An Overview of the Seattle Luxury Condo Market

March 13, 2024
Last updated:
March 13, 2024
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Seattle, Washington, has experienced a luxury condo boom in recent years, with a number of new projects coming onto the market. This trend is reshaping the downtown Seattle real estate market in a number of ways.

This guide provides an overview of the Seattle luxury condo market and the surrounding area, as of 2024. It covers popular condominiums, current trends related to features and amenities, and other factors relevant to home buyers.

The Seattle Luxury Condo Market

Sleek towers of glass and steel are redefining the Seattle skyline. Luxury condos are springing up in neighborhoods across the city, offering panoramic views, lavish amenities, and price tags to match.

But the ongoing surge in luxury condo development isn’t merely a construction trend. It’s being driven by a mix of economic, demographic, and lifestyle factors.

The Seattle area’s tech industry, anchored by companies like Amazon and Microsoft, has attracted a wave of well-paid workers seeking an urban lifestyle. And for some of them, a luxury condo within walking distance of their workplace becomes the ideal choice.

But it’s not just tech workers driving the demand for luxury condos in the Seattle area. As you’ll soon see, there’s a mix of condo home buyers purchasing these units.

Types of Buyers Who Prefer the Condo Lifestyle

People are quick to name “tech workers” as a driving force behind the luxury condo boom in downtown Seattle. That’s true to an extent, but it doesn’t tell the full story.

Empty nesters, downsizers, and professionals of all stripes seek the energy of city life with the minimal upkeep of a luxury condo. Common perks like rooftop pools, concierge services, dog parks, and state-of-the-art fitness centers sweeten the deal, creating a resort-like feel within the urban core.

Types of buyers who are attracted to downtown Seattle luxury condos:

Affluent Tech Professionals: High-earning individuals working at major tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, or other top employers. They prioritize walkability to workplaces and downtown amenities, along with a low-maintenance lifestyle and tech integration.

Empty Nesters & Downsizers: Older buyers seeking to downsize from larger homes while retaining a prime city location and cultural access. Their lifestyle often prioritizes travel and experiences, rather than time-consuming property upkeep.

Investors: Both domestic and international investors recognize Seattle’s strong economy and growth potential. They view luxury condos as stable investments and rental income generators with potential for value appreciation.

Second Home Buyers: Wealthy individuals who want a comfortable and stylish base in Seattle while maintaining a primary residence elsewhere. They enjoy the local culture and natural beauty, but on a temporary basis.

This list isn’t exhaustive. Even within these groups, motivations for buying a Seattle luxury condo can vary widely. But this list provides a good starting point for understanding the general appeal of luxury condos in downtown Seattle.

Popular Luxury Condo Units in Seattle

Here’s a quick overview of some prominent luxury condo buildings in downtown Seattle, along with their key features.

  1. Spire Seattle

  • Location: Belltown (corner of 6th Avenue and Wall Street)
  • Size: 41 stories, approximately 342 units
  • Sleek, contemporary design with floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Unobstructed views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the city
  • Amenities: rooftop dining areas, fitness center, movie theater, co-working spaces
  1. The Emerald

  • Location: Pike Place Market neighborhood (2nd Avenue and Stewart Street)
  • Size: 40 stories, 262 units
  • Striking faceted-glass tower inspired by its waterfront setting
  • Expansive views of Elliott Bay, the mountains, and city skyline
  • Amenities: rooftop terrace, pet run, fitness center, and guest suite
  1. Nexus Seattle

  • Location: Denny Triangle
  • Size: 41 stories, approximately 382 units
  • Key Features:
    • LEED Gold certified for sustainability
    • Contemporary glass and steel design
    • Variety of floorplans with city and mountain views
    • Amenities: rooftop terrace, sky lounge, fitness center, dog run, theater room
  1. Insignia Condos

