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This is question I have gotten several times in just the last week. In fact, I get questions about Vista frequently.
Three words…Priced too high!
When The Cosmopolitan went on the market, it was a very different market. Buyers were paying a premium, and they knew it! They were hoping at the time that the hot market would continue and that the values would catch up to the the prices they paid. They were lucky because that is what happened. Today, not the case! The condo market has slowed a ton. Last month, of all listings in the Pearl, over 50% of those listings had to reduce their price. Days on market for higher end condos is now over 100 days! For many penthouses that have been on the market, we have seen multiple price reductions…not just one!
So, when I say that the Vista penthouse units are priced too high, I would like to support my comments. When The Cosmopolitan came on the market, I was very critical about the new building. The fact was that while I did like many things about the new building, I just had issues with the pricing. With the Vista, I believe that some of the lower priced units are in line with the current market. The penthouse units are a whole different story. For one, they are not like the cosmo penthouse units and do not deserve similar pricing. They are very linear and do not offer the floor to ceiling windows and views that you find in The Cosmopolitan. This is a big one because this is something buyers really like. In addition, look at the floor plans below. There is a stark difference between the amount of windows in The Cosmo compared to that of the Vista. In my opinion, this is why they are not selling! Also, the developers are asking 27th and 28th floor prices (The Cosmopolitan) for 19, 20 and 21st story units. I must say, I got a little giggle each time I saw the adds for Vista that asked “Ever wonder what the views are like from the Penthouse? My immediate thought was … ya, like the views from the 21st Floor at the Cosmopolitan that were priced at $875 a square foot…not over $1250 a foot! And to be honest, I do not believe that the Vista penthouse views are as good as the 19th – 21st floors at The Cosmopolitan.
The below floor plan is from the Penthouse #2815 at The Cosmopolitan. It offers panoramic views to the east with Mt. Hood and to the south with stunning city views!
Now lets take a look at the Vista penthouse on the South side #2108 currently priced at $3,216,000 . It is very clear when you look at them side by side the difference in the amount of windows/walls. Which is going to offer the better and more panoramic views…hands down it is Cosmopolitan #2815! In addition, #2815 is seven stories higher which adds tremendous value ( and if you remember, Hoyt put a premium of about $88,000 per floor above the 20th floor in the Cosmo).
Now lets take a look to the East. In most buildings, having an east view of Mt. Hood gets a premium. But, when your views are out of windows like shown below from Vista #2108…is it worth it?
Options! If you are in the market for a Portland penthouse, you have options. Unlike when the Cosmopolitan went on the market, a buyer has many more options then at that time. Back then, inventory was very low. In addition, condos are staying on the market longer and we are seeing many price reductions. If you are thinking about a penthouse purchase in Portland, here are a few good options:
1st: Pinnacle #1403 $2,488,000 – While you will be slightly lower being on the 14th floor, I believe your views are really much better. With #1403, you get true floor to ceiling windows with exceptional views to the south and the nighttime city lights. This unit was recently remodeled so you are getting everything brand new just as if you were buying at Vista! Like the Vista penthouses, this one offers 2600 square feet.
2nd: This is a penthouse that I like a lot… The Elizabeth #1502 $2,950,000 Another unit with many floor to ceiling windows looking to the West Hills and the city lights to the south. This 2-level penthouse has tons of character. With 3443 square feet, it is much larger than all six of the Vista penthouses and compares more closely to #2815 at The Cosmo which has 3131 square feet. This one has been on the market for awhile now after several price reductions… and you might be able to pick it up for an even lower price.
3rd: While this Portland penthouse is not in The Pearl District, it does deserve mention… #1301 at The Strand $2,395,000 – This 13th floor penthouse offers spectacular river, marina and city light views! Offering 3220 square feet with walls of windows, this unit offers some of the best daytime and nighttime views! If you can put up with some “white noise” from the rooftop deck, it offers stunning views…see below!
In closing, I just want to say I am a fan of any new condo building in the Pearl District or any other area of downtown Portland. With any luck we will get other developers looking at our great city with plans to build something that is uniquely Portland. As for Vista, sales have been much slower this time around. As I mentioned, there are some reasonable values at Vista…just not at the penthouse level! I do not believe that the designs, layouts and views are worthy of the $2,821,000 to $3,335,000 pricing.
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
Every condo may or may not have the best location… in the building or within a neighborhood. So when you go to sell, what are you going to do? Watch this video if you want to see what I think are the three most important words in real estate!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist in Portland, OR. with a focus on the Pearl District, South Waterfront and downtown. You can reach him at 503-896-8856.
This beautiful 28 story tower is the tallest condominium building in Portland’s Pearl District. To see available units in this building, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The market has noticeably slowed down, especially in the condo market. Are there deals to be had moving forward? Yes!
