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Seattle Condo Sales Hitting a Ceiling…or Wall, Says Real Estate Sales & Marketing Firm Polaris Pacific

SEATTLE (March 26, 2014)—Polaris Pacific, the premier West Coast real estate sales, marketing and research firm, released today its Seattle market report on condominium home prices and development trends. “Prices are up, but the slim development pipeline indicates continued upward pressure on pricing,” said Rhonda Slavik, Business Development Director for Polaris Pacific. Among the report’s results:


-- Seattle’s median urban home prices were up 10%, and sales volume rose 16% year over year.

The city’s 12 urban districts with significant multi-family housing stock recorded an eye-popping volume of $1.31 billion in condo sales in 2013, a 16.7% increase over 2012’s $1.12 billion.  And the median price rose 10.1 percent from $277,725 in 2012 to $305,000 in 2013. That’s still well below the past decade’s peak, a median sales price of approximately $400,000 in 2007. The most notable year-over-year price increase last year, 41.4%, occurred in District 8 Northwest Seattle.

-- Development favors apartments, lending more price pressure on condos.

Development and finance conditions favor apartment development at present, Garber said, so the pipeline of new construction is predominately apartments. That’s good for renters, not so good for aspiring homeowners. Garber added, it is also an opportune time for developers with apartments, either completed, under construction or entitled, to consider converting to condominiums. The report cited no new for-sale condominiums that opened in 2012 and only 142 in 2013, compared to 2,917 rental apartments developed in 2012 and 1,721 apartments last year.  That’s 4,638 apartment units in two years versus 142 in the same period. As for the peak production years over the past decade, there were approximately 3,900 apartments built in 2008 and 1,800 condominiums in 2007.

Other observations:

-- Another market indicator of the undersupply in condominiums is that it took 47 days for the average condominium to be sold last year, a 20% decline from 2012, he added.  Days on the market (DOM) is time between the date a home is listed and the date it goes into escrow.

The Polaris Pacific report covers the most active districts for multi-family urban housing, including District 1 Downtown, District 2 West Seattle, District 3 Capitol Hill, District 4 Central Seattle, District 5 Lake Union, District 6 Queen Anne, District 7 Fremont Ballard, District 8 Northwest, District 9 Northeast, District 10 Bellevue, District 11 Kirkland and District 12 Redmond.

About Polaris Pacific:

With 30 years of experience, San Francisco-based Polaris Pacific is the West Coast’s leading sales, marketing and research firm for high-density residential real estate, with clients and properties from Seattle to San Diego. From land acquisition, entitlement and architectural review to brand development, market launches and cutting-edge marketing approaches, Polaris Pacific analyzes each new property to consistently outperform competitors and maximize value at every step of the process. Visit Polaris Pacific on the web at: www.PolarisPacific.com.

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