I have recently received a few emails asking why I have not written anything about the new Vista North Pearl. The answer, I guess, is that nothing seems to be too exciting about the project. And, not that it matters, but I have not had to deal with nasty emails from the sales manager at Hoyt Properties, who did not like my opinions on the Cosmopolitan!
So, what are the differences in the two projects? Well let’s start with the Cosmopolitan. Contrary to what the sales manager said to me “I thought you hated this building!”, I NEVER said I did not like the project. What I DID say is that I did not like the pricing. (Great for the developer…not so great for the buyers). As it turned out, because of the low inventory levels at the time, they were able to capture those high prices. Again, the timing in the market was “perfect” for the developers. How about this time around with the Vista? Well, the market has changed and Hoyt will not have such an easy time selling units at excessive prices. As of the middle of last month, Vista had 95 units available (out of 153) or 38% of the units sold. Keep in mind, the Cosmopolitan was being marketed as the nicest condo building in town. Vista, from what everything I have heard, will be a notch below that of the Cosmopolitan in terms of finishes and the building as a whole.
Let’s start with the most popular corner, the SE corner, which was the first to sell out in the Cosmo. For comparison sake I will use units on the 14th floor. The Cosmo pricing for the SE corner on the 14th floor was $649 a square foot. The pricing for the Vista is 780. Now, a look at the NE corner 15th Floor (1517) in the Cosmopolitan was sold at $620 a square foot. The 15th floor unit at Vista (1506) is being offered at $750 a square foot. While the market eventually did catch up to the excessive prices at the Cosmopolitan, I don’t believe that the Vista prices should be selling at a premium like the Cosmopolitan. Units on the west side are pretty equally priced to that of the Cosmo.
Finally, let’s look at the penthouse units. At the Cosmopolitan, the range was from $950 a square foot to $1200 for the top floor 28th floor penthouses. For Vista, the range is $1052 to $1247. Let me repeat this one fact, the Cosmopolitan penthouses were being marketed as the best in the city in Portland’s most luxurious building! In addition, the top floor at the Vista it is only 21 stories. What is interesting here, if my memory serves me right, is that the units at the Cosmopolitan (floors 20 –28) were given a minimum premium of $88,000 per floor! At the time of this writing, I don’t believe that one of the six penthouse units at the Vista is pending. I cannot say that I am surprised. I would never pay anything close to what the penthouse units sold for at The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan is a superior, more elegant building (pitched as the nicest in the city) and there is no way prices at the Vista should compare! Again, this is just my opinion… or maybe not just my opinion. Ask any of the residents at the Cosmopolitan above the 21st floor and see what they say?
I am sure I will continue to get the cold shoulder from the developers’ sales manager…but am I wrong? I don’t believe so. Let me be clear. This is not personal but simply my professional opinion. As someone who understands condo pricing, I write about what I believe to be true and it might not always match the opinions of others, and that is OK!
There are things I like about the Vista. If you read my blog about the Cosmopolitan, one of the negatives noted was that many of the units had a very high ratio of hall space to usable space (many units were 12-14%) This is not the case with the Vista. Almost all the units are in the 4-8% range with the exception of the D4 Plan, the 08 stack) as it came in about 13%. In this case, you have a unit that is 1435 square feet and the unit has about 194 square feet of hallway space.
The Vista floor plans also provide MUCH more space to walk around the end of your bed in the master bedroom, a problem in many of the units at The Cosmopolitan. Another highlight of the Vista is its large deck spaces.
All in, I believe the Vista will be a nice building. As for the prices? The market will, in the end, determine the final prices. As of now, the lower units seem a little high and the penthouse units, I believe, are way too high.
If you are looking to buy at the Vista or would also like to look at other buildings, I am a condominium specialist and would be happy to show you available units. If you are thinking about selling in the near future, I encourage you to go to http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com/marketing and learn a little about our approach to selling you condo!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. He can be reached at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com.
