The market is slowing down…and not just a little! This is not a bad thing. In fact, I think it is very healthy for the market and helps us avoid a big tumble in the market.
Here are a few interesting numbers that support what was just said….
Inventory: Inventory in the area I focus on, from Pacifica Tower just north of the Freemont Bridge to South of South Waterfront, inventory levels are up 21% since June 1st! That is a pretty big jump in such a short period.
Price reductions: Since July 1st, in the Pearl District, 40% of the listed condos reduced their price.
Days on Market: This one is a bit tricky. Days on market has gone up but one must look at this stat carefully. There is a recent trend that is happening more and more. In a practice that I do not believe in, agents will cancel a listing and then re-list it. It is an attempt to make a listing look “fresh” and show less days on the market to buyers. This is why we must look at Cumulative Days on Market. Now if an agent has it on the market for a month and then cancels and re-list it, the number will reflect those 30 days prior.
What this means in the marketplace? For buyer’s, there is not such an urgency to make a quick offer. Buyer’s are able to look around for the perfect place and have a much better foot to stand on at the negotiating table. For sellers, trying for a premium price may hurt you as your condo may stay on the market longer than it should and in the end it may sell for a lower amount than it would have if priced correctly.
An example of this is one I believe I have discussed on my blog. A little over 4 months ago I went to a Broker’s open house on a beautiful penthouse unit. At that time, the agent listed it for $3,550,000. The agent, knowing that I specialize with condos, asked for my opinion on price. I clearly remember my answer: “ I think it needs to be at $2,999,000 and I think it will sell a little below that.” Well today, after 2 price reductions, it is now priced at $2,995,000. But now, after 4.5 months on the market, you will probably get the sharks swimming around it ready to offer $2,600,000. (It has actually been on the market much longer with another agent that was priced even higher!) … again, this is where you need to look at cumulative days on the market!
Moving forward in this new market, correct pricing will be very important in the sale of your condo or loft!
Design approval for Block 20 recently happened. For more information on this project, click Block 20 http://www.nextportland.com/2016/07/13/block-20-approved/#more-8144
Also, notice of pile driving went out recently!
So how will the timing be for the release of new condos at Block 20? I do not believe they will be as favorable as they were for the developers on The Cosmopolitan. If you remember reading on my blog, Hoyt Development had the perfect storm happen for them when they released their highly priced (a majority in the $600 to $1200 sq. ft. range) units. When the Cosmopolitan was released, inventory levels were at extremely low levels…non- existent almost! They were able to capture crazy pricing because buyers had no other options. That is not the case right now in our market. Today, like everyday, I brought up new condo listings. What was most interesting to see was that there were 11 price reductions! This is something we are starting to see everyday as things have slowed dramatically. So , moving forward, it will be a different environment for the developer.
I took a fair amount of abuse from the developers about my many comments about the Cosmopolitan, most were about pricing. Did they sell out the building at those high prices? Yes! (98%) sold. Good for them and their and their profits! (maybe not so good for the owners) If you recall, my biggest fear of selling a unit at The Cosmopolitan was worry for my clients that the market could slow down or turn around and what would happen to buyers who paid such a big premium when or if that happened… Guess what? That time is here! The market has slowed dramatically. (again, look at price reductions in the market) What will happen when Cosmopolitan buyers need to sell ( job relocation etc.)? Stay tuned. I do not believe it will be a good thing for the seller’s. Another consideration is the high number of apartments that have been built in the downtown area. I feel we must be reaching a point of saturation in the rental market. When this happens, rental rates go down. For the last several years, it has been cheaper to buy instead of renting with rental prices at $2.25 to $2.75 a sq. ft. When rental rates start dropping, you will have more potential buyers going the rental route than we had before. They will be happy to sit on the sideline and let the slowdown happen and be patient before buying.
What about the pricing at the new Block 20 development? One thing I know, construction prices ( concrete, steel, sheet rock) have continued to rise. Will we see prices touching $1000 to $1200 again? I don’t believe so. Much will also depend on the finishes of the building though. Will they compare to that of the Cosmopolitan and The Metropolitan or will they be a notch or two lower?
If you have questions about Block 20 or wish to be on a waiting list for info, please give me a call. If you think there may be some interest in the new project, keep this in mind. It will be important to work with a buyers agent not associated with the developer…remember, the buyers agent works for your benefit, not the developers!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
If you would like see any of Portland’s beautiful available condominiums, give Brad a call to set up a viewing tour.