Everyone always wants the best value when they are buying a home and in this market, here is the best way to purchase a home/condo at a discount to the market. Now keep in mind this is only my opinion, but moving forward, I believe you will see some clarity in what I am saying.
When something is priced right, you will most likely not get a “deal” on that home as it will most likely sell in a reasonable timeframe. Where will you get a deal? You will find your best deals in homes or condos that were originally overpriced. In the condo market this usually happens for one of two reasons. First, there are some agents who “Buy” listings. In other words, they tell the seller a higher price than the true value in order to get a listing over a competing agent. You have heard me say it before and I will say it again… this is a bad way of doing business that certain agents use and in the end, it hurts sellers. After sitting on the market with no offers and no showings, the listing agent tells the seller they need to drop the price. ( Usually down to where it should have been priced!) Usually, and unfortunately, the seller will keep that agent even though he or she told them they would sell it at the higher price.
The second reason they are overpriced is the agent is not experienced in an area or type of sale. I see it often in the condo markets where an agent just does not understand condo pricing.
Now, back to finding deals in the market! What happens often in this type of market is an overpriced home will sit on the market and go through several price reductions, often blowing right through the floor of where it should have been priced originally. A couple examples of this in the upper end of the condo market:
A unit that I like very much is a penthouse in the Pearl District that is listed at The Elizabeth at $2,950,000. A different agent had this listed previously at $3,650,000, a number I thought was way high! ( and I know this because I sold another penthouse in the building a year earlier for $2,350,000.) My original thought was what could I sell my previous listing for if I put it back on the market. I was thinking $2,700,000 to $2,900,000. Mine was slightly bigger and all on one level, a positive in my book! This is about where I thought the other unit should have come on the market. I believe that if it would have come on the market at the correct pricing, it would probably have sold by now. Now, after months on the market, and multiple price reductions, it will start to get some lower offers… again, this is where you can get some deals in this market! If I am representing a buyer on this property, I truly believe they will now be able to get the property for well under what should have been the true value at around $2,900,000. The best part is you can find these deals in all price ranges, not just the upper end of the market. A buyer with some patience, and that keeps his or her eye on overpriced units will be rewarded in the end. Overpriced units will go through several price reductions and sell for less than they should have!
Oh, I said a couple examples above didn’t I? If you are a penthouse buyer l looking for a deal… here is one I have talked about before, several times actually.
If you read my last blog post, you may recall me talking about a penthouse at The Strand that had reduced it’s price to $2,995,000. In my post, I mentioned they would probably start seeing the sharks circling and offer $2.6. Well since that posting, the listing has been reduced once again, this time down to $2,699,900. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a nice penthouse unit with some really nice views but it is at a point where someone is going to get a good deal on this beautiful penthouse! Had this penthouse been priced even close to reality when it was originally listed, it would have sold at a much higher price ( remember, the market was much stronger a year and a half ago)
No matter what your price point is, remember, there are condos out there that are overpriced! Keep an eye on these units and when the time is right…go in and make a low offer and you just might get a great deal!
For those of you who already own a condo and are thinking about selling…please use this as an education to the negative effects of overpricing!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com you can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
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!
It’s that time of year for many, graduation! How does that relate to real estate? For those newly empty nesters, it may mean that it is time to downsize. Many of the condo buyers I have worked with over the years were in this very same position. One of the common dilemmas they each face is if they are able to go from a 3,000—4,500 square foot home , down to a 1,300—2,000 square foot condo. Now the one thing many are giving up is a spacious yard…sometimes this is a blessing in disguise. Many decide they are ok spending more time on the golf course and less time pulling weeds!
Adjusting to smaller spaces. The one thing I always ask potential buyer’s is where do they spend their time in their current house? The most common answers…the kitchen, the family room and the master bedroom. This my friends is a condo! Do you really need that 3rd and 4th bedroom? Do you really need that 1500 square foot
finished basement that rarely gets use? What most people find is that they can easily adjust to the smaller spaces and what they really enjoy is the new benefit of more time to be doing what they enjoy and less time slaving over a large yard.
Another added perk to condo living… nearby restaurants! While many of you may enjoy your time in the kitchen, after years of trying to figure what to cook for your family every night, it is nice to have the option to just go down an elevator and walk to you favorite eatery!
Another thing I see with those that choose to downsize, selling the big home in the suburbs and buying two smaller condos. Many buy a condo in the downtown area and possibly a second in areas like Palm Springs or Scottsdale Az. Now this may be a luxury for many, but as the kids leave home, many are ok with having a little more “Me Time”.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can set up condo tours with Brad by calling him at 503-896-8856