The “starter price” condo market

Many years ago, I did a study of the “starter price” condo market and received some very surprising results. Based on Dustin’s post, I re-did the research and obtained the exact same results as I did back in Bucks County, PA some 13-16 years ago! Interesting…

The two highest months for people making decisions to buy a condo in what we might call a “starter” price range are March and July. March because first time buyers are often urged by their accountants, or simply by their tax return on their own, to own instead of rent. July due to downsizing of empty nesters or now single, divorced persons selling their single family homes in June and July and moving to a condo. Of course, every month has a mix of reasons to buy, but I find these two reasons account for the fact that these two months tend to be the highest in a yearly cycle.

Sales in June and August are not too far behind and on a quarterly basis, sales are more fairly consistent year round for condos than single family homes, with a slight drop in the last quarter. Again we are not talking about million dollar condos, we are talking about the lowest rung of the price chain.

Actual statistics of 2 bedroom condos under $300,000 (most about $250,000) within a short distance of Sundance in Klahanie.

2005 – Jan. – 10, Feb. – 14, March – Twenty eight – Sold in the 1st quarter – 52

April – 18, May – 19, June – 24 – Sold in the 2nd quarter – 61

July – Thirty, Aug. – 24, Sept. – 13 – Sold in the 3rd quarter – 67

Oct. – 13, Nov. – 9, Dec. – 15 – Sold in the 4th quarter – 37

Inventory in 2006 is way down with only 39 sold in the first quarter compared to 52 in 2005. This does not appear to be because there are fewer buyers, but because fewer people are putting their properties up for sale. However this low inventory in the resale market should not necessarily lead you to believe that demand will be high as supply is low. There is a lot of pressure on the resale markets from New construction and Condo Conversion Projects, generally. Even if the new construction or condo conversion is not in your back yard, people will drive an extra mile or two for brand new.

I have to admit that I almost fell off my chair to find the results almost identical in this scenario, to the study I did some 3,000 miles away back in the early to mid nineties.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

8 thoughts on “The “starter price” condo market

  1. The large amount of new and converted condos available is readily apparent in the Sat. paper “New Homes” section. It’s much larger than usual and there are lots of expensive adds for condos that weren’t there a week ago

  2. Thanks for sharing your great research and thoughts. Many agents would never be able to tell their clients that July is one of the top months for condos.

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