Auction Suspended at Lake Conway Condos After 2 Sales

Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty suspended auction sales of 28 luxury lakefront condominium units on Lake Conway Saturday after potential bidders overreacted to a week of bad economic news that included airline layoffs, record high gas price hikes, an increase in unemployment and a plunging stock market.

“We had very strong interest in the project prior to auction,” said Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty. Registered auction bidders included airlines employees who appreciated the proximity to Orlando International Airport, young executives who saw an opportunity to live in a spectacular lakefront setting at a discounted price, and baby boomers seeking a carefree lifestyle.

Conway Crest Auction “Based on the high level of interest before the auction and bidder registration, we anticipated auction bids would top out in the $420,000 to $460,000 price range,” Soderstrom said. However bidders seemed very reluctant and sales were suspended after the second unit went on the block.

Soderstrom said he was concerned news about airline industry woes would hamper bidding. “Every day last week, we saw stories about airlines difficulties,” Soderstrom said. “They were eliminating flights between cities, mothballing aircraft, laying off employees. It’s hard to make a buying decision when your industry is crashing around you, no matter how good the deal is,” he said. On Friday—the day before the auction—oil prices rose nearly $10 per barrel and talk of $150-per-barrel oil by July dominated the news, along with 5.5 percent unemployment and a 400 point plunge in the stock market. “The timing was extremely unfortunate, and we anticipated at the start of the auction that we might have to suspend sales,” Soderstrom said.

This mirrors to some extent the story that unfolded at Tradewinds in MetroWest a month or so ago, with unrealistic buyers expecting such unrealistically low prices that bidding was again suspended. The good news for buyers is that Conway Crest will now be offered for sale at closeout prices starting from $239,900 for poolside units and $295,900 for direct lake front – apparently below the cost to construct – with a 10 percent buyers premium. The offer will be good for the next 30 days, with twenty-four condominium units available – most with a front on Lake Conway.

An attractive financing package is also available – and with mortgages being half the battle right now, that’s good news.

See this link for updated (2012) info on Conway Crest.

5 Comments

  1. You know, at some point people might have to realize that it is not the prospective buyers that have the unrealistic expectations…

  2. You’re right Rob. Part of the problem is that these ‘auctions’ are more like marketing events – they’re not liquidations scenarios or ‘firesales’ – which is what people are thinking they are – and so they come with false expectations and are disappointed. The danger is that once buyers stop coming altogether then developers will have no place else to go.

  3. It’s all a matter of economics. There will always be someone willing to purchase any house/townhouse/condo despite it’s age, condition, location, or amenities…it all comes down to finding the market price. Once the median house price falls back to a reasonable 2.5 times the Orlando median income, homes will start selling again.

    In the case of Conway Crest, the developers need to realize this. It’s Conway, not Beverly Hills, CA. It’s an okay, but not ultra upscale, area bordered on the east and west with some pretty rough, old, run-down, high crime areas. While Conway is centrally located, it’s also really close to the airport (and the flight paths right overhead). There is no way those units at Conway Crest cost the developer $239K to build unless they grossly overpaid for the land. I think a more reasonable price (and I’m not talking fire sale nor distress sale) would be about $80/sq ft for the condos and $100/sq ft for the townhouse units.

  4. I would not want to live in any condo that cost what craig believes they should be built for on the water. The land and construction of this condo are real. the price paid for construction was increasing during the prime building period. Do build the condos for the prices that Craig states would not be safe or to the standards they are now.

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