125 Condos SOLD at Auction – $66/SQUARE FOOT

Arriving shortly after 11 am, I was later than most as the seats were filling up and the line was growing longer at the registration table.  Bidders were checking in and the day was perfect for an auction, Island Reserve Condos were ripe for the picking and the deals were sure to be sweet.

Having been to plenty of auctions, I was skeptical of this one as I had witnessed first hand the developer shutting the doors when the crowd wasn’t bidding what he thought they were worth.  Everyone I was talking to said the sweet spot for them would have to be around $50 to $75 per square foot, or they wouldn’t be interested in purchasing.  Out of the responses we had from our feature on The Beach Show, we had a half dozen or so that were considering registering, but decided against it.  They didn’t think the developer or bank would let them go that cheap.  Well, they were wrong.  They sold 125 condos, most falling in the $66 to $75 per square foot range.

*Note: the bold italicized excerpts are from the live updates I was doing onsite Saturday.   I figured it best to start with those, then add commentary.

1138: a little more than half the seats are filled right now with right around 200 registered bidders

If you walk back in time with me, Seahaven garnered 54 registered bidders, Ocean Reef brought 126 and Palazzo brought 126 registered bidders also.  200 registered bidders is a phenomenal sign that buyers are coming back in the market, but they are coming for blood.  If the deal isn’t super-sweet, then they move on.  The crowd was anticipating rock-bottom prices, they showed up, and that’s what they got.  Estimations pinned over 600 in attendance.  The chairs were filling up quick.

1223: 3 bedroom started at 150k sold for 214k

One of the most important things I believe the auction company did to keep the audience’s attention was keep the starting prices low.  By starting with realistic numbers, they kept the audience from becoming disinterested and leaving.  This also kept the crowd hyped that they may be into something cheap, real cheap.  All of the three bedroom condos were 1,761 square feet and they started the bidding process at a very modest $150,000.  They quickly had bites and worked their way up from there.  The first bidders were fighting for choice.  If they won, they could have their pick of any of the 3 bedroom condos, in the whole development.  With 52 to pick from, this brought a higher price than the later 3 bedroom condo bidding.  The first set of bidding finished off at $214,000.  After the buyer’s premium of 10%, the buyer paid $235,000 or $133.75.  I was actually surprised to see these kind of numbers being pulled.  When asked if anyone else wanted in at that price, there were no takers, back to the bidding!

1231: lady right behind me just bought 3 bedroom 3-108 for 200k. 1761 square feet. 124/ foot after buyers premium. Next bidding starting at 160k for 3 bedroom.

The next set of bidding started lower and obviously brought a lower price.  This continued to be the theme, as the afternoon temperatures went up, the prices began to progressively decrease.  I suppose the winning bidders of these earlier auctions can justify their purchase by getting first choice, but I think I would have waited a bit to see how it would pan out.

1236: just sold unit 6-111, 3 bedroom for 172k – before premium.

Just 13 minutes after the 3 bedrooms were selling for $133 per square foot, the audience was only willing to pay $107 per square foot after buyer’s premium.  That’s $2 off per minute.  Of course, it should be noted at this point that after prices were determined here, the auctioneers would ask if anyone else wanted to buy at this price, and they would sell them until the demand went away.  The lower the price fell, the more the demand grew after each set of bidding.  I don’t have a full list of what sold Saturday yet.

1239: just sold 3 bedroom for 160k unit # 6-314. All three bedroom condos are 1761 square feet. 99/foot after premium. Starting to sell 2 bedroom condos

3 minutes later the prices dropped another $8 per foot.  At this point they had sold several three bedroom condos, quite possibly the majority, but I lost track very early on, so I decided to stick to the live updates.

1245: first 2 bedroom sold for 125k. All 2 bedrooms are 1325 sf. This sold for 103/foot after buyers premium. Unit # 6-103.  Also 5-101 sold for 117k.

When the two bedroom condos started being auctioned off, the response from the crowd grew immediately.  There was clearly a greater demand for this size option.  The sold price per square foot seemed to pick up where the 3 bedrooms left off, coming in at $103/foot.  These are beautiful 1,325 square feet 2 bedroom 2 bath condos selling for $137,499 after the buyers premium.  At this point, we were 45 minutes into the auction and the prices had come down $30 a foot, I was anxious to see how the day would pan out.

1251: 2 bedroom unit number 7-301 sold for 100k before buyers premium, that’s $83/foot after premium.

The price just kept falling.  A guy next to me asked if I thought he should get in on the action.  I kindly advised him to wait, the prices had been continually falling.  He was glad he waited.

0109: hit a sweet spot on price, a frenzy has begun. People are practically arguing over what they are getting. One guy said he’d take what was left at this price.

