Sometime ago, in one of my blog post, I wrote about the fact that I will always deliver my honest opinion. Sometimes that does not make everyone happy. Sometime it might be a seller in a building with an overpriced unit in a building in which I might have made comments about. Others include developers such as those who are selling The Cosmopolitan. As we speak, The Cosmopolitan continues to sell units at prices I have said to be very inflated. I have gotten my fair share of nasty emails for some of my comments and that is ok…because, as I stated earlier, you will ALWAYS get my honest opinion and I will not buckle because of what others ( or their lawyers) have to say. I believe the reason the sales continue (about 60% sold) over there are simple, a lack of inventory in the market has made people nervous about being able to buy something so they jump in with both feet. When I work with buyer’s the one thing I will always tell them is to think about the resale of that unit in the future. For those buying at The Cosmopolitan, and are buying there because that is where they want to be and don’t care about the price, or resale. I would say to enjoy your unit and the building. It will be a great place to live! For those that have concerns about resale, especially in a changing market, hear me out! In previous blog post I have made comparisons to the Seattle market because I feel it is the most like ours, except more expensive. Inventory levels in Seattle are even worse than ours currently. For those of you who may have not been onboard with comparisons I have made in the past, let me SHOW you! For comparison sake, I will be comparing to Bellevue Towers. In my opinion, a slightly higher quality building in terms of amenities and views with quality of each being pretty close. Let’s compare: Now, for those of you that know The Cosmopolitan will be a nice building with nice amenities, here is what you get at Bellevue Towers. To me, these comparisons are pretty alarming. If the market turns ever so slightly in a downward trend, it will not be a good situation for owners. The reality of the Bellevue Towers pricing is that it is market pricing… not hype adjusted! And if you need more convincing on the higher end. Compare the Penthouse at The Cosmopolitan. 3236 Squre Feet , 28th Floor priced at $3,883,000. Now compare it to a PH on the 41st Floor of Bellevue Towers…click here to see what you get! http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/500-106th-Ave-NE-Unit-4105_Bellevue_WA_98004_M15387-66117?row=4 Wow! So let’s review. The penthouse in Portland is smaller (167 sq. ft.) has nice views but not the spectacular views that the Seattle penthouse has and…. it is priced $533,000 MORE! This is why I am concerned! Brad Golik of Pearl District Properties is a condominium specialist in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you own a Pearl District condominium and would like to know the value of your condo in todays market, get a FREE market valuation at http://www.PearlDistrictCondominiums.com
Starting to see a little more inventory come into the market this week. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a little more supply for buyer’s to choose from! While the very low inventory is very good for seller’s right now, A healthy market is a more balanced market. While we may not see Inventory jump from 1.8 months to 6 months anytime soon, 3 to 4 months would sure be nice!
Over the years, much of my business has been built on referrals from happy home seller’s and buyer’s. I am very appreciative of this and feel very honored whenever one of my clients sends new buyer’s or someone who needs to sell their condo.
With that said, I am also very happy to help a friend or a client when I can. A client of mine recently invented a new and fun wine aerator. You may have seen his recent ad in “The Pearl “ magazine. Now, I know MANY of my past clients are big wine drinkers, as well as the many people who reside in the Pearl District and all over Portland. If you want to try out this great product, check it out at http://www.TriBellaWine.com. I have tried most of the aerators out there and I think this is the best wine aerator out there for what I would call the 3 F’s….Form, Function and Fun!
For those of you thinking about buying a new condo, give me a call. For those looking to sell, well I still believe I have the best condo marketing program in Portland and would love to show it to you if you are even just thinking about selling!
Last week I mentioned what I called the “Cosmopolitan Effect” and how it was raising the bar for resale properties around the Pearl. In that blog post I mentioned that one of the signature town homes on 11th, priced at $1,899,000, came onto the market…and went pending in 3 days! Well, the seller’s are not carrying their bags of money to the bank just yet! The deal fell out of escrow and it is now back on the market.
A little about the property… #617 11th is a spectacular property featuring 2,698 square feet of upscale living right in the heart of the Pearl. This home features 2 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, a library ( large enough to be 3rd bedroom) a spacious family/TV on the Mezzanine level, a large rooftop deck and a 2 car garage.
For those who might be selling their large suburban home, this could be the perfect transition to downsizing without giving up some of the space that is needed.
If you would like to tour this beautiful Pearl District town home, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this amazing space!
