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Still amazed at the downtown condo market

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Maureen Wilkey

Writer on real estate from any angle

Crain's reported yesterday that condos sales were up in the fourth quarter in the downtown market, but I'm still shocked at how many units are left. Realtors moved 148 units in the 4th quarter, up from a measly 56 units in the third. But there's still 3,000 unsold units on the market.

How can we have missed the mark by that much? It's a good thing we're not building anything new because at this pace it's going to take almost ten years to sell off what we have left in the downtown alone. And with unemployment still high, it's going to be a while before we can get buyers on board with the mostly luxury units that were built in the mid to late 2000's.

Developers need to use this cycle as a lesson- build conservatively. We got overexcited by the number of people who thought that real estate was always the best investment, and now some of those same people are hesitant to buy because they're afraid they won't gain value on their home. Buyers and sellers are going to need to start coming to terms so we can get the market moving again and regain the confidence that these homes will gain value again.

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2 Comments

Lucid Realty said:

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Things have actually improved quite a bit. If you look at Loop inventories of 2 - 3 bedroom condos you will see that they're down to a one year's supply and market times are down as well: http://lucidrealty.com/loop_market.htm

However, admittedly these numbers don't include the units that developers don't have on the MLS but I can't believe that's a huge impact. I wonder if the 3000 number is for the entire city, not just downtown.

Joe Zekas said:

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The 3,000 units of unsold inventory includes units that are "completed and under construction" - some scheduled for completion later this year and some in 2011.

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