One88

photo courtesy Bosa Development

Bosa Development officially broke ground last week for the One88 – a 21 story luxury condominium community. This will be the first new condo development in downtown Bellevue since the construction of Bellevue Towers and Washington Square nearly ten years ago. The One88 tower will be rise 21 stories with 143 homes offering one, two and three bedroom residences and penthouse floor plans as well as luxury owner amenities.

Located at the southwest corner of Bellevue Way NE and NE 2nd Street, One88 replaces a collection of low rise buildings where the former Robbins Brothers jewelry was located.

Bosa also developed the successful Insignia condominium towers in Seattle and will also develop the full block city property between Third and Fourth Avenues in Seattle. Plans include a 520 unit residential high-rise and public plaza. Last fall Bosa purchased a second development site in downtown Bellevue. Prices and floor plan details have not yet been released for the One88 community. Marketing and pre-sales are scheduled to begin in early 2018.

There continues to be high interest in urban living and high demand for condos in the downtown Bellevue marketplace. With continuing low inventory buyers have very little to choose from. No doubt One88 is going to be a welcome addition to the downtown skyline. I’m looking forward to the release of more information on this community.

Advertisements

Eastside Condo Market is on Fire

Bellevue skyline from Lake WA #1In the past condo sales and values lagged a bit behind single family homes – not anymore. Eastside condo sales have accelerated in recent months with record attendance at open houses, shorter market time (less than 10 days), multiple offers and sales prices averaging 5% over list prices.

The number of available resale condos downtown is at an all time low. Since the first of the year 59 condos have sold (an average of 20 per month). With just 20 resale condos currently listed for sale, that’s just a one month supply to choose from. There are 20 pending condo sales, so you can easily see the available inventory is being gobbled up as soon as it comes on the market.

Downtown Kirkland is no different  –  since January 1st 54 condos have sold and there are currently only 21 active listings, or a 1.1 month supply of inventory, but with 37 pending sales, those 21 active listings clearly won’t satisfy buyer demand. With the continued hiring pace at Google, new companies moving into the office space at Kirkland Urban in the next 18 months, plus the new retail and dining experience Kirkland Urban will offer, there are a lot of reasons for wanting to be in Kirkland.

If you’re a seller, you’re in the driver’s seat, but you need to be ready to move quickly and have your rental or new purchase lined up for quick occupancy. Investors should seriously think about selling in this market to maximize their return on investment. Buyers . . . there are a lot of cash offers out there, but they don’t always offer the best price or the best terms for sellers. Get your financing together, listen to your Realtor® (if you don’t have a Realtor®, find a good one), be flexible, realistic, creative and patient. Prices aren’t going to go any lower and with 1,000 people a week moving into the Puget Sound region, demand will continue. Now is the time to get your foot in the door of home ownership, move-up for more space or a view or downsize to a lower maintenance lifestyle. Its not a secret anymore . . . this is a great place to live.

Buyers Need Patience, Sense of Humor

down paymentIn a recent search of 2+ bedroom condos in Bellevue the results were pretty bleak. Just 28 homes listed for sale with prices ranging from $300,000 to $13,950,000. Of those 28 homes 13 were priced under $1 million and of those 13, only three were priced under $500,000. Just 28 condos for sale in the entire city  –  we’re definitely experiencing a shortage of available homes.

Downtown Bellevue is one of the hottest addresses on the Eastside, and while many condo buyers focus on the city’s urban communities, with limited inventory they are expanding their search beyond downtown. In the past this would have opened up the selection of available homes, but inventory is in short supply everywhere on the Eastside.

If you’ve been searching for a home in recent months you already know, with high demand and low inventory, that multiple offers are common. For every house for sale there may be 3, 4, 5 or more offers submitted. Only one buyer can prevail, so the other buyers are back in the search for the next new listing. As we head into spring there should be an increase in the number of homes coming on the market, but rather than the typical 8-10 per week it’s likely to be just 2-3 per week. Buying a home should be fun, but this year its going to require patience, preparation and a sense of humor. Buyers need to be positioned to win, so now more than ever it pays to work with an experienced lender and a Realtor® who know the market and will serve as your advocates and guide you through the process.

Continued Seller’s Market in 2017

Population growth in the Puget Sound region continues to exceed the national rate. With Bellevue’s population and employment growth, its projected the local real estate market will remain strong this year. The continued development in Bellevue’s central business district, the addition of  jobs, amenities and services, access to award winning schools, transportation and future light rail will all continue to make this a highly sought after place to live.

