We have not seen many new penthouses come onto the market lately in the Pearl District but we should see a nice one come on by the end of this week and it is in one of my favorite buildings, The Elizabeth. This 15th floor Elizabeth penthouse will be priced at $3,650,000 (so I have heard) and offers 3,443 square feet of living space. If you are in the market for a beautiful penthouse in the heart of the Pearl, give me a call and be one of the first to see this unit!
I mentioned that The Elizabeth is one of my favorites and the reason behind that is that it is a building with a ton of details and character! John Carroll, the developer, does some of the best designs in the city and is a developer that actually spends the money for the extra touches that set his buildings apart from the others. Recent development in the Pearl, including Hoyt Properties Vista, seem very vanilla in comparison with not much thought about the architectural aesthetics involved. Even now, as Carroll introduces his newest project, The Dianne, touches of quality design can be seen, even on this building that has been built to house those wanting to rent instead of buying.
Last night as I drove by the Dianne, I noticed that even the lighting on the building gave it a dramatic look that we have not seen in the last several developments in the Pearl. Like buildings before, such as The Gregory and The Elizabeth, you see touches of detail that often get eliminated by most developers that try to squeeze every penny from the development. On the Elizabeth, you notice many details when you walk around the building starting with its trademark entry doors. Then you notice the tremendous amount of the wrought iron designs all around the building that give the Elizabeth its character. These were a tremendous extra cost to the developer that he could have avoided and increased his profits. Instead, this developer choose to make a lasting impact on a great neighborhood that also has much character. For that, I say thank you to developers like John Carroll!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Yesterday I went and toured a number of new listings in the Pearl. One of them was one that I had mentioned in a previous blog post, a penthouse listing in The Elizabeth. When I wrote about it the first day it came on the market, my comments were that it was way overpriced. This may have been a little premature now that I have seen it in person! At the time, I was basing it on the fact that it is a NW corner, not a SE or NE corner. The deck while reasonably spacious, looks into, not over 937. It is in The Elizabeth, not The Metropolitan, The Casey or the new Cosmopolitan. And finally, when I looked at the pictures of the unit, which were/are terrible, they did nothing to suggest that this was a $3, 299,000 listing! More on the photos later.
After viewing the unit I am changing my price opinion, if anybody cares. On a scale of priced right, fairly overpriced to way overpriced, I am adjusting my opinion to fairly overpriced from way overpriced. Why the change? When you walk into this unit it is stunning! You get something that the unprofessional photos don’t give you, a little bit of the WOW factor. This is a big reason you may have heard me talk over and over about great pictures. The agents current photos do absolutely nothing in terms of me saying “Wow, I have to see this place!”
Now the reality of the pricing. While this unit is stunning when you walk in, part of the wow factor comes from some of the owners furnishings and their sense of style, which is very nice! But, once you take away all of the beautiful furnishings, it would be hard for anyone to walk in and envision a $3,000,000 price tag. (which is $300,000 less then asking) At $3,000,000, you are looking at $909 a square foot. $900 a square foot puts you on about the 24th floor of the new Cosmopolitan. The 14th floor at the Cosmopolitan comes in around $650 a square foot. Now obviously, you would not price the Elizabeth penthouse in the $650 a square foot range because it is a penthouse, so there is a premium to factor in. Now, rumor has it that the seller’s of the The Elizabeth penthouse are selling because they bought two units to combine on the 23rd floor of the Cosmopolitan, which sells for about $850 a square foot! So, they were willing to pay more to be on a higher floor? Why do you pay more to be on a higher floor? The two biggest reasons are that you get better views and the second is that the chances of your views getting blocked by a new building are much lower. The chances of getting your views blocked at The Elizabeth at some point in time are very real because it is only on the 14th floor. Does it deserve a price per square foot of $1,000? No way! Does it deserve $850? If I am the buyers agent, I would be pushing for something in the $800 to $850 range in today’s market.
If I were the listing agent and trying to maximize my clients value, I would be giving them the very best marketing available so that they could try to achieve a premium price over the true market value! This starts with GREAT PHOTOS and great marketing that give the listing the wow factor before a buyer ever walks in the door. Photos that make the buyer say “Wow, I have to see this place!”
If you would like to view this penthouse unit or any other unit, call Brad Golik today to set up a tour. Brad is a condo specialist doing business in the Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. If you are thinking about listing your condominium, call Brad and see why he believes that great marketing can play a big roll in the price you get when you sell your Portland condominium!
How’s the market?
The spring is usually the time when we see the real estate market start to take off. This is not the case so far this year. Why is that? It is because of a lack of inventory in the market. Currently we are close to 2 months inventory in the market, a number that is very low. This spring we were hoping for more listings to come on the market than what we have seen so far. With rising prices last year we thought we would see many of the condo owners who were underwater on their units, now have enough equity to put their condos on the market. This has not really happened yet.
How are condo sales going? Last month sales were up 24% from the previous month, not unusual for this time of year. In looking at the typical area we cover, which is downtown, Pearl District and South Waterfront there were 61 sales for the month of April (units priced $200,000 and higher). Of those 61 sales, only 11 of those were for over $500,000 and of those 11, only three were over $1,000,000. Pending sales appear to be going down as a result of the lack of inventory
What does this mean for you the buyer and seller? Typically with inventory at 6 months and below, it becomes a seller’s market. Does that mean it is not a good time to buy? No, not at all. It just means you are going to have to be a little patient and expect that you might even get into a multiple offer situation. Not always the case though. For example in the upper end of the condo market, there are some units that have been on the market for awhile. As the owners begin to drop the prices, you will want to be ready to pounce. Many of these units end up selling below market value because of their time on the market and the negative stigma that comes along with that.
As for seller’s, right now is a very good time to put your home on the market because you virtually have little to no competition so now you might be able to bump your price a little!
If you are a buyer in the Portland condominium market, don’t hesitate to call the Portland condo specialist, Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
If you are thinking about selling, now is a great time to do it. Give us a call and we can do a market analysis on your condo and also show you the best condo marketing in the city!
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!