THE CONDOMINIUM MARKET
Vacationland condos will bake empty in the sun a long time; Expect shorter, more moderate downturn for urban units
Back in 2005 during the heat of the condo boom, Richard Swerdlow decided to create an online marketing service for the condo investment community. He called it the Condo Exchange. But, the condominium craze began a rapid cooldown the very next year, and Swerdlow adroitly changed the focus of his web site, relaunching in mid-2007 as www.condos.com. It was a good move for Swerdlow, who a year later was calling his web site the “world’s largest condo marketplace.”
“When we launched, we had 6,000 listings, by spring 2008 we had 600,000 listings,” he says. It seems everyone wants to get rid of their condo investment these days, and the Internet appears to be a good way to find a buyer—wherever that person may be in the world.
“At one time no one really needed a web site like www.condos.com.,” Swerdlow tells me. “There was such a demand for condos, developers would find people camping outside their condo projects to buy preconstruction units. Why did they need to advertise?”
That was not so long ago (2005), but it seems light years away from where we are today. Depending on the market, condo prices are falling faster than the down elevator in a high-rise condo project on Florida’s Gold Coast.
“In a given market, prices have already ...