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Downtown Raleigh Condo Sales Slide

Posted February 6, 2008
Updated February 20, 2008

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— Activity in the downtown residential real estate market declined dramatically in recent months, but downtown boosters call it a seasonal slump and say it's not linked to the national housing slowdown.

Condominium sales dropped from 56 last summer to 20 in the last three months of the year, according to a quarterly analysis by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

"It's too early to say the slight decrease we saw in the fourth quarter had to do with national economic issues versus (the fact that) people don't really buy that many houses or condos during the wintertime," said David Diaz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Realtor Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen, who specializes in downtown condo sales, said winter has traditionally been slower than spring for sales.

"We really have seen a slow down, but not a stop," Andersen said. "Raleigh hasn't really slowed down. Other areas in the nation have. It has an impact on us, but it's not as dramatic as other people have seen."

Amenities like a new rooftop pool on the West at North condo high-rise should continue attracting buyers to the downtown market, she said. The 17-story project is expected to open in October.

Recent interest rate cuts also will encourage people to continue venturing into a shaky housing market, she said.

Diaz said he is confident warmer weather is all that's needed to heat up sales.

"When you look at the downtown living and the condominiums, nationally and locally, we're still seeing a strong appetite for that," he said.

22 Comments

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  • ncwebguy Feb 14, 2008

    I'll go tell everyone in the Paramount, the Cotton Mill, the Quorum Center, the Morgan at Dawson, the Hudson, etc. that they are stupid *and* homeless. I'll tell them it makes *more* sense to drive five times a week from the suburbs to their downtown job than a couple of times a week to the grocery store and to run other errands.

    And while I'm at it, I'll tell Capital City Grocery and Ace Hardware that they don't exist. Also, I'll tell the Raleigh Police Department that their numbers that say the Downtown District (2-5) is the lowest for crime is wrong -- the WRAL posters know more about crime than they do.

  • RaleighRob Feb 7, 2008

    Totally agree with sonoflar. Finally a comment here by someone who actually knows something about downtown!

    The sales there are still strong...more are being built and most of those are reserved. Yes the prices are high, which is why I personally would like to see some more moderately-priced apartments being built there too. But the point is, the demand for downtown living is still there...it's not going away any time soon, regardless of a temporary "blip" on the sales market.

    And those who worry about crime in downtown are just playing off old stereotypes. We get it...you're scared of urban living. Boo hoo. Go back to your boring, sprawling suburban cul-de-sac and park your couch potato in front of the TV and let those who know how to enjoy city life do it without having to listen to your whining. Get a life people.

  • sonoflar Feb 7, 2008

    This study is wildly invalid. The perceived slow down in sales in the 4th quarter is based upon a lack of product to sell. This is a function of the timing of new product deliveries, not market preferences. The way to do this analysis with validity is to base it upon resale activity by quarter, length of stay on the market, and relative appreciation.

    Additonally, the comment regarding seasonal interference is spurious. This can be evidenced by looking forward to 4th quarter 2008, where 426 units at 222 Glenwood, The West, and RBC Palza will be delivered. Of these units, 85% are under contract (not just reserved). Again, the activity is a function of the timing of product delivery, not market preferences.

    With regards to some of the comments made here about safety - Downtown Raleigh is the safest police district in the city. Look it up. The misperceptions about safety in downtown are a hangover of the anti-urbanist paradigm that dominated the 1960's - mid 1990's.

  • sunflowerbubbles Feb 7, 2008

    I agree with most of you, it has nothing to do with seasons, its the location for one, not safe...and the fact that you cant afford it, and have to travel to get to shopping areas...come one, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure this out why they arent selling.... duh... yeah, i want to live in a crime area....geeze...

  • miked6500 Feb 7, 2008

    Realtor Ann...what`s up with your name? It reads like a scuzzy lawyers firm.

  • IceCreamMan Feb 7, 2008

    Who else thinks this article was created for the developers and salespeople who are starting to panic over the slow-down in the market?

  • IceCreamMan Feb 7, 2008

    Developers have flooded downtown with condos and have overestimated demand. Those who buy early are gonna regret it if their plan is to sell in the near future.

  • Timbo Feb 7, 2008

    silvfx. I don't bash Cary or N. Raleigh. But I looked downtown at some condos and found them completely overpriced for what is available elsewhere. Then, consider that you have to drive to go to a decent grocery store anyway, then what does it buy you? Add to that the crime and it's probably the *least desirable* place to live at that price in the Raleigh area.

  • orange dude Feb 7, 2008

    Lots of folks who are accusomed to living in high rises in major cities like, New York and Chicago would probably love to live in town. It is a darn site cheaper than in those cities for sure. But as has been noted before, not much within walking distance except for resturants and taverns. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

  • silvfx Feb 7, 2008

    some people would say living out in the country is awful and plenty of people probably the same folks who bash cary and north raleigh are bashing downtown. Everyone has their own taste and style, downtown is maturing and will become more convienent in the future. How about some positive posts for once.

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