Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

Olive 8 Condo Auction

By on August 18, 2010 in Feature, Real Estate with 22 Comments

Olive 8 Condominium (737 Olive Way) announced that it will auction 34 homes on Sunday, September 19th at 1 pm at the Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel (within the Olive 8 building).

The auction will be conducted by Kennedy Wilson, who previously handled auctions for the 5th & Madison Condominium, Queen Anne High School Condominium and the Press Condominium.

The 34 one- and two-bedroom homes being auctioned were previously listed between $395,000 and $1,235,000 and their starting bids will range from $160,000 to $440,000. The units are located on floors 18 through 26, and range in size from 650 square feet to 1,586 square feet.

As with the 5th & Madison auction, there is an unpublished reserve price. Therefore, the highest bidder may not necessarily be the winning bidder. Bids are subject to seller’s acceptance.

As with Kennedy Wilson’s other auctions, a “How to Buy” informational seminar will be held prior a week prior on Sunday, September 12th at 1 pm at the Hyatt at Olive 8.

Auction website:

Or access the auction website directly (behind the website registration wall) and download the auction brochure (pdf).

Auctions are a different beast so if you’re thinking of participating, be sure to (1) read the auction terms thoroughly (buyers do not have many of protections afforded to them as with a normal purchase transaction), (2) attend the “how to” session and/or (3) utilize the services of a buyer’s agent who can provide guidance, knowledge of auction procedures and buyer representation through the process. Note, if you tour the units on your own, you may not be eligible to your own representation if you decide to bid and purchase a unit.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a Seattle condo and urban real estate marketing & listing specialist. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market or about buying or selling a Seattle area condo. Find Ben on Twitter and Facebook. .


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There Are 22 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Craig Truzzi says:

    I was wondering, is there any sites or knowledge available of how much higher the lower end condos would go for? I know auctions are all volatile but such as the ones starting at 190k, in this economy is it more likely they would reach 250 or 300+? Really interested in attempting to purchase one of these but don’t want to waste my time if there’s null chance of me getting one.

  2. condobuyer says:

    One of the main reasons the Olive 8 units are not selling is that they are already having major plumbing problems in the buiding.

  3. jay says:

    Condobuyer – can you tell us more about these “major plumbing problems” – what exactly does that mean?

    anyone have any scoop on what % of building has sold?

    these seem MASSIVELY overpriced to start. but then i gotta wonder if they are playing the underbidding trick and making them appear more attractive than they are..

    guessing they will sell for AT LEAST 30-40% over starting bid, right? – based on the other auction data…

    what do you all think?

  4. Ben Kakimoto says:

    Jay – If I counted correctly, 67 units were sold and recorded, roughly 30% (via county records). There may be more that are under contract.

  5. Mary says:

    @Craig and Jay – On average the 5th and Madison condos sold for 65% or 140k more of the starting bid over final bid. So, add 65% (or 140k) onto the price of the starting bid to get an estimate of what you will face at the auction!

  6. Jay says:

    Mary – I think you are waaaaaaay over optimistic abt this. Anyone w half a brain knows that real estate has fallen off the cliff. Real market data

    Also you have the number wrong -it was 57% not 65% over the starting bids.

    So…that would knock $20k to 40k off those prices

    And there’s no $8k govt tax credit now

    And then there’s the issue of whether that auction is really a good comp

    Gotta say….jury is still out on this one!

    Need more evaluation and weed out fake comments from real estate agents and auctioneer… Sure would be good to hear from current homeowners too….

  7. Mary says:

    @Mr. Jay – I am not being optimistic. I think you meant to say I am being pessimistic as a potential buyer! Also, if you are saying my estimate is off by 20k on the price of 300K+ condo, the estimate are pretty close to each other.


    What you did is took the weighted average to weight the larger condos more heavily where I equally weighted each sale! So, don’t tell I did my math wrong, Mr. Jay!

  8. jay says:

    i’m saying that an 8% difference (65 vs 57% ) on 200,00 (low end) is $16,000 and on the high end (the $440,000 condos) it’s even more ($35,200).

    so yes, i think the estimates are off.

    and there was the govt $8,000 tax credit going on earlier this year. by all accounts that obviously inflated buying prices.

    add those numbers together and you end up with numbers a LOT lower than what you are suggesting. yes $24,00 or $43,00 is a LOT of money!

    low end ($16k + 8k=$24k) and high end ($35,200+$8,000 = $43,200)

    and that’s still comparing them to the last auction. not clear if that is an accurate comp.

    it’s too easy to get distracted by “original price” – thats a bs trick of sales as everyone knows. if you buy the shirt that’s marked at $1000 and now it’s “on sale for only $200 – is it really on sale?

  9. Cap says:

    Bummer. No warranty on auction units (“as is”) right? I think most of em will be sold to speculators for renting. Even at a 30% discount I don’t see how they move 34 units after all of the other condo auctions.

