Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
2013 is looking like a seller’s market but not so much to warrant audaciousness. Inventory in King County is approximately half of what it was from a year ago and this combined with low interest rates is causing homes to sell quickly and at prices much higher than the market low at the beginning of 2012. Buyers are often finding themselves in bidding wars and paying over the asking price in many cases. This is good news for sellers who have been waiting to sell their homes, but sellers may also need a dose of caution. There has never been a more important time for homeowners to have their house looking its best when entering the market and having their home priced right is essential. Failing to do so, could easily cause a seller to get anywhere from 5% to 15% less for their home.
For example, in the Ballard/Green Lake area there have been 288 single family homes (not including condos) that have sold in the last 90 days. Of those an astounding 122 homes have sold within a week at an average of 12% above asking price and none of those sellers had to reduce their price to get an offer. 71 homes sold in more than 7 days but less than a month at an average of 98% of asking price and 21% of those sellers had to reduce their list price before someone made an offer on their home. 95 homes sold after more than a month on the market at an average of 95% of the original asking price with nearly 70% of those sellers having to reduce their price before the first buyer made an offer. While these results vary from neighborhood and price range, the general trend can be seen throughout the Seattle real estate marketplace.
Courtesy of Ewing & Clark
Many homeowners have participated in a century old tradition that looks for guidance from St Joseph to sell their home, a universal patron know as the carpenter and foster father of Jesus Christ on earth. The tradition claims that if you bury a statue of St Joseph in the home’s yard, it will help speed up the home sale. Many folks have been praying to St Joseph for over 2000 years, requesting favors of all sorts, but more specifically in housing, family problems, and financial needs.
Homeowners interested in the tradition can purchase a “St Joseph Homeseller Kit” equipped with a small easy to bury statue, specific burial instructions, and a prayer card. Among popular companies producing the kits, Roman Inc has been selling these home sale kits since 1996 for around $8. Instructions state that you should make a 12′” deep hole in the yard, large enough to bury the statue. You then bury the statue upside down in the hole, facing the home. Once your home is sold, you can remove the statue from the hole, and display the statue in a prominent place in the new home. The kit discloses that there are many ways one can evoke the assistance of St Joseph in their home sale, and the important thing to remember is to actually believe that St Joseph will act on your behalf to assist in the sale of your home or property. Disclaimer for those hoping to rely on the statue for a quick sale: It’s outlined on the box that doing the practical things such as completing all necessary repairs, cleaning and staging the home for inspection, and being mindful of the housing market and your finances should be thought through prior to planting the statue, and relying on St Joseph, the Real Estate Agent. There is a St Joseph’s Statue believer’s website which states that there are currently over $3.15 Billion in Real Estate listed, and 174 listings in Washington State. What are the odds the statue will help you sell? If you’re interested in learning more about the tradition, there are books out there such as St Joseph, My Real Estate Agent, and a list of articles published provided by the believer’s of St Joseph website.
Courtesy of Ewing & Clark
According to the NWMLS’ newly released statistics, the hot topic is that inventory is extremely low in King County residential real estate. King County single family homes for sale (excluding condos) are down 43% from last year. At the end of November there were 3,720 listings for sale in the county, compared to 6,487 last November.
This lack of inventory is causing prices to increase. Median prices are up 20% from last November ($424,900 vs. $355,000), and average days on the market decreased 9% from this time last year (115 days in Nov. 2012 vs. 126 days in Nov. 2011).
Most real estate experts believe the reason for the low inventory is that rental rates continue to rise, and even with the recovery in price many home values are still only matching up to what prices were in early 2005. Many real estate experts are suggesting that if you bought your house any time the last 8 years, it is likely a good to stay in your home if you can.
Questions about the Greater Seattle real estate market? We can help. Contact Ewing and Clark.
Courtesy of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (May 1, 2012) – Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, Downtown Seattle’s Leading Luxury Real Estate Firm will host Sotheby’s Vice-Chairman of Asian Art, Henry Howard-Sneyd, for a private valuation of Chinese Works of Art at an event open to the public on May 3.
