Sans Four Seasons, downtown condos hot

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Highlights:

  • Jesse Hamilton of Land Title Guarantee Co. releases 3rd quarter downtown condo report.
  • Excluding the Four Seasons, the market is strong.
  • Demand is there for a new condo tower.
The Four Seasons is sold out.

The Four Seasons is sold out.

Forget the Four Seasons.

Not literally, as the Denver Four Seasons Residences remains the most expensive and most luxurious condo tower ever built in downtown Denver.

The sold-our Four Seasons, however, was almost a force of nature that had a disproportionate impact on the number of units sold and dollar volume on downtown’s condo market last year.

“If you don’t include the Four Seasons, we crushed it,” said Jesse Hamilton, an account manager with Land Title Guarantee Co., who late Tuesday released a comprehensive report on the state of the downtown condo market in the third quarter.

In total, there were 132 condo sales in the third quarter, a 9.6 percent drop from the 145 in the third quarter of 2012.

The dollar volume dropped even more.

Buyers paid $62.9 million for condos in the third quarter, a 27 percent drop from the $86.4 million in the third quarter of 2012.

But to put that into perspective, in the third quarter of 2012, buyers paid $34.5 million for 23 condos in the Four Seasons, while last quarter there was only one sale for $1.5 million at the Four Seasons.

“Overall, we really outperformed where we were last year, if you exclude Four Seasons.”

 

That lone unit in the Four Seasons o sell in the third quarter, however, fetched $640 per square foot, while the average price per square foot was $468 in the third quarter last year.

While it might not be fair to look at one sale and draw conclusions, Hamilton’s research shows that a number of downtown buildings are seeing big jumps on a price per square foot.

For example, at the Monarch Mills Condos, the price per square foot rose 46 percent to $386 from $264.

Brooks Tower and Barclay Towers saw 18 percent and 15 percent increases, respectively.

At the Ice House, condo prices rose 19 percent on a price per square foot.

“Actually, there has been quite a bit of success in downtown, in some of the older buildings,” as well as some of the newer buildings, where sales stalled during the Great Recession, Hamilton said.“Realtors tell me that there is still a lot of demand for downtown living and a lot of their units in older buildings don’t linger on the market long,” Hamilton said.

The Spire also is nearing sold-out status.

This 4,495-square-foot  condo in the Residence XXV in the Ritz Carlton is on the market for $1.85 million.

This 4,495-square-foot condo in the Residence XXV in the Ritz Carlton is on the market for $1.85 million.

In the third quarter, the Spire sold 32 units, the most of any single building.

The Spire also had the highest dollar volume at $14.9 million.

Last year, the Inca 29 Brownstones also sold out, Hamilton noted. And units at Residences XXV are flying off the shelf.

The most expensive unit to sell in the third quarter was a 2,915-square-foot condo in the Flour Mills Lofts that fetched $1.99 million.

The big question facing the market is where is the new supply of condos going to come from?

Two condo towers on the drawing board before the Great Recession are off the table.

One will be a 34-story luxury apartment high-rise at 15th and Little Raven streets, while the other, a planned 51-story condo tower at 1401 Lawrence St., will be a new office building.

Developers are reluctant to move pull the trigger on a new condo building because of construction defect fears.

“Clearly, the demand is there to justify new construction of a condo project,” Hamilton said.

And while the new luxury apartment buildings are serving the important niche of providing housing for young professionals, it is critical that more condos come on the market to meet the needs of an older demographic, he said.

“It’s been what? Three or four years since the Four Seasons opened. Are we going to 10 years before we see a new condo development downtown?”

Jesse Hamilton can be reached at 303-819-1651 or jhamilton@ltgc.com.

Interested in buying a condo in downtown Denver? Please visit COhomefinder.com.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

 

 

 

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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