A lack of transparency and a glut of uncertainty has been the death of high rise condominium sales in Bellevue/Seattle. I feel like we are in an intervention and we need to simply say ” I’m a (developer/banker) and I have a problem”. It is time for everyone to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. Life is not rosy when you have not just months, but years of uncertainty in selling the rest of your inventory. The time is now. Bankers, investors and the development teams of these projects need to sit down and go back to square one.
The money that went into these projects is not coming out. We need to face the music and get to a price that will drive the market. Buyers are favoring “distressed” purchases. They want deep discounts or a perceived value that they are getting a lot for their dollar. At this point in time, there is just not enough demand for the condominium inventory. I’m talking to the big guys right now: Bellevue Towers, Washington Square, The Bravern, The Gallery, Escala, Olive 8 etc….There are two choices:
1. Negotiate with the lienholder and reduce pricing/dues
2. Continue on the path of bad press, little sales, litigation and disgruntled buyers.
I’m not trying to be the bad guy. I can sympathize with developers too, but the state that we are in is obvious. Auctions are not the right thing for most projects. We should get realistic, reward the buyers that have already purchased and incentivize the buyers that are on the fence. The banks have to participate too. When the price of these monsters come down, the demand will go up. With that comes excited buyers willing to share their story with co-workers, family and friends. Now is that not worth the intervention?