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Seattle Condo Market Trends and 2021 Forecast

Sammamish Mortgage
December 9, 2016
Last updated:
February 26, 2021
Seattle Condo Market Trends and  Forecast
In This Article

Condos provide buyers with a more affordable housing option while offering certain convenience that traditional single-family homes might not. The question is, what is the Seattle condo market forecasted to be like in 2021?

We’re well into January, and that means a lot of Seattle condo buyers are starting to come out of the woodworks following the holidays. And many are wondering the same thing: What will the Seattle condo market be like in 2021? Are prices expected to continue rising? And what about inventory?

In order to create a forecast for the Seattle condo market in 2021, we have to look at what’s happening right now. So let’s start with some current trends.

Seattle Condo Market Trends at the Start of the Year

Seattle’s condo market remained tight in December 2021 due to tight inventory. This supply-and-demand imbalance is pushing prices north.

Condo inventory is not expected to get much better in Seattle and surrounding areas. Right now, there is just a 2-month supply of condos. Four to six months of supply is considered a balanced market, while anything under three months is considered a seller’s market. Clearly, we are still in seller’s market territory for condos, despite the overall Seattle housing market experiencing some cooling right now.

That said, there are a few new high-rise development projects in the works for Seattle and nearby Bellevue, which may help to beef up inventory and relieve the situation slightly. However, demand continues, so it will still be a competitive market in Seattle in the coming months.

But most of Seattle is zoned for low-rise complexes, which puts a cap on the number of high-rise buildings that can go up in the city, thereby limiting the number of condo towers that can be built. In turn, this keeps Seattle rental rates pretty high.

In Seattle, the median price for a condo is roughly $505,000. Condos that are considered “hot” are selling really quickly. , which is down by 11% from the same time last year.

Inventory is the big story here — or lack thereof. The close-out of certain condo complexes over the recent past – such as Insignia and Luma (the only new condominium towers completed in Seattle within the last few years) – has also contributed to the inventory crunch.

Related: Low inventory lifting prices in housing markets

These trends are forcing condo buyers to compete fiercely for limited inventory. Units that come onto the market are typically sold quickly, at or near the asking price.

Today’s Seattle Mortgage Rates Jun, 24, Thu, 2021

Forecast for the Condo Market in 2021

With inventory tight and demand soaring, condo prices in Seattle will likely continue rising in 2021. Prices will probably rise most in the downtown area, where there is typically a higher level of demand for condominium units.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, housing prices – including condos – have gone up amid strong buyer demand and limited inventory. Overall, home prices have increased 10.9& over the past year and are expected to rise by another 11.1% over the next 12 months. The year 2021 will likely see some major gains in condo and single-home prices.

Get Your Financing Lined Up Early

The 2021 forecast for Seattle’s condo market suggests that conditions will remain tight over the coming months. Limited supply and strong demand will likely continue to drive prices north. Properties will sell quickly (faster than the historical average) for much of 2021.

As a result of these conditions, Seattle condo buyers would be wise to arrange their financing before entering the market. For cash buyers, this means having the money in the bank with documents to verify it.

Condo buyers who use mortgage loans can get a head start by getting pre-approved for a loan. In a competitive real estate market like Seattle, a pre-approval letter can make the difference between a purchase offer being accepted or rejected.

Bringing Home-Price Growth Back Down to Earth

This new flood of inventory could also have a cooling effect on home prices across the metro area, and especially within Seattle and Bellevue.

For the last few years, this region has experienced a supply-and-demand imbalance that has led to skyrocketing home values. This in turn has created affordability issues for a large portion of the population.

Population growth is a contributing factor in all of this. From 2011 to 2016, the Seattle metro area’s population grew by 8.5%. That was more than double the national growth rate of 3.7% during that same period of time.

It stands to reason that a significant increase in housing supply across Seattle and Bellevue would tip the scales, bringing annual home-price appreciation down closer to historical norms. And that would be a positive development, from an economic standpoint.

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If you have any questions about home loans in Seattle or anywhere else in Washington State, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a family-owned and operated Mortgage Company who has been proudly serving the Pacific Northwest since 1992. We currently lend in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. With their wide offerings in mortgage programs and flexible qualification criteria. Get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage today!

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