Seems like auction results are the equivalent of new project announcements back in 2007. Here are some observations worth considering:
- Most people (67%) in our recent poll felt that auctions are a great way to get a good deal on a condo these days. I think the attraction is that if you buy at auction, you get more assurance that the price you're paying is as close to the true market value as possible since the 2nd place bidder presumably was willing to pay at just under what you paid. Of course, that someone may be just as clueless as you fear you are but it's probably more reassuring for some than buying a property off of MLS that's been on the market for months and months with no one pulling the trigger.
- In terms of the best auction deals, they seemed to be earlier this year when many people were convinced prices were going to free fall so the remaining buyers with higher tolerance for risk participated in the Queen Anne HS and Lumen auctions got units for 30% off of the pre-auction prices and less than $350 a square foot. The most recent auctions from September for Brix and Gallery saw prices just under $450 a square foot.
- More auctions are probably on the horizon since they have proven to be an effective way for developers to move all their inventory while still getting most of what they wanted per unit. It will be interesting to see if this happens for Escala and whether the high dues continue to give buyers additional worries beyond the standard market concerns in general.