Thursday, January 10, 2008

"These boots are made for walking"

It's possible you may recall some comments made on a recent post about 1010 Mass. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but in that post I replied to one comment:

Does "over 75% sold" mean over 75% have closed? If so, it's curious that the Recorder of Deed's office has recorded no deeds.

If it simply means that 75% are under contract, well, "these boots are made for walking."

The last sentence was a tip of the blog to Nancy Sinatra's classic song, "These Boots are Made for Walking" [I must admit I remember when it was new]. In an oblique way, I used that line to refer to people who today are walking away from contracts they'd signed on pre-construction condos when the real estate boom was in full swing.

Although visions of effortless and riskless profits danced in their heads as they signed the contracts and put down their money, the reality of the post-boom market place and the real probability of losing their shirts/blouses once they closed on the condos has encouraged many "buyers" to simply walk away from their contracts and forfeit their deposits.

So why do I bring this up? Well, a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper contacted me to say he is interested in talking to folks who let their boots do the walking on a District condo. If you're willing to tell your tale, drop me an email with your story and contact info and I'll forward it to the reporter.


Anonymous said...


I am the anonymous poster in the last post that you referenced in this post. I did not see your response until now, as I am not a regular reader.

There are over 115 settled units at 1010 Mass. There are several units under contract that were sold within 30-45 days and will be going to settlement in the near future. The building is currently selling 1-2 units a week.

There are certainly several communities out there having difficulty, but 1010 Mass is not one of them. I enjoy reading the Post and blogs (such as this) for their insight, but as someone who is intimately involved in this industry, I often find that both sides are not being told. In this case, I'd like to set the record straight.

Regarding your comments on the District's recordation process, it is my experience that the recordation of New Homes typically lags settlement by 3-6 months.

Given the recent scandal at OTR, I'm sure that this does not come as a shock to you.

Keith said...

I'm very happy for 1010 Mass. I've surrendered on that one.

I do know that recordations are all over the map, so to speak. One friend's house appeared in the database two weeks after settlement. And then we have 1010 Mass' non-appearance.

Who can predict when it will happen for 1010 Mass? I'd rather know whether my short positions in the stock market are going to pay off. That's the prediction I want!

Anonymous said...

I also think it's important to note that there are communiies out there that are selling and settling homes.

Sure, there are plenty of people walking on contracts at projects that sold out in 2005 and are just now settling. Many of those people were investors that were looking for a flip. What I find amazing though is that no one in the media or blogosphere is mentioning the fact that many projects are now selling 6-8 homes a month.

Those are not bubble numbers, but they are sustainable and will keep many projects profitable and viable as condominiums.

Projects that are in good locations, have delivered a quality product, and have adjusted prices for this correction are for the most part doing reasonably well in terms of sales. Jenkins Row and The Phoenix in Arlington both come to mind.

Essentially, 1010 Mass is not a fluke. For every job that turned to a rental, there is one that did not and is selling.

Anyway, I don't mean to gripe. I think you are providing great and insightful commentary here. I just want to point out that there are some bright spots out there.