China has emerged as the largest consumer in the world for luxury goods and high-priced artworks. Since Sotheby’s held its first auction of Chinese Art in London in 1922, the department has gone from strength to strength, with sales held twice yearly in four salerooms: London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris. A robust, global category, Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art sales have attracted as many as 1,200 bidders from 47 countries in recent seasons. Collectors have spent more than $1.1 billion on Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art at Sotheby’s during the past five years.
The Vice-Chairman of Asian Art, Henry Howard-Sneyd has targeted Seattle as an important market for consignment of Chinese Fine Works of Art and already boasts an established clientele of art connoisseurs in the local area. This week’s event will broaden the awareness of Sotheby’s growing interest in Asian art with their hosting of an opening to the public; offering an exclusive opportunity to bring in individual art works for a complimentary appraisal and consideration as an auction consignment. The event will be occurring one day only, Thursday, May 3, 10am – 5pm. Private appointments only. Please call 1 212 606 7332 to schedule a confidential appointment.
What: Sotheby’s Art Sweep – An Invitation to Consign Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art
Where: Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Residential & Resort Showroom, 2715 First Avenue, Seattle
When: Thursday, May 3, 10am – 5pm
Who: Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby’s Vice-Chairman Asian Art
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Realogics Brokerage, LLC (DBA Realogics Sotheby's International Realty) has emerged as a leading sales and marketing company in the Seattle area. The company’s mission is to provide excellence into the resale marketplace including multi-family, single family and now resort residences throughout the state of Washington. Managed by Realogics, Inc., the collective presents a fully integrated real estate solution comprised of market research, product development, full-service marketing and sales. The Realogics Group of Companies owns a long-term franchise within the Sotheby’s International Realty network. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated by Realogics, Inc. www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com.
About Sotheby’s, Chinese Ceramics and Fine Works of Art
Chinese Ceramics and Fine Works of Art is a department that offers great masterpieces of Chinese Art for auction. Sales include a wide range of works, such as ceramics, jades, ivory and rhinoceros horn carvings, furniture, bronzes, sculptures, paintings and clocks from the Neolithic period to the Qing dynasties. Sotheby’s international team has cultivated strong relationships with the key collectors in the field, as evidenced by the number of important private collections that have been entrusted to them for sale, amongst them The Meiyintang Collection, Property from J.T. Tai and Co., The Collection of Carl Kempe and The Estate of Emile Guimet. Recent successes include the extraordinary prices of $18 million for a Famille-Rose Floral Medallion Bottle Vase, $15.8 million for a Massive Imperial White Jade "Xintian Zhuren" Seal, the record-breaking 22-million for an Outstanding Blue and White Vase with Fruit Sprays, Meiping Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period and $26.6 million for an Outstanding Ru Guanyao Lobed Brush Washer, which set the world auction record for Song ceramics. Learn more about this department in Records & Results. www.Sothebys.com
(January 19, 2012) SEATTLE — Construction on The Sanctuary—a 12-unit, residential conversion located within the former 1906 First Church of Christ, Scientist in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood—is now complete.
Originally built between 1906 and 1911 and designated an historic landmark by the City of Seattle in 1977, the completed project—now consisting of fee simple, concrete and steel town homes—offers a rare mix of intricate historic features, artisan craftsmanship and innovative modern design elements. The construction team was spearheaded by Belfor Property Restoration, Runberg and Associates, Robin Chell Design and The Justen Company.
A compelling example of adaptive reuse and historic preservation, redevelopment on the project initially began in 2007 but was stalled in 2010. An affiliate of San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners, LLC, acquired the construction note on July 7, 2011, and funded an additional $2 million to bring the project to its full potential. In readying the homes for sale, Resource Transition Consultants, LLC (RTC), the seller, responded to feedback from local real estate brokers, prospective homebuyers and other market experts.
