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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Condo Fever Just Warming Up

Although the home market may be finally cooling around here, condo fever in downtown Bellevue and Seattle are just getting started, according to the King County Journal:

Overwhelming demand for condominiums in downtown Bellevue has prompted one developer to hold a lottery to determine who gets first dibs on buying units ranging in price from $375,000 to more than $1 million.
...
While the red-hot market for single-family homes is showing signs of cooling this year, a new "in-town housing boom" is taking hold on the Eastside and in Seattle.

This growing demand for condo units in downtown settings is happening across the country, according to Glenn Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.

"Take downtown Seattle for example, where there seems to be condo projects springing out of the ground everywhere," Crellin said. "The same thing's happening in downtown Spokane," where several large condo projects are in the works.

Crellin said the "in-town housing boom" is being driven by growing numbers of "young professionals ... who want to be where the action is" as well as aging Baby Boomers who have become "empty nesters."
Personally I don't really care what's going on with downtown condos, since I have no intention of living in downtown Bellevue or Seattle, but if the claims in this article are true, is this a trend that will continue once housing really slows down?

(Clayton Park, King County Journal, 03.06.2006)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the trend continues. Anything that would glut the market can only help.

And I have to say, I think it'd be a great trend if people started moving vertical in housing. The horizontal urban sprawl/eating into forest and farm land is way past overdone by now.

DENSITY! YES!

Anonymous said...

"Overwhelming demand for condominiums in downtown Bellevue has prompted one developer to hold a lottery to determine who gets first dibs on buying units ranging in price from $375,000 to more than $1 million."

Sounds like standard procedure - take one data point and extrapolate it into a "trend". Still, if there is such strong demand, one wonders if we're seeing the beginnings of investor/flipper infestation.

anon 7:31 - totally agree. I'm already seeing "For Rent" signs appearing on some of these ubiquitous condo towers. But please, by all means, build more. Lots more.

biliruben said...

one wonders if we're seeing the beginnings of investor/flipper infestation.

Beginnings?

Half the houses I've seen in my neihgborhood have flipper written all over them, whether it be the cheesy attempts at "landscaping" or the fact that they are trying to jack the price 100K+ over what they paid 6 mo. ago.

I am not sure who else would be buying, except speculators late to the party and desperate folks who don't research before buying "the most important investment of their lives".

Too many dancers and not enough chairs.