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2018 Wouldn’t Recognize Today’s Condo Market

Posted by Johnine Larsen on April 9, 2019
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Across King County—finally!—the condo market is looking up for sellers. After years of skyrocketing prices, fierce competition, and minimal inventory, we’ve reached the top of the hill. Buyers can finally coast a little (just a little, but more on that later).

The market has almost three times as many condos now as it did a year ago, and those units are staying on the market for an average of six weeks (last year, the average time was just a single, frantic week). Bidding wars for condos aren’t really happening right now. And amazingly, the average King County condo now sells below list price. For reference, last year, condos were selling up to 35% above list price.

Even with this softer market, condo sales have decreased 15% from a year ago, despite the number of condos on the market rising 164%. This means this isn’t just a random dip—the trend has changed.

Why is this happening? Largely, because apartment rents have slowed down. And with less money in building apartments, developers have turned to condos for the first time in more than a decade. (Most large housing projects are still apartments, but any significant push for new condos is a huge deviation from the recent past). With more condos and condo presales, things are happening as you’d expect: lower prices, less competition for buyers, more competition for sellers.

But let’s put this in perspective. Seattle’s condos still aren’t cheap. Take a look:

Housing Increases

Median condo price: up 148% since 2012
Median single-family home price: up 102% since 2012
Median apartment rent: up 59% since 2012

Housing Prices

Median condo price in King County: $434,000
Median condo price in Seattle: $492,000
Median single-family home price in King County: $667,000
Median single-family home price in Seattle: $752,000

Condo buyers, the market is looking pretty good right now for Seattle. And the housing market isn’t too bad, either (see below). Condo sellers, you’ll have to work a little harder to stand out, and you won’t get the same quick, above-asking sales of last year. But if you’ve owned your condo for a while, you’ll still get a hefty return on your investment.

 

A quick note about single-family home prices:

The median single-family house in King County sold for 3.2% less this March than a year ago (this was the biggest drop in seven years). Also, inventory almost doubled across the county. In Seattle, that year-over-year price drop was 8.2%. Looking closer at that drop:

West Seattle: 0% change
Queen Anne/Magnolia: 14.5% decline
Southeast Seattle: 10.6% decline
Ballard/Greenwood: 8.5% decline
The rest of Seattle: slight decrease
North and southwest King County: slight decrease
  • Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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