In a post I wrote a little while back I mentioned that even in a hot market, where everyone seems to believe that there are no deals in the market, that sometimes deals do come along. Today is one of those days! If you are in the market for a 2 bedroom unit with over 1400 square feet, this is your lucky day! Just a short walk north of the Fields Park in the Pearl District, you will find a wonderful 8 story condominium tower called Pacifica. I have sold many units in this building and know it probably better than any agent in town. Two days ago a unit came on the market priced at $575,000. This 3rd story unit has a spacious layout, 2 and half baths and a very large deck that looks over the Willamette River. The reason I know it is drastically under priced is that two years ago I sold the same unit, two floors up, for $575,000! In this time the market is certainly up more than 10-15%. Taking that into consideration, you would be looking at a price of $610,00– to $632,000. The current price, at $391 a square foot is VERY low to the comps in this building. I sold 4 or 5 units in this building between $418 to $450 a square foot last year! I will be pricing another unit there soon and we were going to be looking at $500 a square foot. This might be a little more difficult now with the agent selling unit #303 so far below market value.
Again, for those who are patient, and work with an agent that knows the condo market, there are good values that do come up in the market. Unit #303 at Pacifica Tower is one of them!
If you are a buyer and looking for a great 2 bedroom unit, there is not another unit under $750,000 in the market right now that I feel beats this one.
If you would like to go view this unit, give me a call today and I will set up a showing! Call me at 503-896-8856
Since my first post about the Cosmopolitan I have gotten many calls and emails from people to discuss the Cosmopolitan and the pricing. What is interesting is that a number of buyers are trying to justify the pricing with comments such as…but it will be new and have all new appliances! Here is what I often tell them. “If you want new appliances, by a resale condo in a nice building like The Metropolitan, put $30,000 to $50,000 into a nice kitchen remodel and you will still be way ahead of the game compared to paying extremely excessive prices at the Cosmopolitan!”
Since my last update on the Cosmopolitan… not much has changed.
If you can recall my first post where I wrote about the euphoria of the new project and the normal sales of a new project when the developer sold 33 units during the grand opening. A couple weeks later I said the total sales were at 36 (December 11th). As of today, sales at the Cosmopolitan are at 40. From our last writing they have sold an additional 3 of the 1 bedroom garden units. These were units that were selling in the high $300,000 to the $400,000 range. (also priced in the $550 to $575 per sq. foot range. ) Most of the units that sold during the euphoric grand opening period were the smaller 2 bedroom units on the NE corner which sold out units #717 to #1817. The price range for these units was $769,500 to $918,000. The price per sq. ft for these units went from $575 to an excessive $680 for unit #1817. In my opinion, units #717 to #1317 in the $575 to $600 range is not unreasonable… still high, but not totally out of line. . 70% of the original units sold in the grand opening were in the $550 to $620 price per sq. ft. range. The low hanging fruit is now gone!
I am still sticking to my belief that this project is way overpriced! They have sold very few of the 1 bedroom units other than the popular Garden units. They still have not sold anything above the 21st floor with one exception, unit #2315, priced at $1,773,000 (crazy $1,000 per sq. ft!) I am still a little baffled as to why 8 to 9 buyers paid between $800 to $1000 a sq. ft. Again, was it the excitement of a new building,? Was it that they did not have representation from an outside broker to explain to them the severity of the high price per square foot they were paying? While it is certainly not my intention to bash this project, because I was as excited about it as anyone, the fact is that it is just very much overpriced. I believe it everyone’s right to make a reasonable profit from their hard work. But when I see excessive numbers in several areas that benefit the developer beyond a normal number, that is when I have a problem. Overcharging buyers by a considerable amount over the current market, again, the developer can pocket additional excessive profits. What happens to those buyers who are buying a unit for $650 to $1200 a square foot, and then realize a year after they move in they need to sell their unit for whatever reason. These buyers will be hammered in the resale market! Why? Because they paid $650 to $1200 a square foot in a market that should be $450 to $850!
What is my hope on this project? While I personally never wish bad on anyone, I do hope that sales remain as slow as they have been and maybe get worse. This will force the developer to drop their prices to REASONABLE numbers so that buyers don’t get punished when they become sellers in 2-5 years! In addition, my hope is that they will also go back to everyone that has made a purchase and additionally drop their prices as well. Again, I said the low hanging fruit is gone for the most part and sales will only get tougher for the developer moving forward as they try to sell a ton of units in the $700 to $1200 sq. ft. price range.
Buyers…ask yourself this one question. Should you be paying more for a condo than a similar project in Seattle? And remember, this project in Seattle is only 60% sold after a year and a half and has the benefit of Amazon as a nearby job force to support it! In addition Seattle is just priced much higher than Portland in general!
