Belltown and Downtown combined are, in multiple ways, unlike any other area of Seattle or the broader Puget Sound region. Firstly, the area is completely urbanized: there is no single-family housing left downtown. Secondly, this area is ground zero for the widely-discussed "Condominium Conundrum" in Seattle, where nearly all multifamily construction in recent years has been allocated for apartments. As a result, the number of downtown sales is historically low amidst the greatest run-up in home prices in the city's history.
When opened, new projects consequently have an out sized impact on units and volume sold. This was evident in recent trends when the Insignia Towers at Bell and Battery were opened for occupancy in 2015 and 2016. Once those units were absorbed, sales reverted to a downtown condo reselling trend below 150 units per quarter. A parallel impact can be seen on the median cumulative days on market, which fell to zero when these tower projects were launched, then rebound-ed to seven to nine days quarterly for resales.
Sales of these tower project units influenced the median price trend in these years as well, resulting in a 0.4 percent decline from 2016 to 2017 ($640,000 to $637,500). Most units in the sec-ond tower had been absorbed by the fourth quarter of 2016, so that fourth-quarter selling price trends more accurately represent selling prices downtown. These were up 27.9 percent year over year at the 25th percentile, 22.2 percent at the 50th percentile, and 14.4 percent at the 75th percentile.
Fourth-quarter prices per square foot were respectively $717, $787, and $892 at these percentiles, and $1,013 at the 90th percentile.
2017 At a Glance
Median Home Price:
Days on Market:
0 Days: When tower projects were launched
7-9 Days: Resales