We have been hearing over and over again how hot the market has been. Well, that is changing! While normally this is a slower time of the year, what is happening now is a little bit of a surprise when you listen to the national news and hear how crazy the market is (Seattle, San Francisco).
If you have ever walked past my office (717 NW 11th) in the heart of the Pearl District, you have probably stopped to glance at all the listings featured in our display window. What has changed in the window since last week? PRICE REDUCTIONS! And many of them. Is the market tanking? No, I believe it is a combination of things starting with what is always a typically slow time from the week before July 4th to the beginning of the school year. The reductions are not so much a depreciating market but more of a whack on the head for listing agents that overpriced many units. Sometimes when inventory is low and things are slow, an agent will “buy a listing”. What does this mean? If an agent is competing with another, there are some who will give the seller an unrealistically high value in hopes that will be enough to sway the seller to choose them… a VERY bad practice, but I see it all of the time. In fact, I just lost a $975,000 listing partially for this very reason. (The other part was the agent told the seller that his firm is stronger internationally and that they could attract “Chinese buyers.”) This is so 2015! Those days are pretty much past and in reality, there have been very few Chinese investors buying in Portland. In addition, when you have a strong internet presence like I do, you get seen around the world. The whole thing about their firm being better internationally is really smoke and mirrors!
Back to price reductions, here are a few examples:
In the Casey, a one bedroom unit on the 8th floor was originally listed at $729,000. Now a year and five price reductions later it is priced at $619,000…and it still has not sold.
A penthouse at the John Ross originally priced at $2,350,000 was just reduced $355,000 to $1,995,000.
Several units at Fountain Plaza have had huge reductions. One unit went from $2,295,000 to $1,895,000. Another went from $1,995,000 to $1,695,000 and a third went from $1,350,000 to $999,000 with none of them selling yet. What is moving in this market? While it is taking longer, the units that are priced correctly, or at least somewhat reasonably priced, are still being sold.
Here is a great example of what I have mean. A penthouse just came on the market today in downtown Portland for $3,250,000. I had shown this unit about four years ago when it was priced at $2,200,000. (It had been on the market for 5-6 years) Back then I told my buyers they should not pay more than 1.6-1.7 million for this unit. My reasoning was the neighborhood was deteriorating, it was an inferior building compared to a neighboring building (The Eliot) that has much higher quality finishes, the highest sale in that building in the last 3 years was $760,000, it had the two slowest elevators in the city… and this was a big one, there was no garbage chute! I do not often make guarantees, but this is one I am comfortable in predicting, “You will see some big price reductions on this unit moving forward!”
And on top of that, if you have read my blog you have heard me mention that if you want to try to capture a premium over the market value of a unit then you MUST have very good marketing and dare I say it… professional photos at the very least! And no, this $3,250,000 listing, if you can even believe it, does not have them!
Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist in Portland, Or. If you are in the market to make a purchase of a Portland penthouse or luxury condominium, call Brad today!