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from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Good News for Buyers - for the rest of us? not so much...

Downtown 2008 4th quarter condo sales cratered. As the kids might say, Duh!

Lets try to quantify that. According to Crain's, quarterly sales were actually negative 253 for the quarter. Put another way, more buyers walked away from contract than signed new ones. For the entire year, only 644 new construction condos sold. Compare that to 2007 when 3,724 units sold or 2005 (the market peak) when 8,162 units closed.

So where is the good news for buyers? Another 4,734 condos are expected to be completed this year downtown. This is on top of thousands of other condos that are completed but haven’t yet sold.

Developers are going to be stressed to the max, trying to sell off unsold units. Their lender's are going to start pressuring for loan repayments. The likelihood of developer defaults and foreclosures seems pretty strong.

Then consider the folks who did not walk away from their downtown condo contracts. A great many were "investors" who wanted to buy and flip. Those speculators are out there too, also hoping to unload their properties. As soon as possible.

Prices are going to drop. Downtown Buyers are going to see (I predict) some truly wonderful opportunities.

What do you think?