See aerial Drone footage of the Vista location within the Pearl District at http://www.VistaPortland.com
When writing a blog one must be knowledgeable about their subject material. The blogger must also put themselves out there when offering opinions and realize that they will not always be right. I often try to share my opinions on pricing and will be the first to admit when I am wrong. This would be the case regarding a comment I made in a post a few weeks ago. Just to clarify things, I was wrong on my guarantee, not my opinion of the price! At that time a new penthouse came on the market for $3,250,000. My comment was that this unit was way overpriced and I “guaranteed” we would see some price adjustments. Well we did not! And in fact, the unit is now pending.
After I made this comment, I checked with some friends in the business as to what they thought the pricing should be. Almost every one of them was thinking the same thing…or very close to it. The first comment was that it was Benson Tower, which is not really comparable to Portland’s nicer buildings such as The Cosmopolitan, The Metropolitan or The Casey, to name a few. Not one of those agents believed that it was worth more than $1000 per square foot. (about $2,600,00) let alone the $1257 per square foot listing price. For one, the neighborhood does not justify the pricing. It is not The Pearl District which always gets a bit of a premium. Second, that area of downtown has deteriorated the last few years. While this unit does feature fantastic outdoor space, the living room area is very small. One of the other issues that I also feel is important is the quality of the other units in a building. No other $1,000,000 + units have sold in the Benson Tower. Last week a 26th floor unit came on the market at $1,400,000, possibly trying to ride the high priced coattails of the penthouse. I believe this unit should be priced below two of the units for sale at The Henry that are larger and priced below $1,300,000. The point here is that it is easier to get a higher price when you have other units that support the upper end of the market.
Overpricing a unit can have negative effects on it’s sale. In the case of the penthouse priced at $3,250,000, I believe that the buyer may not have been educated enough on the Portland penthouse and luxury condo market. It is possible that the agent does not understand this area of the market as well. While we don’t know the offer was on this unit, what we do know is that if the buyer paid anything over $1000 per square foot…he or she paid way too much! There is absolutely no way any unit at Benson Tower should have pricing anywhere near some of the premier buildings in town. Remember, this is a building where the finishes are far below those of other buildings and you have to haul your garbage down the elevator. Not an ideal situation for someone that is spending $3,000,000! There are many top floor penthouses in town that deserve a premium price to others…this is not one of them!
This posting helps emphasize the importance of working with a specialist. You may have heard me say this before but it is very important. If you are buying farmland in Dundee or a waterfront home in Lake Oswego, it is important to deal with an agent who understands that market. While every agent will probably tell you they understand every market, the truth is, unless you are in it every day, it is difficult to do so. I believe that the days of a real estate agent trying to be all things to all people in all areas are gone. An agent who takes the time to learn a specific area of the market will be far more valuable to a buyer or seller and the example used above helps prove that fact.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. Brad works with luxury condo buyers and sellers in Downtown Portland, South Waterfront and The Pearl District. If you are looking to buy or sell…work with a pro!
The tallest condo building in the Pearl! Welcome to The Cosmopolitan. Breathtaking views are the highlight of the Pearl Districts newest condominium in the North end of the Pearl Distict.
There is a new 27th floor listing on the market and get this… it’s not selling above $1,100 a square foot! If you may recall, when the Cosmopolitan had two of its 27th floor penthouses on the market they were priced at $1,059 and $1,192 a ft. There are not many 27th floor properties that come on the market, because there are not that many taller buildings, but when they do come on the market… the views are spectacular!
This week I listed unit #2701 at Fountain Plaza at KOIN Tower. The price for this spacious 3,834 square foot unit is $1,795,000. At this price we are talking about a price per square foot of $468. Less than half of the 27th floor units at the Cosmo! Now, it is true that the Cosmopolitan is the newest and shiniest condos on the market and people will pay a little bit of a premium for new. But to be able to pick up a 27th floor condo for a price per square foot less than a majority of the condos for sale in the Pearl is crazy!
While, as I mentioned, the Cosmopolitan is the new kid on the block, KOIN Tower was the grand dame! Fountain Plaza, which later gained the new name of KOIN Tower was built in 1984 and, at the time, was the “Cosmopolitan” of its generation. Many of the units have had extensive remodeling, and many units have not. I believe we are starting to see a transition in this building as many of the original buyers are no longer with us. Currently there are six units for sale at Fountain Plaza and several are being sold by the estates of the previous owners. With that said, I believe we will start seeing a younger generation move into Fountain Plaza.
