Brix Auction results – 30% average discount

Here are the results of the Brix Auction that happened earlier today at the Grand Hyatt.  I estimated the crowd size to be between 450 and 500 people.  Urbnlivn estimates that there were about 200 registered bidders, and the rest of the crowd were guests.  According to Zillow, the average sales price per square foot of a condo in the 98102 zipcode (where Brix is located) was $378 in July 09.  I have highlighted (in yellow) the units where the bidders were able to secure the condo for below this market valuation – click to enlarge the table.  Units (or Homes) are listed by the order they were sold at auction.

For an opinion on Sunday’s auction, check out patgrimm’s write-up.

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20 thoughts on “Brix Auction results – 30% average discount

  1. I’m really surprised they all sold and feel badly for those who got suckered into this mess.

    We’re looking at another 50% reduction at least!

  2. Let’s remember that four months before the auction when Williams Marketing was removed the prices at the Brix were artificialy raised.
    Example four months ago unit 132 was listed at 565,000 before the auction it was 630,000. The unit sold at Auction for 428,000. Still a good deal but not 30% closer to 24%. Now lets see what happens next quarter when the developer once again can not make his payment, will there be yet another auction?

  3. Matt Goyer over at has good coverage of both auctions, including prices that units closed at:

    Seems like these auctions were well attended and that a number of new homeowners are on their way to Capitol Hill. Granted, some portion of these sales will fall through, but this is looking good.

    Also, not sure what “synthetik” is smoking (stick to organic ‘dro, dude), but nobody credible is calling for a 50% crash. Prices have fallen a good amount in a market that never really bubbled in the way that other markets around the country did. So we’ve got attractive pricing. We’ve also got a *very* nice interest rate environment right now and an end to the recession has now been called.

    It’s not all roses (still have relatively high unemployment by historical averages), but it’s not a doomsday scenario either.

  4. I’m not sure what vladcole is smokin’, but to say that prices here in Seattle “never really bubbled in the way that other markets” did is not exactly the truth either.

    I live 4 blocks away from the Brix. The 5 unit I live in has dropped in value from $1.1mil to $730,000. That’s a 27% drop. A condo 2 blocks away from the Brix sold 2 years ago for $710K. It’s been up for sale now for 3 months, first priced at $599, then $549, and now is at $499K, another 24-25% drop.

    This, in a city that even a year ago people were running around saying our local economy would protect us from the housing crash.

    Wamu, Starbucks, Microsoft, etc., and many more have laid of thousands. And just wait till Boeing leaves the state. It will take a few years but it will leave.

    The people who bought at Brix today will regret it. But at least not as much as those who blindly bought 2 years ago.


  5. There are few better long terms sites if you want to be on the Hill and in a new building. It will only get better. As in -LIGHT RAIL AT YOUR DOOR STEP. ( Cal Anderson Park anyone)

    Buy to live and let all the number geeks ply their blah blah.

    I have a friend who lives there – paid cash – retired. He loves it.

    Did he make a “good investment” – ask his estate in 30 years.

  6. The price per sqft is misleading across all unit because Brix had two products in the brownstone series and the traditional flats. Most of the brownstone units sold in the 350-375 per sqft range while most of the flats sold in the 400-500 per sqft range.

    All buyers were pre-approved and the auctioneer claimed less than 3% fall out rate. Frankly, I’m happy at how the auction went. I think quite a few people got good deals, and a few others got too emotional.

  7. I’m one of the suckers who bid and won at the Brix auction. It was a tough decision but having looked at several dozen condos since February (including pre-auction Brix) there was finally enough of an alignment of price and expectation that I pulled the trigger. We’ll see how well I did at predicting the future. Among things to consider… With economy being what it is, when is there gonna be another new construction at similar location?

  8. If you look at the table above, it also has the prices the units closed at (column entitled Auction price). Thanks for the links.

  9. The auction was very interesting for a number of reasons:

    – some prices were higher than expected based on recent closed sales in the neighborhood (and even in the building itself…)
    – many of the units put up for auction were not the best floorplans in the building — and those that were better floorplans fetched lower discounts. Ie: selling a “2 bedroom plus den” where the den is a bump out in the wall and the 2nd bedroom is lofted over the living room is not the same as selling a 2 bedroom plus den that has *doors* to separate spaces.

    those who celebrate the price declines are not taking the long view. our city and county are in a budget crisis largely because of declines in home values and lack of home sales combined with decreased consumer spending (ie: sales tax revenue). excise taxes and property taxes pay a large part of the bills of government, and the recent down-adjustments by the assessor ( are great for folks wallets, but also mean that the government has to cut programs and jobs. kurt triplett is faced with a rather challenging task of running a government that lost a huge amount of revenue, and next year is going to blow for dow (let’s think positive at least on the dow v. susan front).

