Quarterly Co-Op Market Update – Q1 2017

Co-Ops are Their Own Beast.

Seattle doesn’t have a lot of co-ops, and that means that they often get neglected when we talk about real estate data.  Since co-ops are only 1.3% of all “condo sales”, they are really misrepresented by our condo data.

Co-ops sell, on average, for 41% less than the similarly sized condo.

  • For Q1 of this year, the average sold price for a condo was $521,455
  • The average sold price of a co-op for the same time frame was $307,915
  • In Q1 Seattle had 931 condos sell and just 13 co-ops.

Now that we have given an over-view of the differences, let’s get into the data that is specific for co-ops:

The one thing that co-ops are NOT out of alignment with the rest of the Seattle market is that they also have experienced large price gains over the last few years.

Since co-ops do not have individual property tax bills, I can’t analyze the price growth through my usual “assessed value to sales price” methodology.  When you buy a co-op, you are actually buying a share (or shares) of a corporation, and the corporation owns the building.   Your share(s) entitle you to use of a specific portion of the building.   The co-op board pays an annual property tax bill for the entire building, but each individual unit does not get it’s own property tax bill.   Co-op owners still pay monthly HOA dues, and part of those dues go towards the overall property tax bill.

Want to know more about the differences between co-ops and condos?  Read this excellent article from Realtor.com.

The next best way to analyze potential price growth (in our frenzied market),  is the average price per square foot.

Let’s take a real-life example to see what the price growth for co-ops looks like over the last year.   Tom and Jerry bought a fantastic co-op on Capitol Hill about this same time year.  They paid $289,000 (or $412 per square foot) for the co-op.  Since that time, the average sold price of a co-op has gone up 22% and the average price per square foot has gone up 29%.  That would make the current value of their co-op $372,545 based off of price per square foot or $352,580 if you look at the average price increase over the last year.

There is it friends.  A little slice of data about a much loved but rarely discussed segment of our real estate landscape.  Co-ops are seeing great price growth along with the rest of the Seattle.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.