As a recent Curbed Seattle article outlines, the abundance of luxury construction projects cropping up around downtown Seattle make it “easy to look around and think, condos. But the majority of new residential projects going up in the city – and downtown specifically – are destined to be rentals.” Of all the new homes under construction, there will be 6,324 units available for rent, and just 489 (7.1%) offered for sale.
The shortage of condominiums in the city continues to drive resale prices up and fuel unprecedented demand for each new project that comes onto the market. The article references KODA Condominiums, which is now 98-percent reserved despite just having opened reservations on February 23rd. And “two years before its estimated completion date in 2019, condos in the NEXUS building are already 75 percent sold out.”
Curbed says that the influx of demand for in-city homeownership has driven some developers to explore for-sale multi-family options, however they only represent a small part of the picture: “looking forward, about 9 percent of homes in demolition and shoring stages downtown will be condos, and about 10 percent of those in predevelopment.”
The article also cites Blaine Weber’s recent Daily Journal of Commerce op-ed, where he outlined the litigation pitfalls that often follow new projects due to stringent regulations imposed by the Washington State Condominium Act, which was designed to protect homebuyers.