North Seattle Condo Market: Are we picking up?

Every month I give you an update of how we’re doing in the north Seattle real estate market, focusing on single family homes and neglecting to keep you abreast of what’s going on with condos.  Well, anyone that reads The Seattle Times would have seen their big headline yesterday about downtown condos finally starting to fill up – and that’s true of north Seattle too.  I wanted to give you a little bit of a recap of what’s going on in the condo world in North Seattle.

Overall, we’re seeing a very active market around here.  In all of North Seattle, there are 148 active condominium listings right now with an average price of $219,582 and an average size of 899 square feet.   There are even 15 condos currently listed for sale under $100k.   The news gets better too – in the last six months, 211 condos have closed in north Seattle with the average price being $204,093 and the average size at 895 square feet.  That’s about 35 condos each month and demonstrates a pretty healthy 3-4 month supply of inventory.

The unfortunate news to go along with that is that 64 of those sold homes were bank-owned, and 31 were sold as short sales, giving us about 45% distressed inventory in the condo market – a much higher number than with our single family homes and to be honest, completely expected.

Not surprisingly, 52 of the closed condos in the last six months were in Ballard, which is one of the most heavily saturated areas for multi-family housing in north Seattle.   But this is a good thing – Hjarta Ballard, one of the few remaining new construction communities there, is currently averaging between two and three sales per month, and is almost in the single digits for remaining inventory.  Strong sales are helping keep values up in Ballard and beyond.

Hjarta Ballard, new construction on NW Market Street

The only other new construction building from 2008 or beyond currently on the market in the neighborhood is Duncan Place, with nine homes remaining in the U-District.  Which begs the question – where will the condo market go?

With so much new construction in the area for multi-family housing, you would think that some new condos must be hitting the market soon.  But you’d be very wrong, because all these new buildings are apartments.  ALL of them.  However, as with the normal rise and fall of the market I do expect to see some of these apartment homes turn around and become condominiums within the next couple of years.  Apart from that, condo shoppers will have to keep their eye out for great deals in the resale department while waiting out the storm for new construction to begin.

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