Condo Sales: A Buyer's Market

By: Brock Bergey Email
By: Brock Bergey Email

Is it a housing boom or bust? There are conflicting reports, but if you drive around Madison, one thing is certain--you'll notice plenty of condos for sale. It all has to do with supply and demand. Realtors call it a buyer's market, and that means sellers are forced to play the waiting game.

"It's a development game. You hope you don't hit the tough market and we kinda did," says Peter Frautschi.

He's the developer of Weston Place in the Hilldale area of Madison. The building includes 121 condos.

"We're probably 25 to 30 percent occupied," says Frautschi.

That leaves a lot of open space, and that's a common scene around the capitol city.

"It's going to take longer now to sell anything, whether it's a house or a condo," says Chad Wuebben with the Madison Area Builders Association.

He says the condo-demand was high through 2005, but says it slowed down in 2006.

"For whatever reason reason they were holding back and it wasn't a legitimate reason. The economy's strong and interest rates are at historic lows," he says.

Nationwide condo sales are down considerably. According to the National Association of Realtors, they dropped more than 13-percent from November 2005 to November 2006.

"There is enough product out there right now to be absorbed for the next six months or so," says Wuebben. "You're never going to find a better deal or selection than you do right now," he adds.

Condos at Weston Place start in 200-thousand dollar range. Frautschi says those prices have remained steady since the development opened in 2005, and for now he says that's where they'll stay.

"I'm confident they'll get filled," Frautschi says.

Wuebben agrees. He says Madison continues to grow and new residents need a place to call home.

"I believe things are going to turn around and the demand is going to come back up again," says Wuebben.

Local realtors says more and more baby-boomers are going the condo route, because of the limited maintenance and added security.

For more information about Madison area real estate log on to todayshomeownership.com.


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