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 Christie’s International Real Estate and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
As many of you know by now, Pearl District Properties has shut it’s doors. I am still in the Pearl District and now at Total Property Resources!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist working in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront.
I have recently received a few emails asking why I have not written anything about the new Vista North Pearl. The answer, I guess, is that nothing seems to be too exciting about the project. And, not that it matters, but I have not had to deal with nasty emails from the sales manager at Hoyt Properties, who did not like my opinions on the Cosmopolitan!
So, what are the differences in the two projects? Well let’s start with the Cosmopolitan. Contrary to what the sales manager said to me “I thought you hated this building!”, I NEVER said I did not like the project. What I DID say is that I did not like the pricing. (Great for the developer…not so great for the buyers). As it turned out, because of the low inventory levels at the time, they were able to capture those high prices. Again, the timing in the market was “perfect” for the developers. How about this time around with the Vista? Well, the market has changed and Hoyt will not have such an easy time selling units at excessive prices. As of the middle of last month, Vista had 95 units available (out of 153) or 38% of the units sold. Keep in mind, the Cosmopolitan was being marketed as the nicest condo building in town. Vista, from what everything I have heard, will be a notch below that of the Cosmopolitan in terms of finishes and the building as a whole.
Let’s start with the most popular corner, the SE corner, which was the first to sell out in the Cosmo. For comparison sake I will use units on the 14th floor. The Cosmo pricing for the SE corner on the 14th floor was $649 a square foot. The pricing for the Vista is 780. Now, a look at the NE corner 15th Floor (1517) in the Cosmopolitan was sold at $620 a square foot. The 15th floor unit at Vista (1506) is being offered at $750 a square foot. While the market eventually did catch up to the excessive prices at the Cosmopolitan, I don’t believe that the Vista prices should be selling at a premium like the Cosmopolitan. Units on the west side are pretty equally priced to that of the Cosmo.
Finally, let’s look at the penthouse units. At the Cosmopolitan, the range was from $950 a square foot to $1200 for the top floor 28th floor penthouses. For Vista, the range is $1052 to $1247. Let me repeat this one fact, the Cosmopolitan penthouses were being marketed as the best in the city in Portland’s most luxurious building! In addition, the top floor at the Vista it is only 21 stories. What is interesting here, if my memory serves me right, is that the units at the Cosmopolitan (floors 20 –28) were given a minimum premium of $88,000 per floor! At the time of this writing, I don’t believe that one of the six penthouse units at the Vista is pending. I cannot say that I am surprised. I would never pay anything close to what the penthouse units sold for at The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan is a superior, more elegant building (pitched as the nicest in the city) and there is no way prices at the Vista should compare! Again, this is just my opinion… or maybe not just my opinion. Ask any of the residents at the Cosmopolitan above the 21st floor and see what they say?
I am sure I will continue to get the cold shoulder from the developers’ sales manager…but am I wrong? I don’t believe so. Let me be clear. This is not personal but simply my professional opinion. As someone who understands condo pricing, I write about what I believe to be true and it might not always match the opinions of others, and that is OK!
There are things I like about the Vista. If you read my blog about the Cosmopolitan, one of the negatives noted was that many of the units had a very high ratio of hall space to usable space (many units were 12-14%) This is not the case with the Vista. Almost all the units are in the 4-8% range with the exception of the D4 Plan, the 08 stack) as it came in about 13%. In this case, you have a unit that is 1435 square feet and the unit has about 194 square feet of hallway space.
The Vista floor plans also provide MUCH more space to walk around the end of your bed in the master bedroom, a problem in many of the units at The Cosmopolitan. Another highlight of the Vista is its large deck spaces.
All in, I believe the Vista will be a nice building. As for the prices? The market will, in the end, determine the final prices. As of now, the lower units seem a little high and the penthouse units, I believe, are way too high.
If you are looking to buy at the Vista or would also like to look at other buildings, I am a condominium specialist and would be happy to show you available units. If you are thinking about selling in the near future, I encourage you to go to http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com/marketing and learn a little about our approach to selling your condo!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. He can be reached at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com.
See aerial Drone footage of the Vista location within the Pearl District at http://www.VistaPortland.com