Real estate activity; August 2014 in the Puget Sound region

Minneapolis hotel developer stakes claim in big Redmond project

– A Minneapolis company called CSM is the latest real estate developer to          jump on the “let’s build a hotel in the Puget Sound region” bandwagon
– According to public records, CSM this week paid Capstone Partners $7.8       million for nearly 1 3/4 acres in Capstone’s Esterra park project – a 28             acre –     near Microsoft’s campus.
– CSM will build a hotel on the Esterra Park’s northwest corner next to a             future light-rail stop, said Capstone Principal Mike Hubard.
– This is the latest hotel project for the greater Seattle area, where dozens of    hospitality projects are proposed with some under construction. Activity      is especially high in downtown Seattle, where seven projects with a total        of nearly 1,200 rooms either are under way or about to break ground.

Mega-project aims to connect South Lake Union, Capitol Hill

– Seattle’s latest high-rise proposal will help tell the story why downtown has such a cattywampus-or, in this case, off-tilt- street grid.
– Seattle real estate company Touchstone’s latest project, called Tilt49, is one of the company’s biggest ever, with a 36-story residential high-rise and an 11-story office tower on a half block in the Denny Triangle area of downtown.

Weyerhaeuser moving HQ from Federal Way to Pioneer Square

– In a big blow for Federal Way, the publicly traded timber company Weyerhaeuser is moving its headquarters to Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
– Weyerhaeuser executives have told the city that they will be moving the company’s headquarters in mid-to-late 2016.

Gatsby Apts Sold for $35.5M

– Continental Properties LLC sold the 70-unit Gatsby Apartments at 1145 10th Ave. E in Seattle, WA to Fritzi Realty for $35.53 million, or about $506,000 per unit.
– The brand new building was completed in March and totals 64,000 square feet on almost an acre at the southwest corner of E. Highland Drive in King County. The property consists of studio, one, and two-bedroom units.

Apartment developer, Holland Partner Group to build first-ever office building on Lake Union

– Holland Partner Group is as a developer of big apartment projects iin Seattle. Recently, they started construction on a six-story office building as part of the Westlake Steps mixed-use project, along the southwest corner of Lake Union. The project will include around 570 apartment units.

McMenamins to start Bothell project in September

– McMenamins said it has raised the equity necessary to start construction on the Anderson School project in downtown Bothell, which will have bars, a restaurant, theater, hotel and spa.

Talon sells Kirkland offices for $31.5M

– Talon Private Capital sold a three-story, 51,800-square-foot office building called Waterfront Place on Yarrow Bay in Kirkland for $31.46 million.
– Property records show the buyer for the building at 5209 Lake Washington Blvd. shares a Glendale, California address with American Realty Advisors.

Presbyterians sell key downtown Seattle development site along I-5

– The First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday sold a prime development site on the east side of Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle, public records show.
– A limited liability company called North Block Spring Street Development paid the church $9 million for the nearly three-quarters of an acre parking lot that is zoned for high-rise development.

Big Bellevue office campus along I-90 reportedly up for sale

– Prodential Real Estate Investors has put the Sunset Corporate Park office campus in suburban Bellevue up for sale, according to a trade publication called Real Estate Alert.
– The office campus measures 307,000 square feet and is along Interstate 90. Real estate brokerage company CBRE is listing the property for sale, and bids are expected to reach $100 million, according to Real Estate Alert.
– Sunset Corporate Park consists of a 14 and 22 year old buildings at 13810 and 13920 S.E. Eastgate Way. One building is 92% occupied and the other is 76% leased. Tenants include Booking.com, which operates a call center at the property, as well as EF Financial, Healthways and Toyota Motor Credit.

Costco grows in Issaquah

– Costco Warehouses Inc. is expanding in Issaquah, taking over one of the buildings at Sammamish Park Place that Microsoft had leased and said it was abandoning.
– Microsoft still occupies the other two building in the three-building office campus.
– Vulcan Real Estate said that Costco has leased the 176,656-square-foot office building for expansion purposes, noting its headquarters has been in Issaquah since 1995.
– “With Costco’s headquarters located in Issaquah, this lease was a great partnership for both parties,” said Ada Healey, vice president of real estate for Seattle-based Vulcan. “We are very pleased to add another Washington-based Fortune 500 company to Sammamish Park Place.”

