Downtown Seattle Condo Market – 2016 in Review
The Downtown Seattle condo market in 2016 was strong as it was in 2015, and in fact, had increases in several key statistics. The average Downtown Seattle condo sales price was up ($781,310 vs $667,959), price per square foot was up ($702 vs $626), and the days on market was less (29 vs 39 days). So Downtown Seattle condos sold faster and for more money. In addition, more of these Seattle condos sold in 2016 (934) than in 2015 (790). While the numbers improved, sales in both years were dominated by the Belltown condo project, Insignia, on 5th and Battery. In 2015, there were 299 Insignia sales and in 2016 it accounted for 406 sales. That increase in sales at Insignia (107) accounts for 74% of the difference of the number of total sales of Downtown Seattle Condos (934 sales – 790 sales = 144 increase). Insignia has been the exception, not the rule. It is the only major downtown condo project in the last couple years, mainly because of the risk of lawsuits condo builders face and because the Seattle rental market has improved, making apartments the preferred choice for developers. With limited new condo inventory and the improved overall Seattle real estate market, Seattle condos have seen increased in their prices.
The overall real estate market in the region (area covered by Northwest Multiple Listing Service which serves 23 Washington State counties) saw an 8.1 increase of sales in 2016 when compared to 2015 with inventory at a record low for most of the year. For the 23 counties, the median sales price increased 8.9 percent from $310,000 in 2015 to $337,500 in 2016. Condos, which make up a smaller share of the market, were up 12.6% while single family homes increased 8.7%.
Inventory was tight throughout the year, there was an average of 1.86 months of inventory in 2016, compared to 2.4 months in 2015. King County was the tightest with only 1.1 months of supply. A balanced market is generally considered to be between 4 and 6 months of inventory.
The luxury real estate market was strong in 2016, with over 3,251 home sales over $ 1 million compared to 2,676 in 2015: over a 21 percent increase. The number of condos over $500,000 also increased with 1,711 sold in 2016 versus 1,459 half-million dollar sales in 2015: also over a 21 percent increase.
These statistics were gathered from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, but were not compiled or published by that organization.