Another great story in the Seattle Times today by Eric Pryne: Bellevue Towers, other new condo projects cutting prices
The developer of the region’s tallest luxury condo towers says it’s cutting prices an average of 20 percent in hopes of kick-starting sales.
Only 43 of the 539 units at Bellevue Towers in downtown Bellevue have sold since closings began in January, according to county records. “We’re trying to respond to the marketplace and to what our buyers have been telling us for the last four to six months,” Mark Edlen, a principal with developer Gerding Edlen, said Monday.
Bellevue Towers is one of more than a half-dozen high-rise, high-end condo projects in downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle that have recently been finished or are nearing completion.
Sales or presales at all have been anemic. Gerding Edlen’s announcement is perhaps the most dramatic response so far to the realities of the new, chillier marketplace.
In Seattle, a spokesman for Vulcan Real Estate said prices of all 136 units at its almost-finished Enso condominium in South Lake Union also are being reduced, but would not say by how much.
Most other developers have been reluctant to cut prices across the board. But some have been quietly settling for far less than list price on a negotiated, case-by-case basis, said James Stroupe, a Windermere Real Estate agent who specializes in condo sales.
You may recall that Bellevue Towers was the subject of some lousy reporting by a different Seattle Times reporter back in February.
Of course, not everyone thinks that price reductions are necessary to move the ridiculous oversupply in the high-end condo market…
At Olive 8 in downtown Seattle, county records indicate only 28 of 229 units have closed. But David Thyer, president of developer R.C. Hedreen, said his firm has no plans to cut prices.
“We’re not inclined to discount the product to generate sales,” he said. “We’re long-term players. We have the support of the hotel [a new Hyatt occupies Olive 8’s bottom 17 floors]. We’re going to wait this out.”
At Escala, another luxury downtown Seattle condo tower near completion, Eric Midby, of Lexas Companies, said the developer has no intention of reducing prices.
For those that don’t remember, Escala is the development that employed the ingenious strategy of raising prices to entice buyers back in April of last year.
(Eric Pryne, Seattle Times, 07.13.2009)