“We made many improvements and are thrilled with how the individual homes and common areas turned out,” says Rob Nall, a principal of RTC. “The additional construction and restoration was worthwhile—we’ve optimized the final product and the pricing for positive market acceptance.”
In addition to changing the building use to residential with the City of Seattle, RTC worked through the Landmark Preservation Board to protect key architectural features while improving livability. For example, the century-old stained-glass windows now slide to the side, revealing new vision glass, which adds natural light, territorial views and fresh air to the unique residences.
“Our job is to complete construction, realign values and sell the homes at prevailing market rates,” adds Nall. “This is a unique scenario in which an inspiring product designed at the peak of the housing market may well sell at bottom-of-the-market prices.”
Despite its Classical Revival-style architecture, the former church now boasts modern interiors and technology, as well as high-rise construction quality within. Each home features soaring 30-foot-high ceilings, metalwork and cabinetry crafted by Seattle area artisans, polished concrete floors, re-purposed marble from the original building and top-of-the-line appliances and fixtures that include brands such as Wolf, Bertazzoni, Liebherr, Asko, and Kohler to name a few.
Ranging from four to six levels (including roof top terraces); the town homes are sized from 1,600 to more than 3,000-square-feet and will list from the low $500,000s to $1.1 million – about 45% below original asking prices, according to the listing brokers.
“Waiting paid off for patient homebuyers trying to time the market at The Sanctuary,” said Dean Jones, principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “We’re offering a greatly enhanced yet highly affordable product by virtue of dramatically lowered purchase prices and historically low interest rates. And the landmark designation means significantly reduced property taxes for the next ten years.”
Two model homes will be opened this weekend for public previews from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The official sales debut is scheduled for January 28, 2012 when the sales office opens. More information can be found on the recently launched website at www.liveatsanctuary.com.
About Resource Transition Consultants, LLC.
RTC, headquartered in Edmonds, WA, was founded in 2008 by Robert Nall, Douglas Barnes and Kevin Hanchett to provide receivership services to lenders on financially distressed real estate transactions. The firm has been active in the successful disposition of numerous communities, in addition to distressed commercial and business assets. For more information, visit www.rtcreceivers.com.
About Realogics Sotheby's International Realty
Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is a nationally-recognized, full-service real estate brokerage that specializes in new construction sales and marketing services for its developer and lender clientele. Representing high-profile multifamily communities in the Seattle area, the firm is a top selling residential brokerage in Seattle by dollar volume for multifamily, according to Trendgraphix. For more information, visit www.realogicssothebysrealty.com.
For high-resolution photography of the Sanctuary and additional property information, please contact Michelle Poitevin at 206.448.5752 or email Michelle@Realogics.com.
Courtesy of Michael Edlund, Director of Technology at Luxury Real Estate
Here at Luxury Real Estate, we are constantly updating our website to make it more useful for you, our members. We like to hear what features you like and could use, so due to popular member feedback, we recently added new functionality in the Luxury Lounge.
Each second home market has feeder markets—the areas that buyers most often come from. For example, Seattle is a feeder market for second homes in Idaho. It's of great value for brokers in a market to network well with brokers from their feeder markets so that they can pass referrals to people they know and trust. Previously as an agent in the Luxury Lounge, you could only display your particular service areas, but you can also now add your Feeder Markets. If you’re an agent in Hawaii, you may wish to add Seattle as one of your feeder markets—or if you’re in Brazil, Florida may be a lucrative feeder market for you.
When you log into the Luxury Lounge, click on the blue “My Lounge” button in the top right hand corner. Then click “Profile” to edit your personal profile. From this page, you will notice a horizontal line of tabs, one of which says “Feeder Markets”. We’d like you to be among the first to take advantage of this new tool in the Luxury Lounge—so go ahead, fill it out. I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Very soon, we will make it possible to match service areas and feeder markets between different members and suggest who you ought to network with based on this information. We are excited for the new business opportunities within the LRE® network this will enable!
