Looks like the repartment trend has picked up enough steam in Seattle to catch the attention of the press. Specifically, the Sunday Times yesterday featured an article titled “Re-apartments” blooming.
The newest trend in the Seattle rental market is a “re-apartment” — an apartment that was converted to a condo and is now being converted back to a rental.
Also called a “conversion-conversion,” the “re-apartment” trend is just starting to hit the local market as condo owners in some areas struggle to sell during the housing slowdown.
“The market wasn’t strong enough or the product viable enough to allow them to sell enough of the condos to make it work,” said Tom Cain, a partner with Apartment Insights Washington, which each quarter surveys 150,000 apartment units across the region.
An example of the re-apartment trend is the 153-unit Landing at Angle Lake in SeaTac, which was offered up as condos by San Diego-based developer Pacifica Companies in the second quarter of last year.
By the last quarter of 2007, all 153 units were back on the market as rentals, according to Apartment Insights Washington. Pacifica did not return a call for comment.
Kirkland-based developer Mosaic snapped up three apartment buildings to convert into condos last year. After converting a 62-unit building and a 111-unit building in West Seattle, the company decided in December to revert them to rentals for the foreseeable future, said co-owner Dave Kirzinger. The third building, a 239-unit complex in Federal Way, hadn’t been changed into condos yet when the decision was made.
The reason was simple: condo sales are slow.
Hmm. But I thought that the condo market was still hot, hot, hot. What about the “strong condominium price growth” this very paper was telling us about just last month? Why wouldn’t every developer in the country want to get a piece of this action? How odd.
The Lock Vista Apartments in Ballard will not be converted into condos — at least for now — owners told tenants Friday.
The affordable-housing complex in Ballard was slated to be sold to a condo-developer this year, but the sale fell through when the buyer was unable to meet its end of the deal, according to a statement by Dominion Real Estate, which manages the property.
That is excellent news for the residents there.