Saturday, October 13, 2007

Portland Condo Market continues to sour quietly...

While there have been one or two articles on the market of condos in Portland, nobody in the press is discussing the death of the Pearl. On a run yesterday by the waterfront I went by a building where the normal 10+ units for sale with all the signs posted FINALLY had some lower prices after a year of holding onto irrational valuations. There are holes in the ground with no construction workers. Its quiet, like remnants of a bombing in a city the world has forgotten. The beautiful Wyatt has moved from condo to apartment, the civic up the street on burnside isn't selling.

The sooner these folks wake up and get the prices back down to reality the sooner we can get on with it. They are holding on and telling how 'things are just going back to normal', but that isn't how markets work and there is no normal, only a bouncing back and forth around a theoretcially 'normal' line of 6 month inventory.

While not really suprised by the lack of coverage, I am disappointed. Not that I ever had any faith in mainstream journalism, but the lack of any quantitative profiling of the cave in is interesting. Makes me think about some of the conflicts around the world going. Seems if the press isn't there, it isn't happening.

One reasonable article from last week is here. They say Portland is immune from the downturn that's infected other big cities. Job growth remains strong, and people continue to move to the area, providing demand for urban living. "It's steady as she goes here," Scanlan said. "There's no reason to panic."

1 comment:

Perplexed said...

While no reason to panic there are plenty of reasons to be careful. Developers and their bankers must be pushing the numbers and holding their breath because if one starts "discounting" others must follow. Re-sellers must be trying to hold their price least the are forced to sell short.

The issue for all is how to fill up those buildings while maintaining fiscal stability. Won't be easy.

I think prices are too high, but I admit that it costs a lot to build those developments. There are lots of reason for this, some was the world-wide increase in basic materials such as concrete. Others may be that the City tried to move too many neighborhoods too fast.. all at the same time.. availability got ahead of demand. Banks had cheap money to lend, what to worry. Then there are the ever-increasing demands of the planning/building department for fees and their anal retentive demands about essentially unimportant things (grrrr..). Construction costs skyrocketed.