RSIR, Daniels Real Estate, And Greentown Announce Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy For Graystone Condominiums

By RSIR Staff |

Executives from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”), Daniels Real Estate, and Greentown confirmed that Graystone Condominiums, located at 800 Columbia Street in downtown Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, has been certified with its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (“TCO”) from the City of Seattle. This confirms the 271-unit condominium high-rise is substantially complete and allowed installation of model homes, common area furnishings, and artwork, as well as initial closings, which are targeted to commence by December 2023. A private reception to celebrate the debut of this much-anticipated community is scheduled for Thursday, November 2, 2023.

“Congratulations to our homebuyers and to our clients at Daniels Real Estate and Greentown for achieving this exciting TCO milestone,” said Dehlan Gwo, Vice President of RSIR’s New Developments. “As the only new condominium high-rise to be delivered in 2023, and among the last in this development cycle, Graystone is a standout on many levels, including affordability as the in-city housing market stages an inflection point.”

Resale condominium activity in downtown Seattle has trended downward in 2023, with closed sales declining 26% while active inventory is also higher by 8% year-to-date through October 2023. However, the median home pricing has climbed by 7% compared with the prior year, illustrating the “neutral market” conditions. This means there are between three to six months of inventory available and conditions favoring neither buyers nor sellers. A closer look at in-city resales (in NWMLS Area #701) during YTD-2023 reveals 287 closings, compared to 390 the prior year, yet average pricing increased slightly on lighter volumes matching the trends witnessed in the greater region, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index last reported October 31, 2023. To be sure, the S&P index had been tracking several month-over-month increases regionally, including posting 0.5% higher median home prices as of August 2023 (the most recent data point) while year-over-year declines moderated to just 1.5% lower prices.

There are 164 active listings on the NWMLS for resale condominiums with a median asking price of just over $679,500, or an average of $855 per square foot. For the new construction inventory listed on the NWMLS, there are another 54 units active with a median asking price of $847,500 or an average of $1,043 per square foot (not all available inventory is listed on NWMLS). Currently, Graystone represents half of the listings priced below $550,000, with new homes starting at $419,900 or just $669 per square foot. Overall, the most recent development boom in Seattle observed four new projects built between 2019 and 2022 comprising 1,194 new units added, of which 930 have sold, representing 78% absorption. Currently, there are only two new condominium towers, including Graystone, delivering in 2023 and 2024, comprising 730 additional units, of which 346 have been presold for 47% absorption. In total, just 648 unsold new construction condominium units remain available in a city center of more than 100,000 residents.

According to the most recent census data, Seattle is once again the fastest-growing large city in the US, however, an approaching dearth of new condominiums sets the stage for higher home prices as affordability in the region becomes even more elusive.

“We feel the market is rebooting after several years of adjusting to the post-pandemic era, increased mortgage interest rates, and most notably, a pinched production pipeline,” adds Gwo. “There hasn’t been a groundbreaking on a new condominium high-rise in Seattle since 2020, and none are expected anytime soon – so what we see for inventory is what we get through at least 2026 or beyond.”

Gwo notes that replacement costs of new condominium product will require 30 to 40% higher values to pencil a new building, which effectively paints the picture of where overall values are heading as the city repopulates and buyers turn to condominium products when seeking more affordable housing options. Real estate agents are also more optimistic about downtown Seattle’s recovery given the impending reset of Seattle City Council following the approaching elections.

Adding to the opportunity, new buyers that contract for purchase at Graystone before November 30, 2023, will receive either a $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 buyer bonus for select studio/one-bedrooms, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms, respectively. Buyers may choose to use this buyer bonus to reduce the finance costs of today’s mortgage interest rate environment and set up to refinance in the future.

Gwo adds, “These current mortgage prices are perceived to be a temporary scenario, but buying the dip means enjoying a forever benefit of lower purchase prices that can’t be replicated by new inventory. That’s the opportunity today.”

Studios and one-bedroom homes are priced from the $400,000s and two-bedroom homes are offered from the $800,000s. Gwo confirms these entry-level price points are not currently found at other new construction high-rise buildings and represent the last of their kind in this current development cycle.

Designed by the nationally acclaimed architectural firm LMN, Graystone’s classical elegance is an homage to First Hill’s history and is billed as a “Modern Classic.” To showcase the recently finished building, four distinct model homes were curated by Graystone’s interior designer Robin Chell, including a studio, two one-bedrooms, and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom floor plan. Building tours will also include the dramatic two-story lobby, the second-floor fitness center and coworking spaces, and above all, the penthouse level common areas including interior and exterior entertainment spaces. Inspired amenities include a wine bar and lockers, a sky lounge, a chef’s kitchen, and several outdoor terraces offering 360-degree views. Given the location of the building relative to the city and the elevation of First Hill, Graystone offers a unique vantage point of the snow-topped vistas of Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker, and the Cascade Mountain Range.

“We note Graystone as being the only new construction condominium in the preferred upper eastside neighborhood of downtown Seattle on First Hill,” said Doug Sonnenberg, the Sales Director with RSIR. “Unlike our peer communities that are located in the city center, Graystone is distinct because it offers both the serenity of this leafy and historic enclave yet remains walkable to the central business district and other lifestyle attractions of downtown Seattle.”

Sonnenberg also points to unique architectural features, like the waterfall pocket park, immediately adjacent to the entrance of Graystone, and the fact that the in-city block is exclusively all-residential, with no commercial retail for a more residential neighborhood feel.

Graystone is now open, and buyers and brokers can schedule private tours of the building with the Graystone Sales Team: | 206.717.5000.

For more information, visit the Graystone website