As for the market in general, we are still battling with the lack of inventory. We have buyers in many upper end levels so if you own a condo in the Pearl, and are thinking in any way of selling, please give us a call today. For an instant assessment of your condo’s value, please visit http://www.PearlDistrictPrices.com
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you have heard me discuss the pricing of The Cosmopolitan. Most of what I have said in the past blog post is that I have just felt the the pricing is way too high. Today what I want to talk about is the effects of this pricing.
Just short of a year ago, one of the iconic Pearl District brownstone style town homes along 11th sold for $1,390,000 or $515 a square foot. Now keep in mind these town homes don’t come on the market that often so the buyer of that unit did pay a premium to get it. Now fast forward almost a year later. The next door neighbor of this unit just put their home on the market. The square footage of the unit was an identical 2698 feet. These neighbors put their home on the market for $1,899,000 or $703 a square foot. Not only did they put their home on the market, they got 2 offers within the first 2 days it was on the market! A year ago it would have been thought that $703 a foot was insane for these units. What has changed things that makes these units jump 36% in under a year? I would call it “The Cosmopolitan Effect!” What do I mean by this? When the Cosmopolitan came to market, it brought unheard of prices for this area. Now with $700 a square foot being almost a starter unit at the Cosmo, and with prices reaching all the way up to $1,200 a square foot, $703 a sq. ft. for one of the Pearl Districts most recognized set of homes almost makes it seem under-priced! Why not pay $703 a sq. ft.? It’s only 58% of what they are trying to get at the Cosmopolitan!
Remember that buyer that “overpaid” or paid a premium of $1,390,000 for their town home? Well thanks to the developers at Hoyt Street Properties, they are laughing all the way to the bank with their 36% return!
Part of the high prices we are seeing is no doubt coming partially from our very low inventory. The other part, no question, is coming from the effects of the Cosmopolitan pricing, or as I like to call it, “The Cosmopolitan Effect!”
Two days ago I listed a new luxury condominium, Unit #2701 at Fountain Plaza ( KOIN Tower). This gives me a great opportunity to use this listing to compare to the prices being asked at The Cosmopolitan. As many of you know, I have felt that the pricing at The Cosmopolitan was very high, not only compared to the local market but also the downtown Seattle market. (and that market is ALWAYS a higher price) . The unit I listed is an amazing 27th floor unit with an incredible 3834 square feet of living space. This number does not include the 2 decks, one on the east side of the building and the other on the west. Yes this unit occupies an entire half floor! Stand in the northeast corner living room and you will be amazed at the views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St Helens (and on clear day, Mt. Rainier)
In addition, at night you look northwest to the incredible twinkling lights of the city. From your living room and deck, take in stunning views of the Willamette River. One thing I will say in comparing this unit to any at the Cosmopolitan, is that you will not find this combination of views in ANY unit at the Cosmopolitan! The real catch here… Priced at $2,250,000, or $586 a square foot. This is slightly over half the price of a 27th floor unit at The Cosmopolitan ( $1,192) Is that building worth $606 more than Unit #2701? So what would you do with all the additional space offered in Unit #2701? It does have more than 1480 extra square feet of space. With 4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths and its own 16x 13 Gym, you have plenty of space! And by the way, that Gym is not the community building gym, it is part of unit #2701! Often, when a new building comes on the market, people get excited over something shiny and new so let’s take another angle to compare. If a person were to purchase Unit #2701 and do a $250,000 remodel and include a spectacular kitchen (something far superior to the 3 color scheme kitchens being offered at The Cosmopolitan) you would still be buying at only $652 a square foot. So let’s do the math $2,250,000 for a 3484 sq. ft. unit with absolutely stunning 3 mountain, city and river views or $2,704,000 for 2351 sq. ft. for Mt Hood and southern views? And by the way, what would you do with that extra 1480 sq. ft. of space? To see photos and a video of this spectacular unit, go to http://www.FountainPlazaCondo.com. If you would like a private viewing of this amazing unit, please call me direct at 503-896-8856!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. Please visit his Portland condominium website http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Condo Sales for March
Portland Condo sales for March were strong considering how low our inventory is. In the month of March there were 63 sales in the area that I cover, which is from Pearl District, Uptown, Downtown to South Waterfront. This includes all condos and town homes priced above $200,000. To compare, February had sales of 37 in that same area. What is very interesting though is not the increase in sales of 70%, which is not unusual for this time of year, it is that there are currently 122 pending sales. Now 122 pending sales is nothing unusual, however, what is unusual is that this is the first time since I started writing in my blog that the pending sales actually exceeded the Active listings! Currently there are only 110 Active listings in my designated coverage area.
