Before the pandemic hit, Downtown Seattle looked a lot different. There was an active workforce walking the streets. There were 40 plus food trucks all over South Lake Union to meet the demand of an active lunch hour. Tourist were swarming around the Space Needle, the waterfront and Pike Place Market. Overnight things changed.
I have had to debate if Downtown Seattle will ever look the way it did before. I think it will. It is a long road to recovery, but that process has begun. I believe in urbanization. Some of the best cities in the world are DENSE. People move to the city for healthcare, work, schools, restaurants, access to major airports and most importantly, walk-ability. There are major employers all over the world that believe in an office culture. Just to name a few, Peloton,Amazon, Nordstrom, JP Morgan and Facebook.
HAS THE RECOVERY BEGUN?
I’m starting to see a recovery in the Downtown Seattle market. As you can see in the chart above, Inventory of Downtown Seattle condos peaked at 355 units. Since the peak in late September, inventory is down 45%. There are just 195 units in the Downtown core.
This is what I imagine the next 24 months will look like. As vaccinations take hold, the population in Downtown Seattle will slowly start to grow again. Workers will return to the office. Some companies will start their employees on a flexible schedule that allows them work from home 2 days a week – while only in the office for 3 days a week. Downtown condo prices should bottom in the next 90 days. As confidence builds post vaccine, buyers will continue to increase absorption of available units.
WHAT SEATTLE SHOULD LOOK LIKE
Seattle will have a new Mayor, a new NHL hockey team and 2 new condo towers. Companies like Nordstrom, Amazon, REI, Starbucks and Boeing will make an impact on our local economy. The tech industry will continue to expand in and around the downtown market. People will start riding light rail again. Travelers from all over the world will return.