Bellevue’s Washington Square Triples Condominium Sales
Interest in Second Phase Development Spurs Sales; Not Homeowner Stimulus
Bellevue, WA (PRWEB) Nov. 24, 2009 New condominium sales at Bellevue’s Washington Square more than tripled in the past two months, offering the first sign buyers are coming back to the high-rise condo market in the Seattle region.
Washington Square, which has two towers of condominiums and 26 townhomes in downtown Bellevue, has suffered with the rest of the housing market due to the national recession, only selling one unit a month from January to August. From September to Nov. 1, however, sales totaled 26.
Increased sales have come since Wasatch Development, developer of Washington Square, announced preliminary plans for the second phase of the $1.2 billion, 10-acre downtown Bellevue superblock. Only one of the 26 buyers used the federal government’s first-time homebuyer credit of $8,000 to purchase a unit at Washington Square, which indicates the incentive program did not artificially inflate sales.
“Confidence in condos is coming back,” said Mike Nielson, chief operating officer, for Washington Square. “Since September 1, we’ve sold 26 units. Last year during the same period, we sold one. Now with Fannie Mae and FHA approval, we’re seen as a safer product, banks can make favorable loans and buyers can now purchase with as little as 3.5 percent down.”
Washington Square Bellevue’s First FHA Certified High Rise
Last week, Washington Square became the first high-rise condominium project in Bellevue to obtain Federal Housing Administration or FHA certification, which makes it easier for prospective buyers to get insured loans, which can carry more favorable terms. Since the recession, condominium buyers have found it difficult to buy condos because banks have been unwilling to take the risk on condos, particularly in markets with a glut of units.
To obtain FHA certification, condominium projects have to meet a stringent set of criteria. When they do, it means lenders may be more willing to give a buyer a loan and terms that make it easier for them to qualify. For instance, rather than paying 10 percent to 20 percent as a down payment, buyers can put as little as 3.5 percent down. Those seeking FHA loans also may get that down payment from family members and have a higher debt-to-income level than those required by conventional loans.
Contact: Mike Nielson, Washington Square at 425-974-7078 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or M. Sharon Baker at 425-890-9105.
About Washington Square
Washington Square is a 10-acre development in the heart of downtown Bellevue, WA orchestrated by Wasatch Development. Two 23-story condominium towers along with 26 townhomes were completed in 2008, the project’s first phase. Plans for the superblock’s second phase will be unveiled in 2010 once approved by The City of Bellevue. The second phase includes 650,000 square feet of office, hotel and retail development and parking on the southwest corner of the superblock and will be developed with a partner. To learn more visit www.washingtonsquareliving.com
About Wasatch Development
Founded in 1988 by Dell Loy Hansen, Wasatch owns and manages more than 50 multi-family residential communities and approximately 3 million square feet of commercial space throughout the western United States. Outside of Washington Square, the company is developing more than 2,000 residential units and a hotel and convention center in Utah, which opened for business in 2009. In addition to its real estate holdings, Wasatch owns 17 business companies that support its core real estate business.
Wasatch has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah; San Diego, Calif.; Scottsdale, Ariz. and Bellevue, Washington, and with its subsidiaries maintains a real estate portfolio of more than $1.4 billion in assets. You can learn more at www.wasatchgroup.com.