Saturday, August 19, 2006

Downtown Condos: From Sizzling to Fizzling

Is the Sacramento downtown condo-mania ending? From the Sacramento Bee:

The lobby has been remodeled, the building's exterior painted and model condo units readied for show. But sales have been slower than expected at 500 N -- the former Bridgeway Towers housing complex that's been converted from mostly apartments to for-sale condos. Just 20 of the 123 available units have been sold since March when a sales office opened.

"I don't think anybody anticipated we'd be where we are now," says agent Leslie McBride, whose company took over sales of units in May. With condo-mania sweeping the city, the expectation was that people would snap up units that are available well before -- and priced considerably below -- those planned at glitzy high-rises just a few blocks away on Capitol Mall.

But the rush hasn't materialized for the "N" condos, which are finely appointed and priced from $346,000 to $700,000 for the one- to three-bedroom units. McBride expects sales will pick up, since downtown is becoming a more popular residential destination. It's just taking awhile to sign up the pioneers.

"It's a big lifestyle change," she says, for buyers switching from suburbia to the central business district. People need to adjust to the noises of construction and car traffic. For suburbanites, that can be off-putting. For experienced city dwellers, McBride says, it's "one of the attractions."


John in Rocklin said...

Here is an interesting statistic for you: Last Sept, 2005, I ran an MLS seach for Placer County using this criteria: 4 bd, 3 ba, 3 car, 1 story, 2000+ sf and had ZERO matches. I just ran it again: 5 matches, 3 under $200/sf. This market is shifting downward. If you are asking over $200/sf, it will probably not sell.

John in Rocklin said...

I left out the most important part, above. The search limit was for homes under $450,000.

Gwynster said...

The price of condos in Davis is still dropping. As someone mentioned the Wild Horse development is coming online in about a month which I expect to further reduce prices.

The cost of 3br SFRs is going down steadily as well. Nothing is selling for it's asking price, not even the steeply reduced properties - they just sell faster.

What I do find interesting is the vitriol from owners on the Sac Bee comments page (check any article on housing).