For the past few years housing has struggled to keep up with job and population growth, creating a housing crunch and driving up prices. Inventory  levels should pick up as we head into spring, but the increase won’t be enough to meet demand. It will continue to be a seller’s market this year with property values expected to increase    7-8% over the next 2-3 quarters. What does this mean for buyers? They will still need to position themselves to compete n this market. Start the loan process early, be fully vetted and approved for a mortgage, have patience and follow the advice of your loan consultant and Realtor®. Sellers will have the market edge again this year but homes still need to be prepared for the market with repairs completed, an appealing presentation and market-appropriate price. While cash offers will still be common, but sellers need to know a cash offer isn’t always the best offer. (Cash buyers should be vetted and funds verified to prevent delays in closing.) Buyers using financing are still a big part of the market; lenders, underwriters and appraisers will still be involved in the successful sale of many homes in our area.

There is good news. There are condo and townhome communities planned in downtown Bellevue that will break ground in the coming weeks/months and others that are in the planning and design phase. I live and work in downtown Bellevue. A Realtor® and condo specialist, I keep tabs on what’s happening, and what’s about to happen, in the marketplace. Contact me for information about new communities and projects planned in and around the central business district.

Finally . . . New Bellevue Condos

While several new apartment communities have been completed and more are planned in Bellevue, its been nearly a decade since any new condominium residences were built.  (Both Bellevue Towers and Washington Square were completed in 2009. WA Square still has developer owned units for sale in both towers.) Finally, there’s new condominium inventory on the horizon.

PARK 12
Just east of the central business district, construction has started on this community of 12 luxury townhomes. Sited in a protected park overlooking Kelsey Creek, 3 bedroom floor plans offer 2,000+ SF with an open concept design, contemporary finishes, private garages and rooftop decks. The convenient location is minutes to downtown Bellevue, the Spring District and future light rail. Prices start at $835,000. Completion is expected in fall 2017; nearly half of the homes are already pre-sold.

METRIC
Just a few homes remain in this new community of 23 townhomes just south of Main Street at 107th Avenue SE. Homes are generous in size with 2,000+ SF featuring contemporary design, rooftop decks with skyline views and private garages. A few homes remain with prices starting at $1 million.

VISCAIA
Also under construction, 18 townhomes will be available for occupancy fall 2017. Located in the Crossroads neighborhood, the community is walk-able to shopping, restaurants and multi-screen theaters. 3 bedroom open concept floor plans offer 2,000+ SF of living space. Prices start at $789,900.

ONE88
With no new condos downtown in nearly a decade, One88 will be a welcome addition to the city’s residential skyline. Bosa Development, developer of the successful Insignia condominiums in Seattle, is set to construct a 21 story building at the corner of NE 2nd Street and Bellevue Way NE. 143 residences ranging from 1 bedroom floor plans to luxury penthouses are planned complimented by world class owner amenities. Construction is scheduled to start early this year with occupancy in 2019. No floor plan or price information is available.

ELEV8 at Bellevue International Plaza
Two 40 story towers will be part of a four tower residential/hotel/office/retail project at the corner of 110th Avenue NE and NE 8th Street (west of the Bravern). Phase 1 of the project is projected to include 355 condominium residences in one tower and 435 apartment residences in the other. High end retail and an urban grocer are part of the first phase plans. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-to-late 2017 with a 2019 completion. No floor plan or price information available.

Condo Pet and Rental Restrictions

dog and cat

Flickr/ by meknlts

Its easy to get excited about the perfect condo when searching for a home, but condos have many moving parts. One of the most important, and often overlooked issues, are the HOA rules and regulations, particularly as they relate to pets and non-owner occupied units.

Some communities restrict all pets, others allow only cats, and some have weight or breed restrictions for dogs. The Puget Sound region is rated as one of the top in dog ownership in the country  –  don’t fall in love with a condo only to discover your family pet isn’t welcome. Pet restrictions can (and do) have an impact on resale  –  buyers may eliminate communities that won’t permit them to bring four legged family members.

Rental restrictions need to be disclosed and understood up front as well. If purchasing a condo as an investment, or if you hope to rent down the road, research and understand community rental restrictions or limitations on use. Sellers should disclose rental or use restrictions at the time a property is listed for sale to avoid buyer misunderstandings, delays in closing or a failed transaction.

Condos have many moving parts. Work with an industry expert who knows the local market and is familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to ownership in specific communities. A condo expert can help you find the right condo and community for your lifestyle and investment goals and guide you through the issues specific to condominiums and HOAs.

Downtown Bellevue by the Numbers

Image

bellevue-by-the-numbers