With numbers like this it could increase the numbers for appreciation in our area. While it was expected to see growth slow down some, the numbers may be higher than expected. It is certainly a sellers market with the low levels of inventory we are seeing. What will be important is the number of units that normally hit the market this time of year. As I mentioned, being a sellers market, this has been a huge windfall for the developers of The Cosmopolitan as they are getting buyers to plunk down a non refundable deposit for high priced units because of the fear of not being able to buy resale units at other buildings. If we were in a normal inventory market, I guarantee we would not see buyer’s overpaying for units.
If you are one of those buyers who may be looking for an upscale, high floor unit and looking to pay above $1,500,000… be patient! Next week I will be listing a unit that will be priced in the ballpark of $560 a square foot. A comparable unit in the
Cosmopolitan will cost you upwards of $1,000 a square foot! In my listing you could do a $250,000 remodel and still come in under $615 a square foot. Yes, sometimes patience does pay!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
Specializing in Portland Condos , Portland Penthouse, Portland Town Homes, Portland Highrises, upscale buildings including The Casey, The Metropolitan, Park Place, The Henry, The Westerly and many more!
Today I sat at Starbucks with my tablet to do a little work. As I took a few calls and reviewed listings online, I noticed the person next to me taking an interest in my work. We struck up a conversation as she enjoyed hearing about real estate and what was happening in the current Portland condo market. One of her comments was, after listening to 1 or 2 of my phone calls, how important marketing was to me when it came to listings. She mentioned to me that agents she had used in the past did very little marketing and pretty much just posted her listing in the local MLS and waited for a buyer. This is not unusual as this is exactly what many agents do!
As she became more engaged and interested, I explained to her my “Laws of Probability”. What I mean by this is that the more marketing you do, and if you do it in the highest quality fashion, you will attract more quality buyers. The laws of probability show that if you have more people interested in something…the price usually goes up!
This person, I feel, became very educated today on what a person needs to do to capture a top price in the sale of their condo or home. She was pretty shocked when I showed her some new listings that came on the market the previous 2 weeks. What I showed her was that with half of those new listings, the listing agent did not use a professional photographer. In fact, a couple had photos that were so bad she felt bad for the owners trying to sell. I explained my philosophy on this subject… If an agent cant spend a couple hundred dollars to “show off” your home the best they can, they should not be in real estate. Good agents work hard for their clients and spend the money to “Market” their home. This is part of what they are getting paid a commission to do. If that agent is not spending money on quality photos then they probably won’t spend money on a video, quality print materials or internet marketing! It was interesting when she asked me why owners would hire agents like this? I told her sometimes they just hire the agent that helped them purchase the unit and often don’t know any better. I also told her that unfortunately, many sellers think like those agents. In other words they think they can just put it in the MLS and get it sold. While this may be true, it will sell eventually…but at what price? There is a reason that many advertisers try to put their product in the consumers best light, because they know those consumers will pay a higher price if they perceive that product to be better.
If I get a listing and put it in the MLS with average photos and no additional marketing will it sell? Yes, eventually it will, but I don’t believe that I would have done everything possible to get my clients the highest price for their unit. I believe it is my job to spend the money necessary to promote that condo the very best that I can and make it stand out so that buyers perceive this to be the best unit available and are more comfortable in paying a higher price.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
Find him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com 503-896-8856
Inventory has been very tight recently but the last two weeks we have seen an upsurge in new listings, hopefully a sign of what is to come. Traditionally, the spring is when we start to see an increase in listings. Never has this been more needed than in this current market. In our last blog post we mentioned that the sales, while slow, at The Cosmopolitan have benefited from the lack of inventory. While those units will not close until the summer of 2016, people fear they will not be able to purchase what they want and feel the need to make an offer at The Cosmopolitan. Right or wrong, this is what I feel is happening. Buyers feel that while The Cosmopolitan may be overpriced, as we have stated many times, they feel like there may not be units come on the market between now and the summer of 2016. For current seller’s, this is a huge advantage in capturing a premium in the sale of their units. Recently I showed a unit before it was even on the market. This unit was on the 15th floor of the Metropolitan and priced at $1,200,000. The seller got an offer before it went on the market. Because of the lack of inventory, and the