Luxury Condominium Sales Up 177%!
In a further sign of a market turnaround, Northwest Multiple Listing Service has released data showing that 23 luxury condominiums, priced at over $1 million, have closed during the first three months of 2011! This compares with only 13 sales in for the same period in 2010. Better yet, another 13 multimillion-dollar homes are currently pending. This will provide a strong lead-in for second quarter, and it’s a powerful indication that a luxury home sales trend is firmly in place– and accelerating.
Why now? More market liquidity because contingent homebuyers are successfully selling their homes, enabling them to now buy a condo. Mortgage financing has loosened up over the past year for qualified buyers. The economic outlook is improving, and so is buyer confidence. Seattle enjoyed a number of huge commercial real estate transactions in 1Q11, and job opportunities are resurging.
Those are all good reasons, of course, but more telling was the shift in momentum when November 2010’s Washington State Ballot Measure I-1098, which would have imposed a state income tax, took a pounding at the polls. We heard from a number of buyers, primarily from outside Washington, whose decision to purchase a multimillion-dollar home was contingent on the outcome of that vote. Not having a state income tax is an influence which may have been flying under the radar for some time, but it is now proving to be a real dealmaker in deciding to buy a Washington State property. Out-of-state buyers are snapping up homes for business, pleasure, or both. Baby-boomers are booming here too. Retirees are either looking to downsize to condominiums, or to spend time in multiple homes in different states. All in all, prospective buyers are getting more savvy about investing in Washington State– no income taxes, sharpened prices and a lock-and-leave lifestyle.
And the good news keeps coming. The Washington State Department of Licensing reported a 25% increase in drivers license registrations as of February 2011, compared with 2010 (based on a rolling 12-month period). One-third of 11,237 new state residents relocated to King County. And, thanks to the 2010 U.S. Census, Washington State grew enough over the last decade to snag another congressional seat, plus another vote in the Electoral College.
No high-rise condominium project has broken ground in Seattle since 2007. That’s when the housing market peaked, and a global credit crunch either deferred or canceled dozens of projects. It’s safe to say that Seattle was saved from overbuilding!
We now find that the majority of the most premier, view-oriented units have been quietly absorbed. Inventories at the most preferred properties are finite and prices are firming up. There’s a flight to quality, and sales occur where the value is present. Some examples:
• Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, a tower averaging nearly $2 million per unit, is 77% sold with seven new sales pending during the past 45 days alone.
• Olive 8 has sold 18 homes since the New Year, with only a few of the coveted northwest corner units remaining.
• Escala has effectively sold out of its larger west-facing plans.
• Fifty homes have either closed or sold at Bellevue Towers since the beginning of this year.
• Harvard & Highland, which opened in November 2009, have closed 22 of their 38 homes, with five pending.
• 200 West Highland, which went on the market in November 2010, is down to only two homes out of an original number of 17.
Currently, 65 condominiums priced at over $1 million are on the market in King County. There are all kinds of wonderful places for sale, and we’re in the know about which ones can best fit your lifestyle. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us work on the perfect home for YOU!Email