Condo market bottoming out?

Published April 24, 2009 Spring Real Estate edition of Palo Alto Weekly

John King, a broker associate with Alhouse King Residential in Palo Alto, wants to be honest about local condo markets.

“We all want it to be a rosy picture, but the reality is that right now our communities are experiencing the difficulties the rest of the nation has been facing,” he said.

That doesn’t mean that Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Los Altos aren’t terrific areas where people will always want to live, he added, describing the local real estate market as “last to fall, but first to rise.”

While projections for this year’s closing sales paint a dismal picture, realistically priced units are likely to push the market back on track, he said.

Unsold condo listings are at the highest level since September 2002 when the market bottomed out from the dot-com bust. In 2006, there were about 830 townhomes and condos sold in the cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos and Mountain View. By 2008, that number had dropped to about 520.

Based on the 50 units sold in the first quarter of this fiscal year, King estimates condo sales for 2009 at around 300, or about one-third fewer sales than last year.

The reality is that the condo market in these seemingly untouchable communities is along for this economy’s bumpy ride. But the good news is the bottom is beginning to show. Appropriately priced properties are beginning to sell at around their 2004 price levels.

Read the story in its entirety at Mountain View Voice

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