active today)
- Pending sale activity slowed by 27% in 2008 with fewer presales of new construction as buyers “wait-and-see”
- Overall inventory absorption in 2008 retreated 12% versus 2007 (partially due to presales from prior years)
- While median condo prices below $600,000 decreased by 4%, median prices above $600,000 increased by 20%
- Median prices year-end in aggregate (all price points) dropped by 2.13% – less than a quarter of regional decline
- Factoring all new construction not listed on NWMLS, median prices were actually higher in 2008