Hundreds of new homes planned for Sammamish

– Sammamish, Was. – It’s not just Seattle where people are moving, there’s also a housing boom happening in the suburbs, where developers are busy building hundreds of homes.
– You can’t miss the new clearing on 228th as you drive through Sammamish, where 120 homes will soon rise on 30 acres. Polygon Northwest Homes is the lates developer to move in.
– Just down the street, a different company is putting up another 35 houses.
– “They’ve picked up pretty fast,” said Deborah Sogge, executive director of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce.
– She says there’s no shortage of demand for these properties as young families leave downtown Seattle in search of peace and quiet, and a yard.
– “Sammamish is growing, it’s one of the fastest growing as far as residential,” she said.
– The city of Sammamish says it’s currently reviewing plans for more than 40 proposed subdivisions, totaling more than one thousand lots.
– Paul Stickney and Patti Ennis have a pending sale with Quadrant Homes on the Plateau
– Metropolitan Market recently announced that it plans to open a store in Sammamish.
– The Chamber of Commerce is expecting more commercial development as the increasing population puts a strain on the stores and businesses already there.

Western Washington housing market stability continues with modest gains in sales, prices

– “Stability” seemed to characterize the direction of Western Washington’s housing marketing through August, according to new figures from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
– Both the volume of sales and prices rose slightly from a year ago, although both indicators slipped somewhat from July.
– MLS members also reported a modest year-over-year increase in inventory, but the number of new listings added to the selection during August was the smallest since April.
– “What we are seeing now with the market is a moderated growth in appreciation, a normalizing of sales volume, and continued health overall
– “It is not a call for alarm just a balancing and adjusting of a healthy market”
– MLS members reported 9,342 pending sales across the 21 counties served by the Kirkland-based organization. That marks a 3.1% gain over the year-ago total of 9,065 mutually accepted offers. Eleven counties reported increases in pending sales during August compared to the same month a year ago.
– Commenting on inventory, MLS board member Dick Beeson said the pace of activity in the South Sound has slowd, and that means buyers have to keep a keen eye out for good bargains in areas they have been scouting.
– Sellers are more in the driver’s seat than they were earlier in the year. “It’s not a mad-rush sellers’ market,” he reported, but added, “buyers are realizing they must act in a timely manner to compete.”
– At month-end (Aug) buyers could choose from 27,060 active listings – about 2.5% more than the inventory of a year ago when there were 26,433 properties in the MLS system. The total at the end of August included 10,054 new listings that were added during the month, down slightly from the year-ago figure of 27,060. Last month’s (Aug) total number of new listings was the smalles total since April.
– System-wide, there is just under 3.5 months of supply, but the average varies widely amont the counties served by Northwest MLS. King County, with only about two months of supply, has the tightest inventory.
– We continue to have a shortage of homes for sale in King County – one of the best housing markets in the nation.
– “Fantastic job growth, foreign buyers and very favorable interest rates” as factors in creating a backlog of buyers.
– Through eight months, MLS figures show the number of closed sales is outpacing the same period a year ago by a slim margin (115 units). MLS members reported 7,775 closed sales during August, slightly below the year-ago total of 7,841 (down 0.84%) and the previous month’s total of 7,878 completed transactions.
– Year-over-year prices for single family homes and condominiums that sold last month rose about 1.6% compared to a year ago, increasing from $283,000 to $287,500. Despite the system-wide increase, five counties reported declines in median prices for sales that closed in August compared to 12 months ago (Grant, Jefferson, Kitsap, Okanogan, and Pacific). Seven counties had double-digit increases.
– In King County, the median selling price was $398,000 for a 1.4% gain from the year-ago figure of $392,500. According to MLS statistics, the sales price in August matched the figure for May, but slipped from the figures for June ($410,000) and Jly ($425,000).
– Single family homes (excluding condos) had a median selling price of $299,950 area-wide, up 2% from a year ago when it was $294,000.
– In King county, the median sales price for single family homes that sold during August was $437,000; a year ago it was $430,000.
– The current trend for strong pending activities and solid closed transaction numbers should keep the confidence level steady.
– Buoyed by low mortgage rates, buyers should remain optimistic about their new home purchses late into 2014.
– The recovering market is also boosting activity fro home improvement contractors and subcontractors.
– Sellers are able to afford to improve their homes prio to marketing them, or buyers are undertaking reasonable remodels shortly after closing.

Northwest MLS statisticsMulti year MLS statistics

 

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