Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 29, 2007 at 12:22am

Are Downtown Condo Sales Picking Up Steam? Vintage Y Sells Two Penthouses in 3 Days

Despite all of the well publicized hand wringing over downtown condos, there seems to be some recent activity downtown in commercial property and condo sales.

Two of the larger units closed on November 12th and November 14, 2007 for $495,000 and $499,000 in the Vintage Y.  It took awhile but seeing two of the largest units move this fast is encouraging.

Other sales in the area:

11/27/2007 : A commercial building at 411 Fawcett "Cool Stuff" for $975,000.  (Any ideas what is planned for this property?)

11/07/2007 : An office condo at 732 Broadway for $430,000

11/29/2007: Another commercial condo "Atrium Court" at 705 S. 9th for $560,000.

There are a few other condo sales in the last couple of months including one in the Perkins and the Cliff.

The Assessor records of the sales are usually not available until after a month after the sale closes.

Is the slowdown in sales more tempered than we guess it is?

comments [7]  |  posted under tacoma, washington

Comments

by izenmania on 12/29/2007 @ 9:26am
I don't think the problem is so much that fewer people are buying condos than is normal (and I'm working without statistics here, so correct me if I'm wrong at any point). It seems to me that there was a bit of a surge in condo buying in the last few years, that sparked a massive rush on condo building, and now even staying at a decent pace of condo sales would not do the job, because there are simply way too many. You list seven sales. That's out of how many new condos built, in progress or planned in the area?

Too many different companies got too excited about downtown Tacoma, and now the ratio of condo buyers to condos has been forced down, not by too few buyers but by too many options.

by Erik on 12/29/2007 @ 10:40am
and now the ratio of condo buyers to condos has been forced down, not by too few buyers but by too many options.

Its also interesting how fast the market is self correcting. With the Prium units off the market, there are now sustantially less available condos available around the Grand Theater.

At the very least Prium was able to add 113 market rate apartments to a part of downtown that needed it most and some commercial space as well.

by izenmania on 12/29/2007 @ 12:12pm
I think apartments are really the way to go here anyway. It's the kind of neighborhood that fresh out of school people like... or at least that I like. In that demographic there's a strong desire to be near things, out of the purely residential. We're used to walking and biking and having all of our resources close at hand. But they're also people who don't have the capital to be buying, even just a condo.

by KevinFreitas on 12/29/2007 @ 12:22pm
For the demographic izenmania is talking about I think condos are almost a harder sell than a house. When we looked for our first house we gave condos a fair shake and just never felt that the premium paid (which is often pretty steep, especially in the newest developments around town) matched what you got. Out of all the buildings in town there was only one we would've seriously considered but were still turned off by the cost.

I'm totally down with more apartments and rentals downtown but maybe with the option to lease or buy after a certain amount of time. That way it encourages people to get into downtown and possibly stay there.

by Erik on 12/29/2007 @ 4:40pm
I think apartments are really the way to go here anyway. It's the kind of neighborhood that fresh out of school people like... or at least that I like. In that demographic there's a strong desire to be near things, out of the purely residential.

Yes, a house is going to always give more amenities for the money than a condo or apartment. However, the extra value living downtown or in the mixed use centers is the benefit of living within walking distance of so many things and not have to drive to things you enjoy doing,

by rithean on 12/29/2007 @ 6:21pm
I spent a lot of time looking at condos this year, and was disappointed with what you get for what you pay. For two bedrooms the price has already risen to more that what most people with normal jobs can really afford to pay. What I would like to see in the newer condos is better use of space. How about a 2 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bath for 220,000? I think what condo builders need to keep in mind is that even if they are planning on selling to couples only, that those people might want a home office, a guest bedroom, or even the extra room just in case they decide to have children later.

by Erik on 12/29/2007 @ 10:55pm
What I would like to see in the newer condos is better use of space. How about a 2 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bath for 220,000

There are a number of those available in Tacoma. Talk to the downtown realtor "Jake":www.jacobrosere.com/ about it. In fact, I see that he has a 2 br condo for $177,000 on his web page listings.