Today’s flashback comes from… just over a year ago. July 2009:
At Olive 8 in downtown Seattle, county records indicate only 28 of 229 units have closed. But David Thyer, president of developer R.C. Hedreen, said his firm has no plans to cut prices.
“We’re not inclined to discount the product to generate sales,” he said. “We’re long-term players. We have the support of the hotel [a new Hyatt occupies Olive 8’s bottom 17 floors]. We’re going to wait this out.”
Apparently in this case, “long-term players” are only willing to “wait this out” for about a year, because guess what was announced this week?
The Olive 8 Sales Team is proud to announce that we will have 34 homes auctioned in September. The auctioned homes will be on our lower floors 18 through 26.
From the auction flier:
Starting bids from $160,000, previously priced from $395,000 to $1.23 million.
Of course, not surprisingly every unit up for auction has an “unpublished minimum reserve bid,” which is short for “sure, you can bid $160,000 for a unit that we have listed for $395,000, but we won’t actually sell it to you unless the bidding reaches at least $375,000 (or some number that is probably closer to $395k than $160k).”
I wonder how many of the units going up for auction had pre-sale buyers who walked away?
Even though this “auction” is possibly just a thinly veiled attempt to drum up interest in a project competing in an overly saturated downtown luxury condo market, the contrast between “we’re going to wait this out” and “we’re proud to announce a major auction” still strikes me as amusing.
Hat tip: Matt Goyer at Urbnlivn
P.S. – If you’re thinking of going to the auction, read Potential Pitfalls to Watch for at Real Estate Auctions.