Spring 2014 Midtown Glass Highrise Update

Well 2014 is moving right along.  Although it did in fact start slow, the market has seen a ramp-up over the past 30 days.   The poor weather, and interest rates that had started to creep up in January likely put a damper on Buyer’s spirits.     Rates have since come down, thanks to the Ukraine struggles, and people are back in the business of buying hard assets.   In this case Condos.  Working with a number of Midtown Buyers now I have a real good pulse on how the market is trending.      Looking in the system today.   There 100 units listed and pending for Viewpoint, 1010, Aqua, Luxe, Spire, Plaza Midtown and Metropolis.      There are 56 Active units for sale, and 45 units pending.   Thus, if you figure an average of 35-40 days from contract to close, that would mean there is only a 1.5 month supply of glass highrise inventory.   Wow, that is a new low!  Here is a bit-by-bit of what is out there currently:


Viewpoint:  15 Active Units, 10 Pending Units= Approximately a 1.7 month supply

The Viewpoint as one agent put it to me Monday “blew up six months ago”.   Prices have been on a steady climb making it one of the smarter ATL Condo Deals out there.   Currently the cheapest unit in the building is well priced 1 Bedroom Plus Den on the 27th floor with 2 parking places for $257,500.    Given that the unit has 2 parking spaces, and a great 27th floor view, this unit is a bargain.   The next least expensive unit is an 801 square foot (largest 1 bedroom floorplan in the building) is $259,000.  The 1 bedroom Den with about 30 more square feet, and a 2nd parking spot (worth roughly ($12-15k) is the way to play opening price point Viewpoint.

In the smaller 2 bedroom realm, one of my clients has put unit 2505 under contract today.   At $309,900 for 982 square feet and two parking spaces, it was one of the best priced ($300-310 a sq ft) units out there for a high floor with 2 parking spaces.      This was, hands -down the best unit in the mid tier 2 bedroom unit realm.  There are a number of other smaller 1 bedroom plus den type unit in the low 900 sq ft range, but most all are low (well $296k) to mid $300k for price.

In the larger 2 bedroom and corner unit arena- namely 1100-1320 square foot units- the price range of $347k to $400k incorporates an assortment of good sized units both corners, and larger interior units facing South.    Unit 1902 which was last listed at $414,900 is no pending, and once that closers (likely over $400k) it will represent a new high for the building, surpassing unit 3311 (SE facing corner) which I listed and sold last October.

Many of my flock have asked me about “what is going on with Viewpoint”.  At one point a few weeks ago there were 15 units listed for sale.   In the past two weeks about half of those units have gone under contract.      Seems that perhaps the mix of speculation of a new luxury rental Tower between 5th and 6th Street, coupled with new high prices by unit are giving people who perhaps were on the fence to finally list their unit.     The fact that many of these Viewpoint units are going under contract within a few weeks of their listings (assuming they are priced right) tells me the demand remains strong and prices likely have room to RUN.   This is even after HOA fees have no increased to 40 cents per square foot.     As an owner of a unit at Viewpoint and an agent with the most experience selling, leasing and managing units here I can offer you a unique perspective on this building, unit by unit, floor by floor.

1010 Midtown: 8 Active Units, 9 Pending Units= Approximately a 1 month supply!

The 1010 building saw a rapid advancement in listing and sales prices in early spring 2013, approximately 6 months before the latest move within the Viewpoint building.    Currently there are only two 1 bedrooms available in the building.  These are listed at $250,000  (13th floor) and $281,900 (9th floor).      These units are actually cheaper on a price per square foot basis then

In terms of 2 Bedroom product, there are currently four units available ranging in price from $524,500 to $574,900.   These are all spacious units ranging from 1358 to 1505 square feet.   Of course at these prices that is $370-400 a square foot.   1010 has always been on the high side, but the development of the retail within the 1 block radius has helped many of the units now cross the $400 threshold.

