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!
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!
As we begin to head into the holidays, real estate sales typically begin to drop off. Does this mean it’s a bad time to try and sell a home or a condominium. Absolutely not! While the traffic numbers will drop off substantially, the quality of the buyers that are out looking is generally much better. In other words, the buyers that are out looking during the holidays tend to be more serious. If you are currently thinking about putting your home on the market, here are a few important things to think about. First, always, always, always make sure that your agent will make your place shine! In other words, that agent will make it stand out over the other hundreds of homes or condos in the market. How do you do that? First, and we have talked about this MANY times, get great photos. Don’t go out and hire an agent that will use a point and shoot camera. The agent is getting paid good money to “Market” the home. They need to spend the money to do it right!
Next, make sure that the agent you hire has a proactive marketing plan! In other words, skip the “Put it in the MLS and wait” agent and hire someone that will be proactive in their marketing. I believe when you market a home, you need to sell it twice. Once to the general public and second, to the agents that will help you get it sold. Here is an example of what not to do. Awhile back a penthouse came on the market and was listed by an agent that, in my opinion, does not know how to market a listing. In a years time I have never received a postcard or an email about this listing… and I SPECIALIZE with Portland condos and condo buyers. You would think I would be one of the agents she sends out info to on a monthly basis… but not one thing so far?
When times get slow, agents need to step up the marketing even more. You cannot just sit and wait for a buyer to come along. You need to have a proactive agent that is aggressive in getting your home in front of the right buyers and that in turn will increase your odds of selling your condo during the slow times.
Please visit our newest listing at www.PacificaTowerCondo.com
Yesterday, like most Tuesdays, I was out and about looking at new condos on the market. I came across a new penthouse listing and went to the brokers open house for that listing. Two things really stuck out with me after viewing this penthouse condo at Bridgeport. First, you will often hear me talking about the importance of doing a good job of marketing when it comes to high end listings. One thing I have not talked much about, that I think is very important, is service! An agent is paid a commission to do a service for a client. Marketing is a huge part of this service. Also huge…and part marketing is SELLING the unit to every potential buyer and agent that you get in front of! I bring this up because I was blown away yesterday when I went to this brokers open yesterday. I was not blown away by the condo itself, while very nice. I was blown away by the fact that the listing agent said 2 words to me the entire time I was there. The 2 words that were uttered to me as I was getting ready to walk out the door was “Cool huh?” And maybe you could consider it that only one word was really said to me because “huh” really isn’t a word is it? Anyway, the point here is that the listing agent barely acknowledged that I was there… more importantly, she did not make any attempt of selling me on why I should bring potential buyers to come look at the unit! This is the whole point of going to a brokers open. As a listing agent, I want to SELL every agent that walks through the door on the many great benefits of why they should bring their clients to see the listing. It is also a way of trying to create some urgency and competition among the real estate agents. Not only did the agent not say anything to me about the penthouse unit, there were no marketing pieces either. As I left the building, one more bit of service would have been appreciated… a simple “Thanks for coming” by the listing agents co-worker that was at the front door, but that did not happen either. Not a word as I left. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated as I left this listing. Service is a part of marketing. If the initial service of having a brokers open to try to sell people on the unit failed, what will the rest of this agents marketing be like? I think I have a pretty good idea.
If you have read many of my blog posts, you probably know by now that marketing is a huge part of what I do as a condominium specialist. Why is this? Well for one thing, there are no yard signs with condominiums. The internet is where condo buyers go to search for a condo or loft. Yes my frustration as I left this listing was the fact that I didn’t have the listing. My frustration burned from the fact that I could do so much more for the seller than saying just 2 words…. ( make that 1 word) to an agent that showed up to a brokers open and is there for a reason.
In the beginning of this blog post I mentioned that there were two things that stood out about this listing… #2 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS…are you kidding me?