Fountan Plaza / Koin Tower is building that gives you the feeling of being in an upscale building in New York. Its ziggurat –like profile and its attention getting blue crown are reminiscent of the Art Deco skyscrapers that were built on the east coast in the 1920’s. Dottie, the lead concierge of the building, in my opinion, is one of the best in the city! Much like the doorman you find in New York, Dottie and one of the other concierges on her team, Chuck, make it a point to get up and open the doors and greet the owners as they leave and arrive. She also makes a point to train all other concierges to do the same. She would never stand for just pushing a button to open the doors and not greeting guest at the door!
If you are in the market for a spectacular unit with amazing views…welcome to #2701 at Fountain Plaza! This 3,834 square foot unit features 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a den and a spacious 19×10 foot gym. The kitchen can be expanded into the adjacent large 16 x 6 foot pantry. While this beautiful unit is “Move-in” ready, it also has a wonderful footprint and someone that wants to put their own stamp on it could easily do so. Think about this. If you bought this beautiful unit, did a $250,000 remodel to expand the kitchen, give it an open concept, and a luxurious master suite… you are still only into it for $533 a square foot, again, still less than half of the price at The Cosmopolitan!
As I said above, I believe this building will start to go through a transition. We are not seeing as many new condo towers being built like in years past. We very well may see more buyers who are cautious with their money, buy properties in buildings like Fountain Plaza, make them spectacular with all of the money they are saving and being at the forefront of a resurgence in some of the older buildings.
If you are in the market for a large unit with simply stunning views, give me a call!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can contact him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
We have been hearing over and over again how hot the market has been. Well, that is changing! While normally this is a slower time of the year, what is happening now is a little bit of a surprise when you listen to the national news and hear how crazy the market is (Seattle, San Francisco).
If you have ever walked past my office (717 NW 11th) in the heart of the Pearl District, you have probably stopped to glance at all the listings featured in our display window. What has changed in the window since last week? PRICE REDUCTIONS! And many of them. Is the market tanking? No, I believe it is a combination of things starting with what is always a typically slow time from the week before July 4th to the beginning of the school year. The reductions are not so much a depreciating market but more of a whack on the head for listing agents that overpriced many units. Sometimes when inventory is low and things are slow, an agent will “buy a listing”. What does this mean? If an agent is competing with another, there are some who will give the seller an unrealistically high value in hopes that will be enough to sway the seller to choose them… a VERY bad practice, but I see it all of the time. In fact, I just lost a $975,000 listing partially for this very reason. (The other part was the agent told the seller that his firm is stronger internationally and that they could attract “Chinese buyers.”) This is so 2015! Those days are pretty much past and in reality, there have been very few Chinese investors buying in Portland. In addition, when you have a strong internet presence like I do, you get seen around the world. The whole thing about their firm being better internationally is really smoke and mirrors!
Back to price reductions, here are a few examples:
In the Casey, a one bedroom unit on the 8th floor was originally listed at $729,000. Now a year and five price reductions later it is priced at $619,000…and it still has not sold.
A penthouse at the John Ross originally priced at $2,350,000 was just reduced $355,000 to $1,995,000.
Several units at Fountain Plaza have had huge reductions. One unit went from $2,295,000 to $1,895,000. Another went from $1,995,000 to $1,695,000 and a third went from $1,350,000 to $999,000 with none of them selling yet. What is moving in this market? While it is taking longer, the units that are priced correctly, or at least somewhat reasonably priced, are still being sold.
Here is a great example of what I have mean. A penthouse just came on the market today in downtown Portland for $3,250,000. I had shown this unit about four years ago when it was priced at $2,200,000. (It had been on the market for 5-6 years) Back then I told my buyers they should not pay more than 1.6-1.7 million for this unit. My reasoning was the neighborhood was deteriorating, it was an inferior building compared to a neighboring building (The Eliot) that has much higher quality finishes, the highest sale in that building in the last 3 years was $760,000, it had the two slowest elevators in the city… and this was a big one, there was no garbage chute! I do not often make guarantees, but this is one I am comfortable in predicting, “You will see some big price reductions on this unit moving forward!”
