Local News

Downtown Raleigh Condo Sales Slide

Posted February 6, 2008 6:25 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2008 9:20 p.m. EST

— 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.