I am adding the graphic below again because I believe it tells a story pretty well!
If you still have an interest in making a purchase at the Cosmopolitan, please give me a call and we can discuss what may be the best values within the building because there are some units that have better value than others. Call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856.
Here is a partial list of condo sales from downtown, Pearl to South Waterfront:
Sales for the month of May continued in an upward trend from the previous month by 16% for condo sales in our covered area which includes Pearl District, Downtown and NW and the South Waterfront area. In this area ( $200,000 and above) 71 sales were recorded with the highest being a Penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl that sold for $1,650,000. Speaking of Waterfront Pearl, it recorded the most sales for the month with 9 sales brought on, I believe by their new spring pricing that was released (as well as the extra 1% that was being paid out to Realtors for selling this property over other properties!). Of those 9 sales, 8 were priced above the $600,000 price point. So if you are wondering if condos in the upper price range are selling… the answer is yes! For the month, there were 3 condos that closed for over a $1,000,000 including a purchase by my clients of a beautiful waterfront condo at The Strand. One of the others was the one I mentioned above, the penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl. This is a unit that I had mentioned before in my blog. With 3185 square feet, this unit sold for $200,000 off of the list price. While from the outside this may appear to be a decent bargain, only the future will tell. This was a fantastic floor plan with a ton of space but the downside is the lack of privacy with the north building looking right into your unit! Typically, when prices start getting over the $1,500,000 range, buyers want more privacy for their money!
Other buildings that recorded multiple sales include The Meriwether with 3 sales, Atwater Place with 2 sales, The John Ross with 2 sales, and also with 2 sales was 937. While inventory levels still remain low, we are starting to see more units come on the market that last few weeks. For buyers, this will be a good thing to give you more options in your search for a new condo. For sellers, the lack of inventory has been a good thing and while more units are starting to come on the market, inventory still remains below the norm.
Yesterday, while picking up my open house signs that I had in front of Encore, a person came up and asked me if it was a good time to be selling. My answer was yes but I also went on to explain to him that for patient sellers, it was a good time to push the price a bit if they were not urgently trying to sell. When the market lacks inventory, especially in similar price points, you can get away with pushing the price a little. This can change quickly however when several new units come on the market in your same price range.
If you are thinking about selling your condo in the near future, give me a call at 503-896-8856 to discuss pricing, and also, options available to you from a condo specialist that you won’t get with a typical real estate agent.
Brad Golik of Windermere Northwest and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com has distinguished himself in the field of (luxury) condominiums and townhomes sales by earning the prestigious Certified Condominum Specialist® designation. This national designation is given to select real estate agents who have demonstrated the specialized education, market knowledge, competence and experience in successfully and effectively listing and selling condominiums, townhomes, and other forms of common interest developments (CID).
The certification and designation are offered by the Council of Condominium Specialists® which is the national, premier independent authority in assisting real estate professionals in providing high quality service and superior market expertise to the buyers and sellers of condominiums and townhomes (CIDs).
Brad Golik is the first real estate agent in Oregon to receive the Certified Condominum Specialist® designation!
The designation indicates the recipient real estate agent has worked diligently to complete essential real estate training and has met specific performance standards to demonstrate expertise in their local condominium/townhome (CID) market to provide the high quality real estate services his clients deserve. Real estate sales are a complex and challenging field to begin with,” said Candy Peak, Director of the Council of Condominium Specialists®, “but selling a property that is in a common interest development (CID), which involves both an individual and shared ownership in real estate, such as a condominium, townhome, planned development or any other property that is part of a homeowners association, requires an agent with the specialized real estate knowledge and expertise to professionally navigate a buyer or seller through the intricate path of common interest development ownership and sales.
“My commitment is to provide outstanding service to my clients,” said Golik, and “the Certified Condominium Specialist® designation ads additional benefits for my ability to meet the needs of condominium and townhouse buyers and sellers in my area. My membership in the Council of Condominum Specialists® Network also provides me with the marketing tools and networking capabilities that bring added benefits to my clients.”