503-896-8856 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I am listing a beautiful penthouse at Pacifica Tower! Enjoy floor to ceiling windows in this corner unit. One of the best floor plans available at Pacifica Tower. Located in the NW corner of the building, this unit offers panoramic views of the Willamette River, Portland’s West Hills and the twinkling city lights. This home features two very large bedrooms and two decks!
If you are in the market for a condo in this price range, give me a call to set up a private showing of this fantastic penthouse.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties with a focus on the high end of the market. If you are looking to buy or sell, call Brad at 503-896-8856.
Today I lost a listing for being honest! One thing you will always get from me is my honest opinion. Whether it is my opinions that I write about in my blog, or my opinions in what it takes to get a condo sold for top dollar. The key words here are “TOP DOLLAR”. You have heard me say many times that “Any agent can sell your condo…but at what price?” To get the highest price in the sale of a condo, I have a pretty good feel for things that need to be done to get that top dollar. First and foremost… top notch marketing! Yes, even in a hot seller’s market it is important.
I mentioned that I lost a listing for being honest. This condo would have been priced in the 1.4M range. This particular condo had amazing river and bridge views. However, the furnishings (many antiques) were not the type that would “Wow” a buyer when they walked in the door. In fact, I believe the opposite affect would take place. I have often said, in the higher end of the market, buyers want the “Wow” affect when they walk in the door. This was a unit that had potential for a huge “Wow” factor that, with staging, I believe would have captured a very good price for the seller’s… if marketed correctly.
Telling sellers what they want to hear to get a listing is nothing new in our industry. I see it happen all of the time with agents that “Buy Listings”… in other words, they tell the seller it is worth more than what another agent said what it was worth because they know the seller will choose the agent with the higher price. Then, the condo stays on the market because it is priced too high and then the agent eventually beats up the sellers to drop the price ( the price the other agent had honestly told the seller’s) Then, because the unit becomes stale, the lowball offers begin to come in. My point here…be careful of agents that tell you what you want to hear. You should be more open to an agent that is honest and not just telling you what you want to hear just to get the listing. The listing above, well I believe the listing above will net the seller’s about $100,000 less than what it could get by staging and using good marketing. This is a lot of money! I felt so strongly about it in this case that I offered to pay for the staging.
The sellers made the comment to me that these were expensive antiques. One thing I have learned in this business is that the cost of something really has no relevance as to how it adds to the value of something. I have seen wallpaper, for example, where an owner spent a fortune and thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world… but everybody else hated it! In the unit above, I truly believe the sellers would net close to 100k more by staging this unit. In addition, the staging will help buyers focus on the beautiful unit…and take their eyes away from the kitchen! Remember the wallpaper above? Well the owners of this unit painted over the cabinets (DIY) in an un- attractive color that shows the wood grain through the paint. They also ripped out beautiful slab granite and replaced it with a inferior artificial product (blue speckled ) that is just not at the level expected for buyers in a unit like this in a building like this.
In the end, the sellers went with an agent that agreed with them and said what they wanted to hear. As a seller, do you want the most that you can get in the sale of your condo… or do you want to work with an agent that is being nice and says what you want to hear? The sellers choose an agent with inferior marketing to what I offer… and the truth is on this unit, to get top dollar, they are going to need great marketing!
I believe an agent should be nice… and tell you what you NEED to hear!
Recently, in my blog post you have read about my comments on the Cosmopolitan. You have heard me say that it is overpriced and that it has raised prices on many resale units that are hitting the market. One of those is the richly priced penthouse at the Elizabeth selling for a whopping $1000 a square foot ( and yet only 14 floors above the ground!. At least for $1000 a foot at the Cosmopolitan you are getting a 26th floor view that helps jusify it’s pricing in comparison…sort of! In the land of overpriced units, I wanted to touch on one listing that I think is underpriced! That’s right, I said underpriced in this market. This unit is one of the iconic brownstone like townhomes on 11th. The one that I like is the double unit #633 and #637 priced at only…$2,975,000! Now I know this is still a pretty big number but lets look at the numbers.