  • Location: Belltown (6th Ave. and Bell Street)
  • Size: Two towers, 41 stories each, over 700 units combined
  • Stunning water and city views
  • Modern finishes and open floor plans
  • Amenities: indoor lap pool, fitness center, guest suites, and lounges
  • Access to a unique 7th-floor park space connecting the two towers
  1. 1521 Second Avenue

  • Location: Downtown Core (2nd Ave. between Pike and Pine)
  • Size: 38 stories, approximately 143 units
  • High-end modern finishes
  • Panoramic views from most units
  • Amenities: Spa, media room, guest suites, fitness center on 34th floor

Note: This isn’t an exhaustive list. Some other noteworthy buildings include Luma, Kiara, and the Four Seasons Private Residences. Condo features and amenities can change over time.

Amenities, Features and Trends

The Seattle luxury condo market has evolved over the years to reflect consumer demand and interests. Today, developers offer a wide range of sought-after amenities to attract buyers to their buildings, like the following features:

Core Amenities

  • 24/7 Concierge or Front Desk Services: A staple of luxury living that helps with everything from receiving packages to making restaurant reservations.
  • High-End Fitness Centers: Often exceeding those of public gyms, with personal training options, and sometimes dedicated studios for yoga and spin classes.
  • Resident Lounges: Stylish communal spaces for socializing, entertaining guests, or relaxing outside of individual units.
  • Secure Parking: A necessity in dense urban areas, often with dedicated resident garages and sometimes options for valet or car services.
  • Pet-Friendly Features: Catering to residents with pets, these include dog runs, rooftop pet areas, and in some cases even pet washing stations.

High-End Extras

  • Rooftop Terraces and Outdoor Spaces: Featuring panoramic city views, these often include BBQ areas, fire pits, pool and spa features, and comfortable seating/dining areas.
  • Media Rooms/Private Theaters: For movie nights, sporting events, or private screenings.
  • Guest Suites: Dedicated apartments for residents’ visiting friends or family members.
  • Co-working Spaces: Appealing to professionals and those who enjoy working from home in a comfortable environment outside of their own condo.
  • Wine Storage: Secure temperature-controlled areas for residents with wine collections.

Due Diligence: Key Considerations When Buying

Thinking about buying a Seattle condo in 2024? Here are some due diligence checkpoints to perform before making a selection.

  • Condo Association (HOA): Get a comprehensive picture of the HOA. Does it have financial reserves for ongoing maintenance and potential major repairs? Are there any outstanding lawsuits or tenant disputes?
  • HOA Fees & Assessments: Investigate monthly HOA fees and understand what they cover (amenities, insurance, maintenance). Also, ask about any history of special assessments for major repairs.
  • Occupancy: Find out if the building is largely owner-occupied or full of renter tenants. This impacts resale and the sense of community within the building.
  • Parking: Verify what is included: number of allocated spaces, availability of guest parking, potential for EV charging, etc.
  • Pet Policy: If you have pets, confirm size/breed restrictions, designated pet areas, and specific regulations.
  • Rental Restrictions: If considering the unit as an investment, find out if there are rental restrictions such as limitations on rentals per year, type of lease allowed, etc.
  • Resale Potential: Investigate resale values of comparable units in the building and similar ones nearby. Understanding Seattle condo market trends helps you assess your potential for appreciation (or risk of depreciation).
  • Taxes: Determine property taxes for your specific unit. These will be impacted by location, size, and valuation.
  • Walkability: Explore beyond the building itself. Factor in accessibility of nearby restaurants, shops, and public transport.

The downtown Seattle luxury condo market is currently seeing a boom, with many flocking to the city’s core to take advantage of what urban condo living has to offer. But there’s a lot to consider before you buy a luxury condo in Seattle. To better prepare yourself, be sure to partner with a team of real estate and mortgage professionals, and get pre-approved for a luxury condo to ensure you’ve budgeting accordingly.

Need financing? Located in the Seattle metro area, Sammamish Mortgage offers a broad range of mortgage financing options for condo buyers. Please contact our staff with your questions or to apply for a loan.

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