With spiking demand and a dwindling inventory in Seattle, home prices are rising and ownership remains elusive for many. But downtown condominiums are making a comeback, and savvy homebuyers are timing the opportunity as the city reopens and economic activity picks back up.
According to NWMLS data, pending resales year-to-date in downtown Seattle have nearly doubled compared to 2020, while listings have been cut in half since peaking last fall.
With only a small number of new condo developments planned the next few years, homebuyers who wish to live downtown have just a handful of opportunities available to them, especially if they desire a new or newly renovated residence.
Enter The Goodwin Condominiums, a boutique concrete-and-steel building at the corner of First Avenue and Bell Street, where occupancy is planned in late 2021. There are 34 newly renovated homes on eight floors, giving The Goodwin a more intimate feel than the city’s larger high-rises.
The Goodwin’s location in the Belltown neighborhood carries reminders of Seattle’s unique history. A century ago the building, at 2233 First Ave., was part of Louis Rowe’s strip of storefronts, and it was later transformed to become Hotel Grace. The historic address is just steps from iconic Pike Place Market, as well as the downtown core, Seattle Center and the new multibillion-dollar waterfront. Now re-emerging as a condo community, The Goodwin will feature a blend of distinctive floor plans, refreshed interiors and private roof decks.
A big draw for both buyers and real estate agents is The Goodwin’s limited opportunity for reservations. Those who act quickly can hold the home of their choice by placing a fully refundable $5,000 deposit. Once a dozen homes have been reserved, the developer will convert to purchase and sale agreements and begin closings.
Dean Jones, president and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, says this is the ideal time to purchase at The Goodwin, thanks to current market conditions, attractive mortgage rates and home prices that start in the $500,000s.
“Interest rates are still historically low, but they’re beginning to rise,” Jones says. “Condominium sales downtown are spiking as city dwellers who fled high-density areas during the pandemic begin to return, and as they realize they can take advantage of the developer incentives still being offered. But as preferred inventory and the most attainably priced units are quickly snatched up by smart buyers, those incentives will disappear. I do believe we’ll soon enter a new growth cycle, and buyers who wait will risk experiencing less supply, more competition, and higher prices and reduced purchasing power in the future.”
A selection of featured listings includes a range of one-bedroom, one-bath floor plans (starting at 513 square feet); one-bedroom, two-bath plans; urban two-bedroom, two-bath plans; two-bedroom, two-bath plans; and a limited number of larger one-bedroom plans (from 838-1,286 square feet) and a two-bedroom, two-bath plans (1,151 square feet) with private terraces as large as 12 by 12 feet. For a few select floor plans on the top level, the square footage is spread out over two distinct levels, with stairs leading up to a private roof deck — creating a feeling more like a sizable townhome than a typical condo.
The Goodwin will allow homebuyers to avoid unnecessary amenities and high fees by providing a select offering of amenities and keeping HOA dues lower than at similar condominiums in the area.
Residents will be able to access the building’s rooftop with panoramic views of Puget Sound, the Olympics, the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline. Two levels of parking, controlled-access entry, a resident lounge and library, and optional storage are among the other features.
Prospective buyers can make appointments to view the model home or register on The Goodwin’s website for additional information on availability and pricing.