    Nobody bought at the ‘previous price’ of $1.2 million for two bed units. The actual price of two beds at Olive 8 has been in the 800’s recently.

  10. jay says:

    you sure they sold for 800’s? i can’t imagine those units being viable rentals at 30% off…the numbers would not even be close to working and they would be much higher than the fancy apartments next door which have better amenities actually (includes the gym, unlike these condos that charge extra!)

    there’s no chance the 2br’s are going to sell for 800…unless there are tons of dumb people in Seattle planning to attend the auction and piss their money away . will there be fake bidders at this auction too? wonder what tricks they are up to!

    units are nice, but not that nice. and everything is relative to the market… units have partial views at best. and the views will eventually get blocked with future permits and construction from what i’ve read on other sites. some of them are right next to the other building…can’t imagine there’s going to be that much interest….real interest. lots of lookie-loos. but hey maybe everyone missed the memo that real estate sales in the US are at a FIFTEEN YEAR LOW. yes, it’s officially the WORST HOUSING MARKET EVER.

    and you have a pricey building with high homeowners dues that don’t even include access to the pool? that’s “extra”…you kidding me?!

    but maybe there’s a reason only 20% of building has sold.

    also heard a rumor that there are plumbing problems? wonder if this is relate to the LEED certification/recycling.

    does anyone know the scoop on that aspect of this? any homeowners at the building reading this?

  11. Cap says:

    Recent sales from King County on Olive 8 two bedrooms via

    4/7 $850k #2300
    6/16 $916k #2000
    7/21 $825k #2100

  12. jay says:

    thanks for posting those numbers. that thread was super interesting too.

    those prices are insane…i can’t believe any of these units will sell for above $500/sq foot. sorry people, the value is not there and there’s no way there will be ANY value in that investment…no matter how much hype they drum up. some of the units i viewed were nice but have that adjacent building which means if you want to see your view you’re going to have to have your blinds shut or have the office next door looking into your unit all day and night and can’t honestly think too many potential buyers are excited about living on exhibition like that!

  13. Gene says:

    Does anyone have a sense of construction costs per square foot for a building like Olive8. Seems like that price is at least a medium term ceiling on prices for these units, since prices much higher than that would lead to new buildings going up.

  14. jay says:

    i went back and looked at the units again this week. pretty sure i won’t be participating in this auction. the only really decent units are the 2br/2ba/den ones that are marked down to 400’s from 1million. my guess is they will go for 700+ and i just don’t think that is a sustainable price – for 1500 sq. feet, on a unit that will have starting HOA dues of $750 plus and won’t even include a gym at that price! no, no no.

    the smaller 1 bedrooms are horrid. sliding door for bedroom? barely lofts. really hard to imagine some of the poor design tradeoffs the builders made.

    the large 1 bedroom 1057 floor plan is nice but they are right next to other buildings. literally…like 10 feet away. so you can have your drapes open and get some light…or you can have office workers staring into your unit all day long…are you kidding me? my guess is those will go for 400+ and that’s insane as well when you compare values in other downtown or belltown for that matter. and these will have starting HOA dues for $550 and up too.

    sorry…no thanks!

    prices are returning to – or below – 2002 levels people. expect 300 and under ppsq. take a careful look at this listings…already starting to show up in MLS.

    it will be an interesting auction…i predict a good number of these will actually not sell or close…

  15. Mary says:

    @Jay- you probably can’t afford a place at Olive8 which is why you keep talking negatively about it! lol

  16. jay says:

    uh…no…i just consider myself an intelligent investor that researches potential investments very thoroughly and isn’t influenced by hype, advertising and other sales tactics. Good luck to everyone who is bidding. I’ll be following it closely but mostly likely from the sidelines…

  17. Mary says:

    An investor? Maybe. Intelligent? I think not! lol

  18. Eric says:

    I would actually like to rent an open 1 bedroom (*09 or *10) so hopefully an investor who buys one of the 7 up for auction puts it up for rent. While a window in the bedroom is a good idea in a quiet neighborhood, there are way too many sirens in that area (I’m renting 2 blocks away in the Cosmopolitan)

  19. John says:

    Any details on this plumbing problem rumor? I’m thinking about the 1br corner unit Jay mentioned if they stay sub-300, which I realize is not very realistic, and just checking out a real estate auction.

  20. Ian says:

    Any thoughts on property values when the 39-story AVA project (replacing the parking lot at 8th and Pine) and the 51-story Hedreen project (replacing the Greyhound bus terminal) are developed? Is the auction an attempt to jumpstart sales before these view-blocking projects get underway? I’m interested in getting a good deal, not a dark lemon.

  21. Dan says:

    Jay was right. The $700k bids for the two bedrooms were rejected at the auction.

    AVA condo is dead. I assumed the 811 Stewart hotel was dead as well given Hedreen’s situation with Olive8. 811 Stewart is set back from Olive Way even if it is built, although 51 stories is pretty tall.

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