**Please read a previous post on what we have to say about photographs for listings!**
May was the busiest month we have seen in awhile in the downtown condo
Market. Compared to Aprils 54 sales, we finished the month of May with 91 sales ( This is in our typical coverage area of the Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront and with prices of $150,000 and higher). Of those 91 sales, just 30% were condos and lofts priced above the $500,000 price range. There was tremendous activity in the lower price range this last month, especially in the $150,000 to $300,000 range. In the upper end of the market, condos were selling… and selling for cash! 3 of the top 4 highest priced units sold for cash including the Penthouse at The Metropolitan that we had written about earlier that sold for $2,240,000. The Penthouse at Bridgeport that went on the market for $1,149,000 was sold for cash at a price of $1,075,000. That penthouse condo at the Elizabeth that we thought was under priced at $925,000, sold for just $900,000!
Where do we go from here? We have seen prices go up and as we do, we will start to see more inventory come onto the market as people gain a little more equity in their homes. We have also seen a pretty big boost in interest rates to over 4%. Will this slow down buyers? While it’s not 3.5%… It”s still pretty darn good! If you are in the market to buy a new condo or loft, prices will only continue to increase, although it may be at a slower pace than what we have seen this first half of the year as prices were pushed by the pent up demand. If you are looking to sell your condo, remember, correct pricing and good marketing can mean the difference between getting the price that you want or something that could be much lower… don’t under estimate the power of good marketing. In other words, don’t just select the agent that helped you buy your condo. Select an agent that has a great marketing program that is directed towards condo buyers everyday! And remember, it doesn’t matter if you are selling a $1,000,000 Portland condo or a $300,000 condo, you deserve great service and more than an agent that will put your listing in the MLS and wait! We go above and beyond in our marketing because you deserve it! You have worked hard for your money… and we believe we should do the same!
Metropolitan penthouse is on the market!
Today, 2 new Portland penthouses came on the market! The first is a penthouse at The Waterfront Pearl. The second is a beautiful penthouse at The Metropolitan! Two very different units…and 2 very different prices! First, the penthouse at Waterfront Pearl. This is the second penthouse at Waterfront Pearl to come on the market recently. The other one was unit 1001A that came on the market in January and is listed at $1,049,000. The new listing is penthouse #1002 priced at $1,099,000 and features 1703 square feet of living space. Between the two listings it really comes down to the views. 1001A has river views mostly to the East and North. Unit 1002 has a little more panoramic river views looking Northeast, East, South and then city views toward the Southwest. If you are in the market for a penthouse condo, I would suggest adding them both to your “must see” list.
The other penthouse that is now on the market is unit PH3, one of the penthouse condominiums at The Metropolitan. PH3 at the Metropolitan is an exceptional penthouse property, in fact, I would list it in my top 2 of luxury condos on the market right now…. The other is the penthouse at The Westerly that we had written earlier about. PH3 offers sensational city views and is located in the heart of the Pearl District. Enjoy all that the Pearl District has to offer while living at the top of the world… at least this is what it feels like as you tower over surrounding buildings and enjoy the panoramic views.
This penthouse unit is very spacious with 3245 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 and a half baths. The floor plan is very open and livable. The finishes are some of the best in the city. The only downside, if you even consider this a downside, is that it comes with only 2 parking spaces. If you are a big car buff/ collector, you may be more excited by the 4 parking spaces offered by the penthouse at The Westerly. If you like elegant living in a spectacular building in the middle of everything that the Pearl District has to offer, the penthouse at The Metropolitan is calling your name!
If you would like to tour the above mentioned Portland penthouse condominiums, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856. Brad is a condominium specialist at Windermere and owner of http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
** The Penthouse #1115 at The Edge in the Pearl District just reduced the price $50,000… now listed at $979,00 **
** The Penthouse #802 at Pacifica has sold. After several price reductions from it’s original pricing, it sold for $700,000**
** The Penthouse #708 at Bridgeport is now Pending after 255 days on market. After it’s second substantial price reduction (this time $50,000) it went pending at the listing price of $799,00, down $100,000 from it’s original listing! Stay tuned for final sales price**
We encourage you to work with us, someone who is “In” the condo markets everyday!