For current information on condominium and townhome sales in your neighborhood and to receive a market evaluation on your property, contact Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also visit http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Portland Penthouse Update How are Portland penthouse sales going since the beginning of 2014? There has been some recent activity in penthouse units that have been on the market for sometime now. Last week, the two remaining penthouses at Encore got offers and are now in a Pending status. Unit #1606, priced at $1,850,000 and unit #1604 priced at $1,580,000. These units have been on the market a long time but patience may have paid off for the developer as these two units when sold will still have gotten over $650 a square foot. ( will keep you posted when they do close). In comparison, Unit #805 at Pacifica Tower was finally sold. Originally priced at $1,500,000, the agent then dropped the price $150,000 after only 1 month to $1,350,000. The sale closed last week at $1,228,900 … or only $455 a sq. ft.! This was a massive 18% off of the original list price! This is only slightly higher price per sq. ft. than a couple of the regular units recently sold for at Pacifica! I am not sure why the agents at Pacifica were not able to get something closer to the numbers the two penthouses at Encore got. Sure, Pacifica is not in the Pearl, but $200 a sq. ft. difference is HUGE for VERY comparable penthouse units! Other penthouses that are still on the market vary from the very attractive unit #901 at Waterfront Pearl which offers over 3,100 sq. ft and priced at $1,850,000 to the grossly overpriced penthouse unit #1601 at The Civic. The Civic unit, with only 2102 sq. ft, and located in what is not the best location is priced at $1,450,000. In my opinion, this unit is at least $200,000 high…maybe more. And the recent sale of the unit at Pacifica, with fantastic water and bridge views… and 2700 sq. ft and selling at only $455 a sq. ft. is going to kill any hopes of the owners getting anywhere near it’s list price of $1,450,000! If you are in the market for a Portland penthouse or other Portland luxury condominium, please give us a call and we will set a tour for you to view Portland’s finest condominiums! Give me a call today at 503-896-8856.
So, you own a condo in a newer building that has wrapped up selling it’s units or it is getting close to that point. You are thinking about selling your condo so you are thinking about hiring, as your listing agent, one of the nice salespeople that works for the developer because you see them in the building and they always wave and say “Hi”. Is this a good thing to do or bad?
Well, if you want to hire a nice person and don’t really care about how good of marketing job your listing agents does, hire the onsite agent to sell your condo.
If you want the very best marketing program available, chances are very high that it won’t happen by working with an onsite real estate agent.
Lets talk about the facts first:
1) Yes, these agents are ALWAYS very friendly! Have you ever bought a large ticket item where the salesperson wasn’t overly friendly?
2) Onsite agents rarely are used to paying for any marketing as it has always been done by the developer of their building. I very rarely see a good job of marketing by an onsite agent. They just don’t spend the money! Here is a good example about what I am talking about. Today, a units in the $700,000 price range at the Encore, came on the market. It was listed by one of the Encore onsite agents. First let’s start by looking at the all important real estate photos ( over and over again it has been shown that good photographs help get a seller a higher price). First, lets look at the photos taken by the local onsite agent.
Next, let’s look at another listing where the agent used a professional photographer. Huge difference in brightness, clarity and quality of photos. First impression can be everything!
The onsite agent obviously did not spend any money for professional photos. Instead she choose to use her own point and shoot camera. ( did I mention that this is a $785,000 condo in which the agent stands to make about $20,000) Wouldn’t you think that an agent that gets paid a good amount of money for “Marketing” the listing would at least spend a few hundred dollars to make her clients listing stand out and have a great 1st impression? By the way, this same agent has gotten several million dollar listings and the photos for these million dollar listings were just as bad. Now you have to ask yourself, should I hire this person because she is nice? I know of many very good real estate agents who are also very nice… but they also do a very professional job.
3) You will not find any onsite agent online when searching for condos. (which also means you will not find their listings!) Agents that are good at marketing, and spending a great deal of money to do so, will show up on typical searches for condos. And if these same agents are skilled at internet marketing, your listing will have a better shot at landing in front of the right buyers!
At www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com , we believe that to do a good job of marketing someone’s home, you must spend money to do a good job. As a condo specialist, we believe that we spend more on our internet marketing than the top 5 condo specialist combined! Why do we do this? We do it to give your condo listing the very best exposure that is possible. We will not cut corners by not hiring a professional photographer, nor will we not spend substantial money for marketing your home on the internet. You are hiring us to do a great marketing job to sell your condo…and that is what we are going to go!
How were Portland condominium sales last month?
Answer: Very Good!
Sales for Portland condos and lofts jumped 107% over sales from February where we recorded just 28 sales in the +$150,000 markets that include The Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront condominiums.
Leading the way with the most sales once again was The Encore condominiums in The Pearl District with 4 sales for the month and new to the mix… condos for sale at Waterfront Pearl! Waterfront Pearl also recorded 4 sales as they emerge from being a leased property to new condo sales. Following in 3rd place was Atwater Place down in South Waterfront. In all, 58 sales were recorded in our target area and of those sales, 35 were below $500,000 and 23 were Portland condos priced above $500,000.