  10. Augh, thanks but we’re all going to be okay. Those latest retail market prices had been inflated on purpose over the past couple months so they could use them for the auction. NOBODY at Brix or Gallery ever paid those prices. I bought mine two years ago for 15% less than these newly inflated numbers. And yesterday the units like mine sold for about 12% down from where I bought. The market in general is down about 20% from two years ago, so I feel pretty good about the numbers. And, the market is recovering, not continuing to drop. That’s why all 81 units at Brix and Gallery sold in just a few hours. Seattle has been and continues to be a very robust real estate market. The recovery is well under way

  11. The brownstone units may have been cheaper per sqft but they weren’t a good deal. The bedrooms were pocket sized and basically unusable. Honestly it’s sad that they had to ruin some perfectly good units just to make them “lofts” – If they would have used that space for living those would have been amazing units.

  12. evets2007,

    not sure which unit you bought, but the prices thare weren’t that inflated over the pre-construction. I had a pre-con unit over 2 years ago, switched to a open one after the mortgage crisis, and finally look to be a closing a unit after the auction. No way were people getting top floor open ones in 2006 for less than 300k.

    Either way, i agree, market looks to be recovering and prices look to be up over the Lumen auction from july. Price per sqft came in a little higher than I anticipated, but I still got a unit for less than I expected.

  13. “Among things to consider… With economy being what it is, when is there gonna be another new construction at similar location?”

    Uh…how about right across the street — the monstrous calamity that is almost 3 times the size of the Brix, or the “” site down by Cal Anderson Park..?

    Although the Brix construction is certainly of a higher quality than most buildings (they actually used REAL BRICKS), new does not always equal “better”.

    There are at least a dozen condo buildings west of Broadway that have had mold problems over the past 10-15 years, some of them multiple times. And when these issues take place, the condo fees skyrocket…something no one here has factored into the real cost of condo living.

    For those who think they got a great deal, keep in mind there are dozens of one-bedroom condos west of Broadway, many that have been on the market for six months or longer, despite the fact that their prices are in the $180l-$220k range. For a one bedroom with a view.

    evets2007: “And, the market is recovering, not continuing to drop. That’s why all 81 units at Brix and Gallery sold in just a few hours. Seattle has been and continues to be a very robust real estate market. The recovery is well under way…”

    That’s funny. Spoken like the real estate agent you must be.

    Check out The statistics don’t back up your claims at all…

    But good luck w/your investments!


  14. Yep. I’m a real estate agent alright. And sell lotsa properties around this town! (Many on Capitol Hill). FYI, the “monstrosity” across the street is apartments, not condos. They were always planned to be apartments, and if you google the website, it looks like a great project actually. (Google 523 Broadway East). I’m particularly excited about the 3 lofted restaurant spaces in the project. It would be great to see some more high end restaurants come to Broadway. With the (already funded) light rail going in three blocks away, once this economy recovers and all this nonsense is a thing of the past, Brix and Capitol Hill in general, will always be a great place to live, and a great investment, period.

  15. Must admit I was there to pick Brix pocket only. Wanted a townhouse for $350…doh!

    At any rate, if you were buying a home, bravo. Who cares if it drops another 20% – you have an amazing location, a nicely built building, light rail on the way, etc.

    The reasons I was only looking for a steal are many though, and as an investment there are many open questions:
    1) Owners will not take over Association until 105 units are sold. Unless they do another auction, this could take a while. And if Schnitzer goes bankrupt? messy…
    2) I saw one person buy 4 units. They will become rentals. There are already multiple units in the building occupied by someone other than the owner (7 or 8 I believe per public records). When a condo drops below 75% owner occupancy, it becomes much more difficult for new buyers to get a loan – many banks will not lend. W/Schnitzer in trouble, no renter rules in place, no owner association control, and 50+ units still for sale – current owners need to be organized and diligent to protect their value.
    3) A nice budget was set up for dues and future expenses. It was well done and reasonable. Problem is, it assumes 140 units paying dues. It may be a while before the building is at full strength. In the mean time the roof is aging, the paint is wearing, the 2 elevators are closer to needing repair, etc. The longer this revenue hole exists, the more costly the eventual “rainy day” will be.
    4) Zoning changes. Anything that can go up to 6 stories probably will eventually. Fortunately development has stopped for now. When it continues, the block to the North (E and W side) will go up, and the church will get an offer it can’t refuse. If you paid for view, enjoy it now.

  16. We live in a luxury 1400 sq ft apartment in Cap Hill, one block off of Broadway. I just renogotiated our lease from $2,100mo down to $1650/mo, based on their occupancy rates and the recession.

    Can you renegotiate your condo mortgage payments?

    Didn’t think so. Can you rent those boxes of crap for more than your monthly payment? Didn’t think so.
    Rents are still much cheaper than mortgages here, and that is the best barometer for your decision.

    Rents are falling because of too much supply. You yupps need to learn some patience because this decline is going to be very long with lots of dead cat bounces Along the way.

  17. to clint’s snark on ‘lofts’:

    yeah, qualities like airspace & light, and open space for flexible decor/space use, and additional floorspace not taken by doors and walls – sure are overrated, huh?

    diff strokes…

    p.s. while I’ll admit some of the lofts weren’t useful (#139/#140 I think was not the best), some were perfectly tuned to getting the most out of avail space (#229)