August was a very good month in the Portland condo and loft market with sales up 34% over July sales. Once again leading the pack was Encore in the Pearl District and Atwater Place in South Waterfront, both with 5 sales for the month. Two of the Atwater Place sales were resale units. The most remarkable thing about the 55 sales for the month was that only 2 of these sales were bank owned properties and just one was a short sale! With that said, there are currently 24 condos and lofts in the Pearl, Downtown and South Waterfront areas that are in a short sale pending status.
Buyers continue to find decent deals in the Portland condo market. An example of this can be found in the recent sale of unit at City Lofts. After being way overpriced at $1,100,000, and being on the market well in excess of 400 days, buyers were able to pick up this 2,456 sq. ft. unit for $760,000, more than 30% off its original list price. This shows us two things: 1)There are good buys to be had in the market and… 2) Sellers, don’t overprice your unit when you go to sell it. It will end up costing you more money in the long run!
At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com we are excited about the market! If you are in the market for a new Portland condominium, give us a call and we will get you out to see everything that Portland has to offer. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, again we encourage you to work with a condominium specialist. We don’t believe that an agent can’t just flip on a switch and become an expert in marketing to condo buyers overnight! We have worked hard to create a marketing program that targets serious condo buyers everyday. And, like marketing for any product, the more exposure it gets, the better your chances of getting a higher price!
The Henry is located on Couch between 11th and 12th. It consists of 123 Condos that
were built in 2004. This half block includes a retail base of approx. 11,000 sq.
ft. on the ground floor with three floors of parking above and 11 stories of
luxury condominiums. Situated in The Brewery Blocks at the entrance to
Portland’s Pearl District. The Henry Condominiums received gold LEED certification from
the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming only the third residential building in
the United States, at the time it was built, to achieve this rating for
sustainable design and construction. Portland
condos in the heart of the Pearl District.
Location: Pearl District
For the last several years we have heard from so called experts that we have hit a bottom in the housing market. Those who made that call a couple years ago were very wrong. But today, I think we are very close! While very much like the stock market, it is very difficult to call a bottom. All the signs are starting to point to a true bottom and leading indicators to me are the decreasing inventory and the reappearance of…multiple offers!
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal stated that “Economists aren’t always right, but on this at least they agree: A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.
I personally don’t always have the most faith in economist, in fact, I used to say that you could switch all the economist with all weatherman and no one would know the difference! Times have changed…weathermen now have doppler radar!
Condo and loft sales for the Portland area from The Pearl District down to South Waterfront continues to move along nicely. With 43 sales in the +$200,000 market we are pretty much staying steady with where we have been on the monthly totals the last few months. July could be very different though as we currently have 90 properties in a Pending status for this area of the condo and loft market.
Lower end condos outpaced the high end this month with no closings over the $1,000,000 mark. The low end of the market certainly looks as though we have hit bottom with newer listings in some areas getting multiple offers. Part of the reason for this seems to be the low inventory we are seeing which is somewhat unusual for this time of year. One possible reason for this low inventory seems to be that more people are renting out their condos instead of putting them on the market…somewhat of a catch 22 here. The rental market is hot and monthly rentals have gone up. Now with inventory low, sellers are able to push their price a little as choices for buyers are limited. Not a bad time for owners to sell with current inventory under 4 months!
Are you thinking about selling and would like to know what your condo or loft is worth?
Give us a call today and we will also share with you what we feel is the best condo marketing program in the city!
To quote just about every lawyer I know… “It depends!”
The reason I say it depends is that it depends on who helped you with the purchase of your condo. Was this agent a condo specialist?
If not, I would recommend using a condo specialist. The agent you used in the past may be a very good agent that did a decent job in assisting you with you purchase. (and by the way…I always recommend working with a specialist when you are looking to make a purchase!) The difference really comes down to knowledge and marketing. An agent that spends his time specializing in a specific niche, like condos, will usually have a much better understanding of pricing. After all, this agent looks at every new condo that comes on the market everyday and will develop a pretty good understanding of what is priced correctly and what is not. An agent that does not specialize with condos maybe evaluating prices of homes in Lake Oswego one day and then Forest Heights the following week.