A question I often get asked is “How much is it to buy a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District”? To give you a more accurate number, it needs to be pre-qualified a little with… it depends! To get into a “Grade A” building, which most of the high and mid rise buildings are, last month a 2 bedroom unit at The Pinnacle sold for $480,000. There was also a 2 bedroom unit at the Lexis condominiums that sold for $415,000. The Lexis is in my opinion, a little lower quality building and should be priced a little bit lower. So, you can get into a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District for under $450,000, but it also depends on certain things, like which building it’s in, does it face directly into another building etc.Sometimes a unit just gets under-priced, like a 2 bedroom unit that was priced at $399,000 and went pending immediately. If you can move just a little distance from the Pearl District, you can find 2, 2 bedroom units for sale at Benson Tower for under $450,000. Another option might be Portland Plaza on 5th. While an older building than Benson Tower and The Eliot, it does offer a good amount of square footage for the money!
How were sales in the upper end of the market? Again, very good! In the $1,000,000 market, 2 sales happened. One was an 1820 sq. ft. penthouse at The Encore that sold for $1,125,000. Waterfront Pearl recorded 3 sales that were sold at $690,000, $815,000 and $915,000.
As we move through April, we should see a pretty active market with inventory levels still very low! There are currently 105 condos in a pending status including the beautiful penthouse at The Metropolitan that we wrote about last month. Priced at $2,249,000, in my opinion…about $200,000 too low, it went pending in 16 days. As I mentioned when I last wrote about it, it was one of my two favorite penthouses on the market. It is in a premium building, in a premium location and deserves a premium price especially when compared to the other penthouses on the market!
If you are in the market for a Portland condominium or loft, call us today to set up a tour of available units. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, let us show you one of the most unique and extensive marketing programs in Portland!
Remember, if you are thinking about buying or selling a Portland condominium, it doesn’t cost you to work with a condo specialist… it pays!
The Penthouse at Waterfront Pearl. Looking for a spacious condo with water views? Welcome to the newest Portland penthouse listing at Waterfront Pearl! Last night I went to an evening open house of this unit and was actually impressed with the floor plan of this unit. This penthouse condo is priced at $1,049,000 and features 2 bedrooms and a den that is currently set up as a media room. While not large in terms of media rooms, it is comfortable and makes for nice space to watch your favorite movie. The total size of this unit is 1927 square feet. What I like about this particular unit is the fact that the bedrooms are very separate from the main living spaces. The kitchen is large and features Viking appliances. While the views are pretty industrial, the positive is that this unit is fairly private and does not have an adjacent building peering in on it. The water views are great, looking to the East and downriver to the North. Traffic on the Freemont Bridge in the distance offers a moving light show of entertainment at night while the boat traffic during the day is always fun to watch.
How does this unit compare to other condos priced near the $1,000,000 range? I would say pretty favorably. Lets start with the penthouse unit #1601 at Encore. Priced at $1,196,000, the Encore unit is slightly smaller. While it does have a larger deck space, the views from the Waterfront Pearl unit are much nicer. Priced at $1,199,000, unit #1411 at The Henry, in my opinion, does not compete. The Henry condominium is essentially a 1 bedroom with den with only 1620 square feet of living space and is not a penthouse floor. Originally priced at an insane price of $1,350,000, its current price is still high especially compared to the Waterfront Pearl unit that has a superior floor plan. unit #2300 at Atwater Place, priced at $1,070,000, offers 1692 square feet but is a NW corner unit…no comparison to the direct water views offered by unit #1001 at Waterfront Pearl.
If you would like to view the penthouse at Waterfront Pearl, please give us a call. We are condo specialist with a focus on the upper end of the condo market. We will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to get you the best purchase price possible. If you would like to tour other Portland penthouse condos or other Portland luxury condominiums, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
Portland condominium sales were down for the month of November. For the month of November, in our designated area of coverage from The Pearl District, Downtown to South Waterfront and in the price range of $200,000 and higher, 35 sales closed. Pending sales were also down this month which is not unusual for this time of year. What is unusual is the high number of showings that active condominiums are getting. Part of this could be due to the low inventory levels we are seeing.
Leading the way in sales once again for the month of November is Atwater Place in South Waterfront and Encore in The Pearl District. Atwater Place and Encore each had 3 sales for the month. For the first time in a while, there were no condos that sold in $1,000,000 and higher price range. This will change next month as there are several $1,000,000 condos that are in a Pending status. 77% of the condominiums sold this month were under the $500,000 range. This will change dramatically next month as we see many more condominiums and lofts above that range in a pending status, including 6 at Atwater Place that Priced from $515,000 to $1,150,000.
Remember, if you are in the market to buy a Portland condominium, work with a condominium specialist! Why risk what may be one of your largest purchases with an agent that does not fully understand this market? If you are thinking about selling your Portland condominium, why not select an agent that has marketing that is directed towards buyers everyday?
In our next blog about Portland condominiums we will be discussing Portland penthouses!
Please visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com