So please, keep trying out all the features in the Luxury Lounge, and as always, let us know what you think—we are here to work for you!
SEATTLE, WA. (July 25, 2011) – Executives at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty unveiled a property showcase of the Seattle area’s most exclusive condominium and town home offerings on the market. A progressive open house for brokers is being hosted tomorrow on Tuesday, July 26 from 3pm to 6pm. Each property listing and relevant market data is arrayed online at www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com/Penthouses.
“Its peak season to present luxury homes in downtown Seattle as many locals and visitors are experiencing the allure of our world-class city,” says Dean Jones, Principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “We’ve noted a steady increase of property inquiries from buyers around the corner and around the globe. We hope to add these fine properties to our growing list of sold listings so far this year.”
According to the American Society of Travel Agents, Seattle remains in the top 10 most visited US destinations during the summer months. Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce says Washington (primarily Seattle) tied with Nevada for the greatest annual increase of overseas visitors in the country in 2010 – up 32 percent. The Port of Seattle reports cruise ship passengers will bring more than 800,000 visitors to Seattle with nearly 200 cruise liner port calls. More than 10 million people a year tour The Pike Place Market and The Space Needle with the greatest visitor traffic during July and August. Many of the featured listings are within walking distance of these attractions (tours by appointment only).
The seven featured properties include the following penthouses and town homes:
• Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue I #3800 I 2 Bed / 2.5 Bath I 2,999 Sq. Ft. I $4,995,000
• Olive 8 I #PH2 I 2 Bed / 2.5 Bath I 2,224 Sq. Ft. I $2,495,000
• Mosler Lofts I #PH2 I Two Bed / Two Bath I 2,000 Sq. Ft. I $1,990,000
• The Enclave at Lake Union I 2,500 – 5,200 Sq. Ft. I Pre-selling from $1,365,000 - $3,450,000
• Market Place North I #E18 I 2 Bed / 2 Bath I 1,919 Sq. Ft. I $1,195,000
• Waterfront Landings I #524 I 2 Bed / 2 Bath I 1,888 Sq. Ft. I $1,175,000
• The Sanctuary I 2 Bed / 2+ Bath I 1,278 – 2,428 Sq. Ft. I Accepting Reservations from $600,000
Jones estimates about half of the most recent $1 million+ sales have come from buyers out of state; be it for employment relocation, retirement, as a second home or even investment. Demand is also picking up locally but the majority of homebuyers in Seattle need to sell a home before they will buy a new home, which limits the number of transactions, he said.
“We’re exercising our (international) brand to attract a broader pool of buyers for our clients,” adds Jones. “It helps too that we have such amazing inventory to present – these properties are clearly in a league of their own.”
In addition to property detail information, the web page at www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com/Penthouses offers helpful tools for prospective homebuyers trying to better understand the market dynamics. A “heat map” demonstrates where the $1 million sales have occurred over the past decade, there’s links to recent articles on the downtown housing market, a development pipeline illustrates the supply and demand and other statistics are provided from indices like The Northwest Multiple Listing Service and the popular S&P / Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
“I believe we’re at real turning point with downtown housing - so statistical information has become as important as the architectural design, location or views,” says Jones. “That said buyers and brokers tend to look at these unique penthouse properties a little differently than more typical condominiums. They’re similar to waterfront listing because like land, they’re not making any more towers. Penthouse living is an inherently finite commodity.”
EDITORS NOTE: For high-resolution images or statistical information please contact Michelle Poitevin at 206.448.5752 or Michelle.Poitevin@SothebysRealty.com.
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Launched in February 2010, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has quickly emerged as the top-selling brokerage of luxury multifamily properties (by dollar volume) in King County, according to Trendgraphix, Inc. The Seattle-based firm is comprised of more than thirty brokers and offers full real estate services for new construction, resale and mixed-use developments of single-family, townhome and condominium properties. For more information visit www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com.
