Ben Kakimoto takes a look at 2008 condo appreciation (or depreciation) rates and finds that “condo values for most neighborhoods declined in 2008 from the prior year” except Alki, Admiral, Junction, Downtown, Fauntleroy and Leschi, which saw average sale prices rise.
Capitol Hill condo sale prices declined 1.2% from $315,000 to $311,250 on average. The problem with the way this measure was calculated is that it doesn’t actually represent declining (or rising) values — it merely represents averages of transactions. A single development of smaller-than-average condos, for instance, is enough to skew a neighborhood’s results. The December auction of 15 Press Condos probably single-handedly dragged down the average.
That said, sellers are having to price much more aggressively, sales volume fell as loans became harder to obtain and as potential buyers were spooked by economic turmoil, and we’re in a recession and stuff, so it’s probably still a fair statement to suggest that property values (not just average sale prices) fell last year.
Question is, will they continue to fall? There appears to be a fair amount of new condo and apartment inventory coming online in Capitol Hill this year. There’s 1111 East Pike and the Broadway Building, just to name a couple, plus unabsorbed inventory from Trace North, Brix, and even Press Condos (whoever won those Press units in the auction will likely be looking to sell or lease them out this year. Is Capitol Hill growing fast enough to absorb this inventory? Will sidelined buyers jump on these low interest rates? Any predictions for Capitol Hill?