Now that Matt…

has a new condo in Bellevue at the Meritage, you might have thought he would slow down the pace of his condo blogging at Urbnlivn. But no chance there… instead he unleashes the urbnlivn forum for the Seattle-area Market. Very cool. It’s a little quiet at the moment (the site is brand new), but I’m sure under Matt’s guidance, it won’t stay quiet for long…

Also a belated, but HUGE, congratulations to Matt on your new condo!

Condos off to a busy start

(Editor’s Note: Today is another great day as I get to introduce Matt Goyer as the newest contributor to RCG. I’ve been following Matt’s Urbnlivn website for quite a while and I’ve always been impressed. With urbnlivn, Matt has managed to collect, organize and republish an incredible amount of local condo knowledge. However, if you decide you need more than condo information from Matt, then check out his personal blog, his more general real estate blog, or his contributions on the Redfin’s blog. While I don’t want to pigeonhole Matt into only talking condos, our current plan is to have him synthesize the great condo research he does on Urbanlivn and bring it to RCG on a regular basis. Matt can be reached at mail *at* mattgoyer *dot* com or by leaving a comment below!)

Relative to all of December it was a busy week this past week for new condo construction in Seattle. What made the first week of the new year so busy was three new events on the calendar and lots of action on the MLS.

Three new events

January 9 at 7pm, the POWHat, a community association, is hosting a discussion about proposed condo on Pine. This is the development that started the death of Pine/Pike meme and has been written about in The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly as well as The Seattle PI. Written about not because the developers paid to get in the Saturday New Homes section but written about because it is replacing the independent bars and restaurants which the condo’s marketing people love to tout as the reason why you should move to Capitol Hill. So I’m looking forward to seeing what is replacing the Cha-Cha, Bimbo’s Burritos, the Bus Stop, and Kincora because without those four institutions it’s going to be hard to market this project.

January 18 at at 6pm, Trace Lofts will host their buyers preview. We’re all looking forward to unraveling the mystery that is Trace Lofts. At least no one is upset about this development, yet.

January 19 at 5pm is Decatur Condominiums grand opening gala. Decatur is a conversion originally designed by the Space Needle’s architect. Now the invitation doesn’t mention whether this gala will be black tie or not. I’m assuming no since, I don’t own a tux and the units are supposedly all under $500,000 (people who make less than six figures likely don’t down their own tuxes, right?).

Active week on the MLS

At the beginning of last year most new condo developments shied away from the MLS. But then in the fall as the market slowed more developments listed their inventory hoping to attract more attention. Then towards then end of the year we started seeing price reductions and buyers bonuses; presumably to move inventory before year end. Now that the new year has started prices are increasing and I’m sure we’ll see fewer buyer bonuses.

To start us off, Noma first increased the prices on the 3 units it had on the MLS and then listed the rest of their inventory which is 19 units. They now have 22 listings on the MLS ranging in price from $222,950 to $539,950. I imagine they’re a little frustrated watching Canal’s success.

Olive 8, the development which added 3 floors, had 10 price increases ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. What is odd is that the increases range from 1.5% to 5% and seem fairly random.

9 units from Press 2 were listed. Press is a two phase development originally built as apartments. The first phase was an occupied apartment and has since been converted, phase two was never occupied and renovated.

4 units from Trio came online. Trio is unarguably Seattle’s biggest condo failure with only 28 units sold of 113 in over a year. Glad to see they’re coming to their senses and making their units more accessible to all the users of the MLS. Hopefully this gets them a little more attention in the New Year.

If you’re interested in following the day to day activity in the Seattle condo market be sure to check out Urbnlivn or check back here next week for my weekly updates.