Finally, one of the last developer sales, a closeout, just reduced to $949,000.   At 2,416 square feet this 33rd floor unit represents a great value at under $400 a square foot for a large unit on a high floor.   This is one of the final opportunities to purchase a brand new unit in Midtown.     At under $400 a square foot, this is likely the best value in the building.

Luxe: 1 Active Unit, 2 Pending Units= Less then a 1 month supply!

Currently at Luxe there is only one prime corner 2 bedroom available on the 12th floor.  1732 square feet, this unit is priced at $534,900 and is noted that it seeks near or asking price.     At basically $300 a square foot, this unit with prime Midtown views will no doubt go fast.  For the  set that this building seemingly appeals to, given it proximity to 10th street and the park, it is no wonder that units here simply don’t wait around.   People are beating down the doors to get in.

Aqua: 1 Active Unit, 1 Pending Units= Approximately just over a 1 month supply!  

Currently at Aqua there is a 2 bedroom unit pending sale, and the only 3 bedroom unit is over 2800 square feet and is priced at $710,000.   That is less then $260 a square foot!    As I have noted in my blog, this building has falling behind on the appreciation given it proximity to the freeway and poor (by comparison) views.   The hope I have for Aqua will come from further development of this Western section of Midtown, and the plans Georgia Tech has for the area in the future.   That said, this is one of the best values in terms of 3/3 highrise units in the city.

Spire: 10 Active Units, 5 Pending Units= Approximately just over 2 months of supply

Spire, Viewpoint’s shorter step brother with equally impressive views, has 10 units currently available for sale.   Of the 5 units pending, all five are 1 bedroom units ranging in list price from $179,000 to $221,900.    Currently there are 1 Bedrooms here (including one of my listings) priced at $169,500 to $200,000.     There are currently four 2 bedrooms for sale ranging from $339,000 to $399,900.   The Penthouse corner unit facing SW has great Downtown and Georgia Tech views and was just reduced to $380,000.     it is my top pick in the building right now for 2 bedrooms.    Spire continues to have relatively inexpensive monthly HOA fees in the low 30 cent per square foot range.

Plaza Midtown: 11 Active Units, 7 Pending Units= Approximately a 1.7 month of supply

Plaza Midtown values started increasing at a more rapid clip shortly after Viewpoint’s did.   Currently the three 1 bedroom units available are listed at $199,900 to $214,900 and are 800 to about 860 square feet, thus the building represents an attractive price per square foot value.   the seven available 2 bedrooms are $269,900 (terrace 6th floor level no view) to $374,900.  HOAs here are around 36 cents a square foot.

Metropolis: 12 Active Units, 9 Pending Units= Approximately a 1.5  month supply

Metropolis has eleven 1 bedroom units currently for sale at $158,500 to $237,500.   There is only one 2 bedroom unit listed, and it is a roommate style floorplan that was just reduced to $309,900.   Most 1 bedrooms here are around $240-280 a square foot.  A good value given that this building is known to have very strong reserves, and has great proximity to the Park.   That said, units here have been much slower then ALL of the above buildings as the 20 story towers and many of their small floorplans seem more like commodity products constantly struggling versus the other zillion units in the building.   I like Metropolis on price, and as a conservative, easy opening price point play.  Nothing more, nothing less.

In closing:

The Midtown Condo market remains the fastest moving in Atlanta.     As I have mentioned for the past 5 years, there are NO new condos being built.  That said, as the economy slowly recovers the demand by consumers of all ages and income levels will only increase.   There are still NO new Condominium buildings being developed, thus in a Supply vs. demand dynamic prices will continue to rise.   Soon enough, as more buildings cross the $400 a foot threshold like 1010 Midtown has, Banks will see the demand to be apparent and will allow for loans to developers to create more towers of glass.     Until then, Banks will continue to grant loans for luxury rental highrises, and the developers will continue to build these large Towers.     Developers will enjoy ongoing rental increases of 4-5% annually and will depreciate these buildings – ie shield their incomes – until prices near $500 a square foot.      How many units will you own by then?

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