Lessons from the Murano Condo Auction in Philadelphia

Has the Center City condo market been overbuilt, or overpriced? Read about how the Murano Condominium Auction here in Center City Philadelphia can teach us all a few valuable lessons on the Philadelphia Real Estate Market.

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Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) July 18, 2009

Like being next in line for a roller-coaster ride, it was clear that the excitement was building. The Standing Room Only audience was alive, fidgeting in their chairs, as the skilled auctioneers pumped up the emotional content of the second floor conference room at the Westin Hotel Liberty Place as the Murano Condominiums Auction was set to begin.

After a mere hour and a half, forty one new Center City condo owners would be crowned, and the city would reap nearly an instant half million dollars in transfer tax alone.

For nearly a full month, the front lobby of the Murano was flooded with lookie-loos, self-important investors, dreamers, know-it-alls, real estate junkies, and a very large handful of honest to goodness condo buyers. The amount of traffic alone was enough to put the Murano at the forefront of every potential Center City condo buyers mind. The press was better than expected, as were the overall results of the auction.

As mentioned on http://www.CenterCityCondos.com, The Murano stands alone in terms of new construction high-rise condo living here in downtown Philadelphia. The modern curb appeal, coupled with adequate parking, storage, and outside space per unit, not to mention that the stunning common areas and amenities are outstanding. The original pricing...uh, not so much. Built to house 302 units, after a few years on the market, the Murano Condominiums sales staff managed to sell 124 units. The total number of units today stands at 289, as a few buyers bought multiple units and combined a number of condos. After the auction, 137 units remain unsold.

The lesson to be learned is that there was no shortage of potential Philadelphia condo buyers on hand. Though plentiful, many potential buyers have been waiting on the sidelines of the condominium game, just waiting for a clear break in the action, and the auction clearly put the wind back into the sails of the Philly condo buyer.

Though many ready, willing, and able buyers did not pull the trigger that beautiful summer day at the Westin Philadelphia, it could easily be speculated that had the Murano put another 41 units up for auction, those too would have sold. At close to 20% less than previous sales at the Murano, buyers were getting on that roller-coaster and having the time of their lives.

It can be no secret that a number of buildings around town are mulling over ideas to combat sluggish sales. And it is been adequately demonstrated that particular resale units in other new developments around town sell quite quickly when priced below original sale prices- from short sales, distressed sellers, and corporate owned relocation properties. Today's mantra isn't Location, Location, Location, rather Value, Value, Value.

With Center City housing inventory hovering around the fifteen month mark per TrendMls, the silver bullet for the Center City condo market isn't more buyers, it is perhaps more realistic asking prices. From empty-nesters, to first time buyers,from move-up young families to transferees, Center City Philadelphia contains may buyers who are still waiting on the platform for their roller-coaster ride- and developers around town should take notice of the accumulating lines.

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