And on top of that, if you have read my blog you have heard me mention that if you want to try to capture a premium over the market value of a unit then you MUST have very good marketing and dare I say it… professional photos at the very least! And no, this $3,250,000 listing, if you can even believe it, does not have them!
Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist in Portland, Or. If you are in the market to make a purchase of a Portland penthouse or luxury condominium, call Brad today!
Just yesterday I was having a conversation with two other agents who do a fair number of condo sales. The topic of conversation was the market and the consensus was that it has definitely seen a slowdown in pricing. With the increase in inventory, we are noticing a slowdown in terms of appreciating prices. In some cases, the pricing could even be slightly less than what we have been experiencing for so long.
And then this happens! Just this morning, on the MLS, a penthouse unit at The Casey went from pending to sold. The unit never hit the market. The sold price, brace yourself, $4.5 million cash! Unit #1503, is a 3667 square foot condo that faces the West Hills. Consider these numbers for a moment. At $4.5 million, this is $1227 per square foot! Let’s compare this to the recent penthouse sales at The Cosmopolitan. Now keep in mind, for comparison sake I will use the penthouse units from the 27th and 28th floors at the Cosmo. The combined unit on the 27th floor sold for $5,441,294, or $1216 a square foot. The two top floor penthouses on the 28th floor sold for $1215 and $1225 a square foot. These units are 13 stories higher and have superior views of the Mt. Hood, Mt St. Helens, the city and the Willamette River.
I will say, The Casey has always been one of my favorite buildings… but really? Is this unit worth nearly a million more than a 28th floor, true penthouse that is 13 floors higher? While the Casey unit does have around 400 square feet more space, (which does not really mean that much once you get over 3,000 square feet) the potential for having views blocked are much higher for a unit that is only 15 stories compared to a unit that is 28 stories. After all, one of the reasons people paid such a premium for these Cosmo units is the fact that the views will be protected much more by being that high up.
What is even more interesting is when we compare the sale of this unit to one that just recently sold at the Casey, unit #1602. This true penthouse unit one floor above has similar views. It has 3273 square feet and sold for $2.75million or $840 a square foot….WOW!
Contact Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
See Cosmopolitan views here: http://www.luxurycondosofportland.com/thecosmopolitanportland
One debate I often hear is whether a real estate agent should represent both sides of a transaction. The question lies on whom you represent. I have been in real estate for 13 years and have done transactions where I represented both sides. I have guidelines that I personally use when deciding whether or not I would feel comfortable in doing so. Here are the things I consider:
1) Is it a win-win situation for both parties? In other words, is the seller getting what they wanted or maybe a little bit more? Is the buyer happy with the price and it is reasonable?
2) Did the listing stay on the market long enough to give the sellers an indication of demand, or lack of?
3) Are there good comps that support the price that the buyer is paying? If not, and I am selling for a record price in the building, I would not touch dual agency with a 10-foot pole! This is where it gets very tricky. If I am a listing agent, and I am selling for a record price, and there are no comps that justify my pricing…I just hit a grand slam for my selling clients! If the buyer’s agent allowed their client to pay that amount, well let’s just say I don’t want to be THAT agent! Especially as a dual agent! NEVER! Now I will say there have been times where I represented clients that had so much money they just did not care about the price, they just wanted the condo. In that situation, you make sure that you document that conversation.
Regarding #3, this is where representation comes into play. As a dual agent whom do you represent? You should be representing buyer and seller equally. But how is this possible when you have a situation like above? If you are getting a record price for your sellers, and there are NO COMPS to support the price, how can you be the buyer’s agent and say “I did a good job for my clients”? The answer: You can’t!
