Our neighborhood is trying to change. Right across 440, that neighborhood is also trying to change but doing a better job. Kind of. There are all these high end condos going in, but as far as the folks in the neighborhood can tell, they aren’t exactly filling up.
And yet, more condos keep going in.
I have two ongoing questions:
1. Who are these people willing to pay between $300,000 and $600,000 for a condo in my part of town?
2. If there aren’t a whole bunch of people willing to pay that much money to live in my part of town, why do they keep building these condos?
I have no answers.
The first condos to go in were The Row on 31st. That’s been two years now and that place still isn’t full. I don’t know for sure how empty it is, but I drive by there pretty regularly and I’m going to say I’ve only ever seen lights on in two of the units for sure.
It’s a similar tale in all of the upscale places within walking distance. Shoot, if you’re selling a condo for less than $200,000, my impression is that it goes pretty quick. But that next tier seems to be more slowly moving.
And yet the building at that price point continues.
On my side of 440, we hadn’t really seen any extravagant new building. A builder had put in a house and two duplexes that look remarkably like nice houses but that fit with the tenor of the existing neighborhood right along the railroad tracks and are rental properties. It took a few months, but they filled up.
Then, across the street from that group of houses, a builder put up two huge buildings, also duplexes, but these “townhouses” were for sale–two buildings, two units in each building, $500,000 a piece. Nothing in this neighborhood (with maybe the exception of the big houses that face Murphy Road) is anywhere near that expensive.
And so, you have to wonder, who would pay $500,000 (even with the ‘no money down!’ offer they advertised) to live in a duplex tucked as far off the beaten path as these are?
I suspect nobody. One unit is furnished but I don’t see lights on there ever. One unit may actually have a tenet. And then today I figured out that the third unit, the one that’s certainly got someone living there, but folks who have nowhere near enough furniture to fill it, is not being lived in by someone new to the neighborhood.
No, one of the renters from the duplexes across the street is now living in the upscale condo. So, the duplex is back for rent and the condos appear to be three quarters full and lo and behold a new set of upscale condos is going in next door to meet the ‘demand.’
America, I’m going to bet you ten dollars that the folks in the condo did not go from renters to $500,000 condo owners. I bet you that the same folks who built the duplexes are building the condos and they’ve asked these tenets to move into this great place in order to make the building look full.
That would explain the lack of furniture and the somewhat crappy cars.
Which leaves me again to ask–if the demand for these condos at that price is so little, why do they keep building them?