Type the word condo into a Google news search and you may be surprised at what you see. Instead of stories about underwater investors and bankrupt developers, a lot of papers are now writing about condo bidding wars (albeit on a smaller scale than the mid 2000’s) and, shockingly, even new condo construction. Here are three signs things are coming back:
Condos Heating Up in Miami
Reporting from the recent National Association of Real Estate Editors meeting in Denver, the Chicago Tribune’s Mary Umberger quantified the construction activity in South Florida. She cited a quote from market watcher Peter Zalewski, founder of CondoVultures.com, saying that there are “45 new (condo) towers proposed, with 7,600 new units” in South Florida.
As we’ve reported, many of the buyers of these units are coming from overseas, mainly Latin America and Europe, and they’re often putting more than 50 percent down, which protects the developer.
One developer who undoubtedly would like to attract some of that international interest is Miami-based Lionheart Capital. The firm wants to transform the Miami Heart Institute, shut down eight years ago, into 154 luxury condos, according The Miami Herald.
Vanishing Condo Stock in San Francisco
In San Francisco, 20.4 percent of new construction condominium inventory sold in the month of June, according to information from the Polaris Group, cited by San Francisco Business Times.
The Business Times went on to report that in “the first half of 2012, the city’s supply of available for-sale condominiums has shrunk from 881 homes in 15 developments to just 378 homes in 10 developments.”
Earlier this spring, two projects, one with 36 units and the other with 32 units, came to market. In two months, they were both sold out. The paper reported that two other projects are down to their last units and no large projects are coming online until Bosa Development's Madrone in Mission Bay hits later this summer. There are more than 3,000 rental units in the pipeline though. It makes you wonder if some of those apartments could end up as condos.
41-Story Condo Coming to Seattle
Bosa Development is also active in Seattle with plans to bring a 41-story building to the Denny Triangle area, according to The Seattle Times.
The project initially won approval in 2007, before the real estate crash. That year also happened to be the last time ground was broken on a condo tower in downtown Seattle. The first phase of this building should be complete by 2014.
"I think it's a good time to start because there will be some serious demand for condos," Bosa told The Seattle Times. "By the time we start selling in a year or a year-and-a-half, we're going to do very well."
The Seattle Times reported that condo developers in the city are selling off the last few hundred of the 2,500 units delivered in the city during the recession. Once those units clear, there could be demand for more condos in the Emerald City. But Bosa may also have to contend with a large number of apartment projects also in the pipeline.