As an agent that specializes with condos, I take great offence to the agents who believe that is ok to put a condo into the MLS and wait. Now don’t get me wrong, any agent can sell a condo…but at what price? As someone who specializes condos, my marketing is geared towards condo buyers EVERYDAY! I believe that for an agent to get top dollar for his seller, they need to do substantial marketing… especially when it may be a difficult listing. I believe that the key to marketing anything is to get your product more exposure and make it STAND OUT…the more people that see it will increase the odds of getting a better price. Also a key factor in marketing anything is to “target” the right buyers for that product. An agent that spends their time trying to find home buyers everyday is not marketing and looking for condo buyers on a daily basis. This is what we do!
Our approach is very different than most agents but it is an approach that is effective. At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com, the use of our websites generates over 2,000 visitors a month, and the majority of those are searching for…. you guessed it, condos!
The next topic we will cover: Now that you have decided that it is smart to go with a condominium specialist, which one should you choose to list your condo?
Many condo sellers will want to push the pricing on their condo or loft when they go to sell it… many times even when their Realtor advises against it. What often happens is that the seller will usually end up chasing the market down! A case in point, a beautiful Jeffrey Lamb http://www.jlambstudio.com/ designed condo, one of my favorites, at Park Place in Portland finally went Pending after 440 days on the market. This fantastic condo was originally priced at $1,195,000. The listed price when it went pending was $997,000. So the best case scenario…it sells at list price. Even then it will have sold for more than -16% from it original list price.* While it may appear that the sellers were getting $198,000 less than they were hoping for, let’s look at the real numbers. If the sellers would have priced it closer to market value at the time, maybe $100,000 to $150,000 less, it would have had a very good chance of selling in 3- 6 months somewhere in the $1,050,000 range, instead, it will sell for (again best case scenario…$997,000) The sellers would have made about $50,000 more than what will be the reality. What is often overlooked though is the cost of carry! The sellers had this condo at Park Place on the market for over 15 months. Now let’s say they put a couple hundred thousand down when they made their original purchase. This would have given them a monthly mortgage payment in the $5,000 a month range. The HOA fees were about $705 a month and taxes were about $850. So the actual cost to carry for the 15 months was about $98,000. Had they sold in a 6 month scenario like mentioned above, their cost to carry would have only been $40,000. In the end they could have netted an additional $110,000 or more than what will actually happen.
( ***This unit actually sold for $945,000 or -21% off of it’s original list price)
So what does all of this mean?
As a real estate agent, my job is to try to sell your condo for the highest possible price and do it in a reasonable time period. Time and time again we see sellers trying to “test” the market with an overpriced listing and having it come back to hurt them in the long run. Here are a couple of thoughts to think about when selling.
Lead the Market… don’t chase it! The end result, unlike the above example, it will result in a quicker sale saving you on mortgage payments, HOA fees and taxes. Also, a home that is priced correctly will attract more serious buyers who are ready to pull the trigger and make a full price offer for fear of losing a “decent” value.
Increased Response… When agents see a new listing come onto the market that is priced correctly, they will make special efforts to tell their buyers about the unit. The end result will be more showings with qualified buyers.
Less Inconvenience… Let’s be honest here. Nobody enjoys having strangers walking through their home. In addition, it takes much time and energy to keep your home in “Show” condition as well as constantly having to make arrangements to leave for showings.
Great Internet Marketing… Do NOT underestimate the importance of this one fact. 93% of buyers begin their search on the internet. Work with an agent that is a condo specialist and most important, one that has strong internet exposure! If you own a mid to high-rise condo in Portland and plan to sell, do some research. Think like a buyer and search on Bing and Google and do searches like serious buyers do. Search for “The Casey Portland” , “Encore condo HOA fees” , “Atwater Place amenities“. What do you see show up on these searches? What you will see is a couple us agents who specialize with condos. This is where you want YOUR LISTING to show up …right? What you won’t find are agents that are usually selling homes in Beaverton or Lake Oswego!
Bottom line… if you are selling your condo or loft, work with someone who has marketing that is targeted to condo buyers EVERYDAY!
I believe that marketing is the most important thing when selling your condo. But remember, on overpriced condo can easily have you selling your condo for far less down the road than if you would have had it priced correctly from the beginning!