More news on downtown Seattle condos comes today via the Seattle P-I, and it’s a good news / bad news sort of thing.
All signs point to go in the completion of downtown Seattle’s recovery from the last economic downturn — but if developers aren’t careful, they could overbuild and be left in the lurch.
Builders also should be careful not to dogpile too much on the luxury market, which has been the focus of a spate of condominiums proposed in downtown, with nearly 20 buildings in the pipeline.
“Affordability has basically nose-dived,” said Hessam Nadji, a senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. “And that is going to be a hindrance, limiting growth, because it will prevent companies from moving here.”
“Some of these prices are pretty hefty,” said Kate Joncas, Downtown Seattle Association president, referring to local condo market prices. “Who are these people?”
Market analysts say the answer is twofold: baby boomers, who are becoming empty-nesters and jettisoning their suburban homes; and their children — members of the “echo boomer” generation born between 1979 and 1995 — some of whom are fattening their down payment with their parents’ wealth.
That question (who are these people) has been on mind a lot lately, too, with regard to the overall housing craziness around here lately. I’m a pretty reasonable guy that makes an above-average salary, and who is smart with money. Why is it then that there’s no way I can afford a house, or even a condo really? Something just doesn’t add up.
(Kristen Millares Bolt, Seattle P-I, 01.25.2006)