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January new construction update

By January 8, 2021


The pandemic disrupted many developers plans last year as buyers cooled on condos. In 2020 we should have seen the start of sales for projects like Seattle House and Shoresmith, but never did. The only project to launch was Graystone on First Hill. The pandemic also disrupted the plans of many buyers. At one point Nexus was 92% pending but when it came time to close, right as the pandemic was picking up steam, some buyers opted to walk away (Nexus buyers also skewed heavily towards investors and the rental market was and continues to be tough in Denny Triangle). I expect we’ll see more buyers change their mind about the earnest money they put down on projects like Spire and Emerald and buy homes instead (if you’re thinking of doing that, you should contact an attorney like Crane Dunham to see if you recover any earnest money.)

Looking forward I expect there will continue to be more supply than demand for 2021 and this will likely continue into 2022. We’ll start to see a turnaround for condos when workers both return to offices and they have a better understanding of how often they’ll be in the office. What may drive demand for condos is workers looking for a condo as a pied-a-terre that they use for the couple days a week that they’re in the office while they spend most of their time living in a Zoom “city” (seems a funny term to apply to the San Juans).

While I’m not optimistic about 2021 for new condos, developers can only be patient for so long and so I expect this is what we’ll see:

  • Seattle House and Shoresmith will start sales in the second half of the year
  • Emerald will continue closings and sales will accelerate as prospective buyers can now tour the completed building in person
  • Spire will start closings in Q2 or Q3 and sales will also accelerate as buyers can tour
  • Edison, Mira and Wallingford45 should finally sell out
  • Several projects will switch sales and marketing teams hoping a fresh start will drive more sales

You can see all the projects selling and under construction on our new construction pipeline page.

I’m the founder and managing broker of Urban Living. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

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