Courtesy of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
SEATTLE, WA – The senior development loan on The Sanctuary -- a century-old church in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that was converted into a 12-unit multifamily community -- has been sold by a syndicate of lenders to Pathfinder Pollin Sanctuary Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners, LLC, a leading acquirer of loans and properties from financial institutions.
According to Robert Nall, managing member of Resource Transition Consultants, LLC (RTC), which has served as the court-appointed receiver for the lender syndicate since September 2010, the loan sale is a key step toward rejuvenating the long-stalled development and reintroducing The Sanctuary to the market at dramatically reduced prices.
Guardian Real Estate Services, a national real estate investment bank, represented the selling lenders. RTC will remain in place and oversee remaining construction and sales activities. Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has been appointed the exclusive listing broker.
Originally built in 1908 as The First Church of Christ the Scientist, The Sanctuary was redeveloped a century later, as 12, fee simple concrete and steel townhomes within the historic structure. The original borrower defaulted on the development loan in August 2010 and construction and marketing has been halted for more than a year, Nall said. “With the support of our new lender, we can now complete construction and sell the individual residences,” Nall added.
Ranging from 1,278- to 2,438-square-feet, the townhomes will be marketed at significantly less than the original asking price – which averaged over $1 million apiece -- when complete in fall of 2011. “While the original developer had an incredible vision that we intend to fully realize, we also recognize that values must be recalibrated for today’s homebuyer,” Nall said. “We anticipate our prices will start at below $600,000.” Additionally, new homeowners will enjoy a 10-year property tax abatement, with a special assessment designation for historic structures.
Celebrating the architectural significance of the historic structure, The Sanctuary project has already won numerous design awards, including “Building Restoration of the Year (2009)” from Seattle magazine. The development features an expansive stained-glass dome, now the building’s atrium, which provides abundant natural light. Residences feature high-end finishes and amenities, including soaring 35-foot-high ceilings, metalwork and cabinets by Seattle area artisans, solid wood stair risers, re-purposed marble from the original church and top-of-the-line kitchen and plumbing fixtures. Each unit has a street level entrance, as well as a shared elevator to secured underground parking. Some units have rooftop terraces with expansive views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay.
Dean Jones, principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, anticipates that The Sanctuary will be a welcome addition to the in-city housing market. “Buyers and brokers are starving for exciting new inventory like this, as the for-sale pipeline has been shut down for several years and no new developments are planned,” said Jones. Additionally, “this is a unique development – one part residence, one part architectural landmark, one part objet d’art – and with just 12 homes available, we expect them to be in high demand.”
Visit www.liveatsanctuary.com for photos and further information.
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is a nationally-recognized, full-service real estate brokerage that specializes in new construction sales and marketing services for its developer and lender clientele. Representing numerous high-profile multifamily communities in the Seattle area, the firm is a top selling residential brokerage in King County by dollar volume for condominiums, according to Trendgraphix. For more information, visit www.realogicssothebysrealty.com.
About Resource Transition Consultants
RTC, headquartered in Edmonds, WA, was founded in 2008 by Robert Nall, Douglas Barnes and Kevin Hanchett to provide receivership services to lenders on financially distressed real estate transactions. The firm has been active in the successful disposition of eight communities over the past three years in addition to numerous distressed commercial and business assets. For more information, visit www.rtcreceivers.com.
About Guardian Real Estate Services
With a specialization in real estate, loan sales, and asset management transactions, Guardian delivers solutions to asset managers, bankers, and investors. Through an innovative process that combines capital market experience and local market knowledge, Guardian also offers a combination of expertise for transactions of all sizes, leveraging the Guardian MarketMaker platform to connect buyers and sellers dealing in distressed properties, single-asset, and portfolio loans of all sizes. Visit www.gres.com or www.guardianmarketmaker.com for more information.
EDITORS NOTE: For high-resolution photography of The Sanctuary, please contact Sydnie Moore at 619-823-8448.