#633 Is a double unit offering 3,888 sq. ft. ( and for you Asian buyers, that 888 is a pretty good sign, right!) With this much square feet and priced at $2,975,000, the price per square feet is only $765! This is $304 a sq. ft less than the Casey penthouse priced at $3,499,000 and $235 a sq. ft less than the Elizabeth penthouse priced at $3,299,000. Add the Cosmopolitan into the mix and you have an absolute steal! The one thing I will say about the double unit townhome priced at $2,975,000 is that none of the other units mentioned, Cosmopolitan included will have better finishes! Hands down, this Jeffrey Lamb designed unit is far superior with substantial custom work throughout! The money spent on the unique and high quality custom finishes, including iron, stone, glass, stainless steel and a 2.5 ton travertine clad swinging door is something you are not likely to see anywhere else. Now some of you may be saying that the other units are higher up and have views. Well let me tell you this, I get a fair amount of buyers that do not like being high up in a high rise and do not put value on that. Some of these same people put more value on space. I also tend to put much value on quality, something your not going to get in a new high rise unless you do your own custom finishes. If you were to do that at the Cosmopolitan, you will be talking $1500 a sq. ft.
In this market you will not hear me make many comments about a unit being underpriced but in my opinion, this one is! When it first came on the market it got an offer in several days and that offer fell through. I don’t believe this unit should stay on the market long at this price. If you are a person that is not interested in a view and prefers a more neighborhood feel, this may be the right place for you. If you are in the market for one of the Pearl Districts finest homes with some of the finest finishes, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this unique place.
The answer is YES! Many times throughout the year I will see condos come on the market that may not be priced correctly. Most of the times it is because the agent does not know the condominium markets well and do not know how to price them correctly. Sometimes they over price them, sometimes they under price them…and create good buys for a buyer! This weekend. An example of this happened. It was at a very high price point, but still a good buy for the new owners! Last week I wrote about a couple of new listings that were coming to market. One was one of the beautiful townhomes on 11th. It was the combined unit that I thought would be priced at about $3,200,000 to $3,500,000 ( I believe I said low to mid 3 Million range). The agent that got the listing is a well known luxury agent that is known for high end homes, not condos. The listing came on the market at a surprising sub $3,000,000 price ( $2,975,000). As I said, YES, buyer’s can find deals in this market! To me, this shows a good example of working with a specialist. While the above…not mentioned agent, has a decent reputation for higher end homes in the west hills, this agents expertise is not in the condo market. I am not sure why the owners selected the agent but I have my suspicions! Some agents will try to sell their companies “wide global reach” in a sales pitch to get a listing in the high end of the market. To me, this is a little bit of smoke and mirrors because of the internet. With the internet, an agent with a good bit of knowledge of marketing on the internet, can easily get their listing “worldwide”. Keep in mind, condo specialist market to condo buyer’s everyday and maintain a pipeline of qualified buyer’s. Sometimes local, sometimes international. The point I want to make here gets back to today’s topic: Finding deals in this market. As long as you have agents that do not fully understand the condo market, you will always be able to find a deal because those agents will not always understand how to price a unit. Many don’t understand the difference between being on the west side 3rd floor vs 13th floor on the east side. Some don’t understand the difference from having a protected view vs an unprotected view and many of the other issues that come into play when pricing condos. Bottom line if you don’t want to be one of those seller’s that is creating a great buying opportunity for a buyer, make sure you interview a condo specialist!
When people think of the Pearl District, often they think about living in one of the iconic town homes on 11th ( see last week’s blog post). Others think about a new shiny high rise like the new Cosmopolitan while others think about a cozy loft style condo in a building like Marshall Wells, Irving Street Lofts or Avenue Lofts. If you have been thinking about one of these loft style condos in the heart of the Pearl, now is your chance!
Coming to the market tomorrow will be a beautifully done penthouse loft at Marshall Wells. The owner of this spacious loft (2771 square feet) spared no expense in creating a wonderful living space in this historical building. From it’s designer kitchen to the beautiful chandeliers, this one is a “Must See”!
Priced at $1,399,000, it is reasonably priced in the low $500 sq. ft. area. (remember, this is entry level at the new Cosmopolitan). For those looking to downsize from a larger house, the 2771 square feet makes for an easier transition.
If you would like to see photos of this beautiful loft, please visit http://www.MarshallWellsLoft.com and click on the photo gallery button. When you are ready to take a look, give me a call at 503-896-8856
Brad Golik is a certified condominium specialist in Portland and works primarily in Portland’s Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you are thinking about selling, Brad has simply one of the best condo marketing programs in Portland.
Brad is a founding member of http://www.Condo10.com
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
Pearl District prices are rising fast! To get the TRUE value of your condo instantly for FREE, go to:
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!”