Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Condo Glut

by Calculated Risk on 9/27/2009 12:46:00 PM

In Delaware from The News Journal: Justison Landing developer to auction condos

In a risky strategy to move condominiums, the developers of the much-ballyhooed Justison Landing complex on Wilmington's Riverfront plan to auction off a third of the units in the waterfront community next month.
...
Robert Buccini, a partner in Buccini/Pollin Group Inc. in Wilmington, said the auction of 38 condominiums and two town houses in a 120-condo building on the Christina River is designed to stimulate sales ... So far, about 25 condos have been sold in the building -- about two sales a month since the building was completed a year ago.

"We're basically selling at discount so we can move on to our next project," Buccini said.
From the Jacksonville Business Journal: Summer House condos to be auctioned
Twenty-three condominiums in the Summer House in Old Ponte Vedra will go up for auction.
From KUOW News in Seattle: Condo Glut
This weekend, 40 units are up for auction and the minimum bids are typically less than half the listed price. ... there is a veritable glut of brand new condominiums on the market. A few years ago, it seemed, every parking lot in downtown Seattle was being turned into condos. Many of those projects are coming on line now, during the worst real estate market in decades.

At Brix, which completed construction late last year, two thirds of the building's units are still unsold.
And a twist in New Jersey, from the NY Times: In Jersey City, Jump-Starting Condo Sales
At the Saffron, a nearly complete 76-unit condominium complex in the thick of this city’s downtown, the Fields Development Group is trying something new ... The first units — a minimum of 9, a maximum of 15 — will be auctioned off before the grand opening and the start of conventional marketing.
...
Ending sales with an auction — after fair-market values for a building have already been well established — is a tried-and true-technique, of course. But the auctioneers for the Saffron, at Sheldon Good & Company, say they have never conducted a “jump-start” auction before.
"Stimulate"? "Jump-start"? Why not just call it "dump" or "liquidate"?

But this is a reminder that new high rise condos are not included in the new home inventory report from the Census Bureau, and are also not included in the existing home sales report from the NAR (unless they are listed). These uncounted units are concentrated in Miami, Las Vegas, San Diego and other large cities - but as these articles show, there are new condos almost everywhere.