Ilya Moshenskiy, the official photographer of LuxuryRealEstate.com events, released a new, advanced version of his website www.ilyaphoto.com today. The new luxury photography website has a more user-friendly design, reflecting Ilya’s professionalism, outgoing personality and focus on customer service.
Ilya’s new website has several sections, which demonstrate his specialty in photographing architecture, products, food and editorials. The website also includes 20 testimonials from a variety of clients, including Luxury RealEstate.com President Meghan Barry and Miami Real Estate Senior Vice President Audrey Ross.
Based in the Seattle area, Ilya’s Photography serves clients across the country and around the world. Ilya has taken thousands of photos for restaurants, real-estate brokers and other business owners. His luxury photography helps them sell their products and services more effectively.
Ilya’s Photography clients can log into the new website to easily access all of their photos for use on their websites, print ads and other places.
The new luxury photography website was designed by Ryan Layne and Ilya’s two sons, Vlad and Alex Moshenskiy. Vlad works at Microsoft, Alex is a freelance marketing specialist, and Ryan is a Web developer.
Come back to Ilya’s website often to see his latest work, which he’ll update frequently. Contact Ilya’s Photography for your luxury photography needs.
Courtesy of Michelle Poitevin of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty
Executives of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty today released a sample price list for remaining inventory above the 27th floor at Olive 8 – a 229 unit condominium and hotel development in downtown Seattle. The new pricing strategy includes reductions across the board that vary from about 15% to more than 25% on some homes, according to Julie McAvoy, the Community Sales Director for Olive 8.
“Effectively, the price reductions is our seller making the first offer to homebuyers in this dynamic marketplace,” said McAvoy. “Selling today requires a conversation and we’re listening.”
The new price list comes out about a year after prior reductions that ranged from 10-15% and last fall an auction helped sellout targeted inventory below the 27th floor, according to McAvoy and NWMLS history. She estimates the total reductions in aggregate now range from 30-40% below presale pricing in 2007. “It a compelling opportunity for savvy homebuyers,” said McAvoy. “With prices correcting, timing the market may now have more to do with securing preferred selection and historically low interest rates versus anticipating further price cuts. I think we’re at a pivotal time in the center-city (Seattle) housing market and each community has a unique relationship within it.”
A preliminary look at median home prices (year-over-year) for all condominiums (new and resale) in downtown Seattle suggest a 13% correction from a peak in 2007 compared with 2010, according to NWMLS records. Meanwhile inventory appears to be shrinking, most notably due to a lack of new construction since the credit crunch stopped additional development in 2007. Pundits agree no new condo towers are expected to arrive to market for at least several years.
David Thyer, President of RC Hedreen Company and developer of Olive 8 says he monitors market values but acknowledges the only price that matters is the one that a buyer wants to pay. “We’re not inclined to further discount given recent sales comps in the building,” he said. “We know Olive 8 provides a great value today and we’re working our way up the building. Our three year construction loan extension provides us the time to sell into an improving marketplace over the next two years or so. Fortunately, we’ve saved our best inventory.”
McAvoy reports 10 new sales have been accepted so far in 2011 and active negotiations are taking place on several other homes. “I think buyers and sellers are finding better balance in supply and demand at Olive 8 and elsewhere,” she said. “It’s a signal that the market is stabilizing and an increase in sales means buyers are becoming more confident in home values.”
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty: Representing a significant volume of new construction condominium closings in downtown Seattle since 2008, Realogics Brokerage, LLC (DBA Realogics Sotheby's International Realty) has emerged as a leading sales and marketing company in the Seattle area. Managed by Realogics, Inc., the collective presents a fully integrated real estate solution comprised of market research, product development, full-service marketing and sales. The Realogics Group of Companies owns a long-term franchise within the Sotheby’s International Realty network and has since established a fastgrowing resale division. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated by Realogics, Inc. For more information, visit www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com.
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