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With Housing Prices Down, Is It Time to Check Out the Options?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 09:29AM
Concerto Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The under-construction Concerto tower is a new stop for this weekend's housing tour.

The last year has been a tough one in which to be a real estate developer. The economic downturn and the collapse of the financial industry have sent housing prices tumbling, and new projects entering the market have softened the prices commanded by rentals.

But has the market reached a point where the developer's loss is a resident's gain?

Though certainly not a neutral observer, the Downtown Center BID thinks so. At a media event unveiling the group's 2008 demographic study, DCBID head Carol Schatz told reporters that developer discounts have created some impressive deals.

"It's sort of a good news, bad news kind of situation," she said. "The bad news is that the developer takes a very significant haircut in terms of what he pro-forma'ed and what they expected to get. That has reprocussions in terms of having money to invest at a later time, so it's not a good thing. But the good news is that ... with discounts, they are selling units and they are renting units."

Twice each month, DCBID puts on a housing tour that takes potential buyers and renters through various Downtown properties. Schatz said that recent months have seen demand for the tour pick up.

The next tour takes place this Saturday, and will pay visits to the South Park Lofts, Great Republic Lofts, National City Lofts, Biscuit Company Lofts, The Rowan, and the newly-opened sales center for Concerto. Those interested in finding a new place to live (or simply gawking at the places other people will soon live) can sign up on the DCBID website to attend.

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