If this same agent acted only as the buyer’s agent, you can bet that he would be hammering on the seller’s agent that the unit is at a record price and might be overpriced? Now, records are meant to be broken. So how much of a record price is it? Is it $10 to $30 a square foot more? That is reasonable. Is it $50 to $100 a sq. foot more? This is when you have real problems. For one, the property would most likely not appraise. But what if the buyer is paying cash and an appraisal is not required? Well then the buyer is really at risk. This is when they REALLY should have a separate agent. ( and for peace of mind, the cash buyer might still consider getting the property appraised).
In multiple-offer situations, if an agent is representing both sides, he or she better make sure that their buyer’s client is the best offer! If it is, the listing agent and the seller are making the final decision as to which offer to select. In this situation, there is no problems in representing both.
So bottom line: If both parties are happy and well educated on pricing, and there are good comps to support the purchase and sale, there are no problems.
On the flip side. If there is a big difference in price from the comps, especially if it is a record price in the building for the seller or huge discount for a buyer. This is when you need two agents fighting it out for their client’s best interest. I would never do dual agency in this situation!
Brad Golik is a luxury condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties in Portland, OR. You can reach him at one of his websites including http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and www.PortlandPenthouse.com or by calling him at 503-896-8856
Upcoming Penthouse listings
A short time ago I wrote about the possibility of a $6 million penthouse listing that might be coming on the market. The owner loves the unit and is waffling a little whether he should sell it or not. As of this time, the owner is still undecided so I will post more as I hear. If you are looking for a full-floor penthouse in this price range, contact me and I can fill you in on the details.
Today I am writing about another penthouse that will be coming on the market soon. I was originally interviewed to list the property but unfortunately, the owners did not like the numbers I explained to them . I will say, I am usually right more often than wrong on pricing a condo and for this unit, I feel my numbers were very accurate as I have sold 7 of the last 14 units in the building. Of more importance, I sold the unit directly below this unit less than a year ago. The floor plans are identical! The one coming to market is a penthouse unit, so you would pick up about 12 inches of ceiling height. The unit I listed sold was for $1.1 million, and sold for over asking price. The $525 per square foot sales price tied a record of another unit in the building I had sold. For the penthouse listing, I told the owners I was going to push for another record price for the building and gave them my number. They were not satisfied with the number and thought the number should be MUCH higher! Their reasoning was not unusual from what I hear from others…they thought their unit was much better than the unit I sold below theirs and they also thought their unit was way better than another unit that sold in the building for $1.35 million.
From an agents (and a buyers) standpoint, the $1.35 million unit had better river and bridge views. In addition, it had 650 square feet more, and it had a third bedroom. Yet the sellers of this penthouse thought theirs was better and the price should correspond to their thinking. Now the owners did have a couple upgrades in this unit that the others did not. Let’s look at these. The TV was hidden behind a mirror and appeared with the touch of a button…kind of cool in a James Bond kind of way. Another upgrade was a white wood-like tile floor that the sellers really liked. The problem here is that I believe that 90% of potential buyers would rip up the tile and replace with something else, so it’s not really an upgrade. So what are the true values of these “upgrades”? The James Bond hidden TV was probably $3,000 to $5,000. Other than these two things, the unit was essentially the same as the unit that I sold below for $1.1 million. What is the extra 12 inches of ceiling height worth to someone? $50,000? So now we have a premium of $55,000. I told the owners I could sell it for around $1,200,000, maybe a little more. That’s an additional 5% over the number of $1,1550,000. It was not enough!
Now, because I don’t have the listing, I would love to find the buyer because I do love the unit and it’s views, (the photo above is views from the unit) but, at the right price for my client! I am not sure what price the listing agent will come out with, but I know it will be high. As your buyers agent, I will fight to get you a good price on this unit. If you are looking for a beautiful penthouse with amazing views, (The above photos are the views from this unit!) this could be the one! But, only at the right price. I will work to negotiate a good price for you and I know this building better than anyone. If we can’t get you that price, walk away!
If you are looking for a great penthouse unit in Portland, give me a call at 503-896-8856
Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist at Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or by phone at 503-896-8856.
Because I was short of time this week, I thought I would do a video post!