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Condos are making a comeback in Seattle

Three developers are ditching plans to build apartments, and instead, turning their new buildings into condos. The move is rare and indicative of a changing Seattle housing market.

A collection of housing developments in Seattle originally planned as apartments will now open as condo units instead.

It's a move that's somewhat indicative of the changing housing market in Seattle that has become one of the hottest in the nation.

Developers for the Neighborhood Collection confirm the three buildings, Atrium (750 11th Ave. E.), Wallingford 45 (1601 N. 45th St.) and Edison (121 12th Ave. E.) will open 133 new units and be move-in ready sometime this Fall. Units average around $500,000.

"We think for affordability, for people who want to own something who want to get in on the ground floor, this is the perfect time," said Elliott Severson with Wallingford Development. "And it can be where they want to live."

The switch to for-sale condos is significant for Seattle, which has been experiencing a condo drought since 2011. According to Realogic Sotheby's International Realty, zero new condos were delivered in downtown Seattle in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

"Developers are going to build what's most profitable for them," said Dean Jones, CEO of RSIR. "But now that condo values are rising as quick as they are, and there is pent-up demand, we're seeing more developers take on condominiums."

Severson also points to interest rates being at record lows as another reason for the switch to condos.

While it's obvious Seattle is experiencing a construction boom, 94 percent of all housing projects have been apartments over the past decade. And despite the Neighborhood Collection nearing completion and a condo boom in the pipeline, new construction timelines mean they won't be available until 2022 or 2023.

Market experts believe multi-family housing is only going to be more expensive ahead because of market pressures, construction costs and rising interest rates.