very high prices at the Cosmopolitan, the seller was able to get $637 a sq. ft. This was a large unit at 1881 sq. ft. To get this size of a unit at The Cosmopolitan you would need to spend $1,600,000 for 1773 sq. ft. I think the buyers of that unit got a very good deal. As for an update of sales at the Cosmopolitan, they are currently at 59 sales or 39% of the building sold. One of the new sales was finally above the 21st floor. This is only the 2nd unit that has sold above the 21st floor to date which is not surprising when you consider the prices ( these 2 units sold for $875 and $1,000 a sq. ft) For comparison, I will be listing a unit in another high end building, above the 21st floor for about 595 a sq. ft. One thing to keep an eye on at The Cosmopolitan is to see if they get any offers on the penthouses or junior penthouses. Many times, buyers of penthouse units may buy a unit even when they know it may be overpriced. Sometimes it may be that these buyers have enough money that they can overlook the price to get what they want. This has not happened yet at The Cosmopolitan. If the general public see’s that someone is buying those units and paying $1000 to $1200 a sq. ft, it somehow makes them feel justified to pay $800 to $1000 a sq. ft. To date, the project has had several of these units go pending and then go back on the market. Perhaps it is the realization that they were about to pay $400 to $600 a sq. ft. more than the average of all of the Million dollar condos that sold in 2014 ( $579) Again, these were the best of the best in Portland! If and when the Cosmopolitan does sell one or two of the of the eight junior penthouse and penthouse units it may add to peoples confidence to put down an offer on the units on the 20th to 25th floors. Right or wrong!
When I first started writing in a blog I searched out some experts to see what they said in terms of building a good base of readers. Here is what they said: “To grow a blog and add readership the most important thing you can do is be truthful and honest in your writing. When you do this you will gain a following of people that will trust what you have to say and come to you for solid advice.”
With this in mind, I have always tried to be honest in my comments. This does not always please everyone. But the truth is that you will NEVER please everyone. Recently I got a letter from the sales manager of the Cosmopolitan, a new high rise condo project in the Pearl District. This was a pretty nasty email that voiced her displeasure with my comments on the Cosmopolitan project. In her email she stated that a couple of my comments were rude. Let me address this. First, I have never made a negative comment on the project itself other than the pricing of the units. I happen to love the project and feel it is needed.
What she may be alluding to is the “fact” that I was not happy that the developer was requiring buyers to be pre-approved through a specific lender at Wells Fargo. I mentioned that ( and they fail to mention) this lender happened to be the husband of this sales manager. I don’t believe this was rude on my part, only trying to disclose to the general public something that I believe they should have disclosed upfront.
Now back to business! Here is the latest update on the Cosmopolitan ( and for what it is worth, I have had many request for these continued updates). Currently the building is 33% sold. Not much of a change from my last post. In my last post I mentioned that there were 46 units sold, today they are at 49 units sold. In other words, only 16 units have sold since after the grand opening. As mentioned before, there is still only 1 unit above the 21st floor that sold for a whopping 900 a sq. ft. I was told that 2 of the junior penthouse units went pending…those sales have not happened and all of the junior penthouse and penthouse units are still available ( for those of you inclined to pay an astronomical $969 to $1,641 a square foot price.)
As I mentioned before, with most of the low hanging fruit taken…ie. Units that were priced closest to reality to the market, sales I believe, will become harder to come by for the developer. With a current absorbtion rate that could slow down even more, I believe it could take the developer 18 months to 2 years to sell out this project. With that said, I don’t believe the developer can afford to do this and in my opinion, as stated before, I believe they will be forced to drop the prices on this beautiful new high rise. Part of the reason that they have had the sales they have had at this point I believe is because of the low inventory in our market. Some buyers do not want to wait for new resale units to come to market. Keep in mind, the Cosmopolitan will not be completed until mid 2016 so the inventory levels we are seeing now can change dramatically over that period of time.
And while the high prices at the Cosmopolitan may help sellers get a higher price when selling their condo in this current market, buyers will still be better off buying resale and updating after their purchase. With sellers seeing this effect on pricing, it might push them to put their condo on the market sooner than later. If this happens, it could help with the low inventory situation we are now seeing. For buyer’s, the excitement of living in a new beautiful building like the Cosmopolitan can be pretty tempting. Again going back to the fact that in 2014, the top 30 condos priced at $1,000,000 and higher averaged a price per square foot of $579. These were the “Best of the Best” in Portland. Do you think it is prudent to pay amounts at the Cosmopolitan that are $200 to $1000 a square foot higher?