Given the nationwide housing crunch eventually spread to King County?

Asked by Jason, Redmond, WA Sun Sep 30, 2007

I purchased a condo, the Riverwalk, near Redmond Town Center, to be close to Microsoft. I am somewhat worried as they're having some challenges selling the last few units and wondering if the housing woes across the US have hit King County, and should expect housing prices to plummet next year. I wonder if purchased at a peak.

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James Hsu, Agent, Bothell, WA
Sun Sep 30, 2007
The Riverwalk condos are a pretty nice conversion project. You can't get any closer to 520 access than that. I looked at them for a while with a client of mine. The market here may be in a lull, but I don't see things plummeting anytime at all. Here's my reasoning: Job growth in the area remains strong. With riverwalk's proximity to MS campus and MS still expanding their campus and bringing more people in, there's always going to be a demand for housing in and around your least in the foreseeable future.

As for the development's difficulty in selling the last few units, ...consider this, ..even though they released the units in phases, I believe the last phase was back in April, so all the better units have been picked over. The buyers are out there right now, ....but I think they're waiting to see how things pan out with regards to the mortgage shakedown and if prices here will fall.

How's this for a funny stat. For all of the eastside properties, the end of August, this year saw an increase in standing inventory of about 49%. The number of pending sales fell 25% from this time last year, and the number of closed sales fell 21%. However, the median price of the homes that closed in August is up just over 10% from August 2006. King County as a whole has gone up 6% in median price while number of closed sales have dropped 19%.

Whether or not you purchased at a peak depends on when you bought, but I think your investment is safe. ...unless microsoft bails out of the area. Then we're all screwed, ...but the liklihood of that is almost nil. Feel free to send me a private email with your purchase details and I can probably give you a better idea of how your purchase compares up with where the market is now.
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Rachel, , 98155
Sat Nov 3, 2007
If you recently purchased, I assume you are not planning on moving for at least 2-3 yrs minimum? The housing market will always go up and down. Remember a few months ago, when the stock market went down? -Well, it's back up. For now, there is no use in worring about what would happen if you sold today, since you are not selling. Just enjoy your condo, the towncenter, and the trails surrounding you. Don't treat real estate as stock that is to be used strictly for financial gain. It is the home you live in, and enjoy. And finally, no....I don't think you purchased at the peak. Just don't plan on doubling your money in 2 yrs, plan on getting normal gains-- like 3%-15%. Anything more than that is gravy.
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Lynn Roberts…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Nov 1, 2007
Hi Jason,

Stan has stated some excellent statistics about the future of the Seattle Metro area. All of King County has hit a sluggish period, but remember that the media does have a huge effect on consumer confidence. Unfortunately, the media tends to talk about real estate in terms of a national market , but the truth is it is a local market and should be viewed that way.

For instance, as Stan has mentioned, our expected growth exceeds expected new construction, which will mean the supply and demand will be in favor of sellers. Additionally, higher paying jobs, job security, and job growth are all favorable for the Seattle area. Add to this that interest rates have been lowered again and we have "the perfect storm" if you will.

Without a doubt we have seen more price reduction signs and fewer sales this year then last. But with salary increases of approximately 7% this year combined with many people now seeing the drop in interest rates they have been waiting for and consumer confidence on the rise, it is expected that the spring will bring a flurry of buyers who have been chomping at the bit to buy. If this happens, we will see house prices rise again and appreciation will be what the media focuses on again!
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Stan Isenhath, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Fri Oct 26, 2007
KC has slowed from 90 MPH to about 55 MPH. Indicators, short-term and long-term, point to demand increasing faster than housing units or building permits over the next 3 years. 143,000 new jobs vs. 55,000 housing units. Convention Center, Cruise Ships and Commercial Building Permits over next 3 years are at capacity with newhires being increased to handle workload. 26,000 new jobs await the production of the new Boeing Dreamliner. By the way, the majority of new job creation is supervisory, not entry-level jobs.
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Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Sat Oct 13, 2007
As an update, another unit went STI recently in Riverwalk. The best thing you can do for your future value is to encourage the complex to become approved for FHA Financing. At present, they do not offer this option as to "terms" of financing and future value will hinge on buyers with little to no cash being able to purchase.

While some of the unit prices exceed the FHA loan limit, supporting the value of the lowest units by becoming FHA approved, will help everyone. That gives you something to work on vs. simply worrying. Be proactive now, and your value will be better supported long term.

I do think prices in that particular building may be flat for at least 4-6 months from now. We can't tell with any accuracy what will happen in 2008, but I'm calling it is basically a flat market for close in locations, down for many not close in locations and up only for the best of the best.
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