After a long year and then some, downtown Seattle condos may offer buyers a chance to break into what has been a singularly competitive market. Plagued by low inventory and a spike in demand outside urban centers, buyers have been fighting against rising home prices even as they tried to take advantage of low interest rates.
One bright spot has arisen, however. Amid announcements from local employers like Amazon and Apple that employees will soon be returning to the office, and with rising vaccination rates among the local population, buyers are now reconsidering their home search in downtown areas.
For much of the pandemic sales of condos slowed as many buyers reconsidered their needs for space and greater privacy and started looking outside the more densely packed urban cores. But as of April 2021, Seattle saw a 121% increase in the number of condo sales compared to a year ago. The Eastside also experienced a boost, with an 84% increase in the number of condo sales compared to April 2020.
One reason condo sales are currently thriving is the housing segment’s relative affordability compared to the single-family home market. While home prices are still rising, in many cases by double digits, Seattle saw a 4.5% rise in the median condo price and the Eastside actually saw a 1% drop in the median condo price.
Although condo prices are generally on the rise, there is some good news for those interested in luxury listings and new developments as well: some property developers in downtown Seattle are offering reduced rates and temporary price reductions to encourage buyers and test the market ahead of their openings. Among these are a luxury high-rise called The Spire, which is offering price reductions up to 10% for a limited time, and the high-end Olive 8 Tower.
For buyers who have been struggling to break into the market, it seems the tables might finally be turning, especially for those with an interest in condos and townhomes. With many employees set to return to the office soon, the time is ripe to make the most of the market and get ready for a return to city life.
This article was originally posted on The Seattle Times by Heidi Groover.