Roughly an hour after the auction began, the auctioneers found the tipping point.  As soon as the auctioneer yelled “SOLD,” the crowd began to form at the front of the tent.  I was sitting in the front row, and was practically crowded out.  I quickly moved to the side as Cebo scrambled to capture the action with his camera.  There was arguing, lots of it, and enough tension to make my brow break into a sweat.  I was having trouble typing on my blackberry, I was getting nervous, and I wasn’t even registered to bid – but I should have been, Island Reserve is awesome, but at this price, it was phenomenal.

So, I know you are dying to know – what was the sweet spot?  $77,000 for a 1,325 two bedroom condo in Island Reserve, before buyers premium.  That comes up to $64 per square foot after the buyers premium.  Hoards of people rushed to the front, and on more than one occasion I heard someone say they would buy the rest of what was left at that price.  At this price, there’s almost no way you couldn’t cash flow it, regardless how you rented it out.  If you had the money, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be all over this.

0124: so much of a frenzy, they started the bidding again for the 2 bedrooms. Now selling the last 5 available absolute for 87k before buyers premium

They shut the selling down and took the rest back to the auction block.  They were able to squeeze just a little more out of the price. They were sold out of the absolute allotment of the 2 bedroom condos within minutes with the rest selling at $95,700 after premium or $72 per square foot – again, all the two bedroom condos are 1,325 square feet.

0138: 1 bedroom unit #3-105 sold for 73k before buyers premium that’s 74/foot after buyers premium. Next bid is at 66k right now and . . . Sold for 70k. Guy’s buying 8. The one bedrooms being sold are 1071 square feet

They moved on to the one bedroom condos, and the prices stayed about the same, maintaining the mid-$70’s per square foot.  There were a total of 15 available absolute, all of which were 1,071 square feet.  Again, I don’t have the full list yet, but I believe all of these were sold, and quickly.  For the rest of the auction, there was a consistent number of bidders standing at the front to be sure they didn’t miss out on the action.

I think the deal of the day was the one four bedroom 3,019 square foot townhome with a two car garage that sold for $200,000.  That’s a townhome twice the size as my home with tons of great amenities at the new owner’s finger tips.

All-in-all, I think most of the buyers made out very good.  This was a property that needed to sell at rock-bottom in order for it to happen, and the bank and developer let it go for what the market would bring.  I’m sure it hurt, but they made the right choice.  This is not a time to be picky, if you have a buyer, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep them, or someone else will do what they can to take them from you.

I was talking to one of the auction organizers in the beginning, asking if the bank needed to approve anything for it to close.  I was told that Roebuck, the developer and the bank have been all working together from the beginning and everyone was aware that the prices were going to be low.  I was told that no one would have a problem closing and each buyer was guaranteed a clean and clear title.

This was the first big auction I can remember Roebuck doing in this area since the Faircloth auction, and I think they did a stellar job.  Great show.

Live Auction Updates – CLICK HERE

Ok, so here’s how I think the technology is going to work for the live updates.  I’m going to try and post updates to THIS POST that you are reading, newer updates will be at the top (below where it says “here are the updates”).  I’ll precede each new update with the time to hopefully prevent confusion.  If for some reason, this doesn’t work, then I’ll be emailing in updates that will create a new post each time.

It will look a little chaotic, but at least you’ll have the updates, and I’ll clean it up later.  I’m getting ready to head over there right now.  (1049)

Here are the updates

0152: sold all 1 bedroom condo. Sold 3 bedroom townhome for 205k. That’s 87/foot after buyers premium. Sf is 2576.

Then sold another 3 bedroom townhome for 200k before premium. That guy took 5 at that price

Then they put one 4 bedroom townhome up and it sold for 200k. At 3019 sf, that’s 72 a foot after buyers premium

Auction is over. They sold 125 condos total.

0138: 1 bedroom unit #3-105 sold for 73k before buyers premium that’s 74/foot after buyers premium. Next bid is at 66k right now and . . . Sold for 70k. Guy’s buying 8. The one bedrooms being sold are 1071/foot

0135: sold all the absolute 2 bedrooms. Starting 1 bedrooms. Starting at 70k

0124: so much of a frenzy, they started the bidding again for the 2 bedrooms. Now selling the last 5 available absolute for 87k before buyers premium

0116: again there are live pictures at http://www.twitter.com/pcbdaily

Hoards of people were jumping at 77k for 2 bedrooms. They are taking a break. Said they have a lot more condos to sell

0109: hit a sweet spot, a frenzy has begun. People are practically arguing over what they are getting. One guy said he’d take what was left at this price. The magic number for the 2 bedrooms? 77k. That’s 64 bux a foot after buyers premium. Wow

0101: unit number 5-207 2 bedroom sold for 77k before buyers premium.

1255: 2 bedroom 6-207 sold for 95k before buyers premium. That’s 79/foot after buyers premium.

1251: 2 bedroom unit number 7-301 sold for 100k before buyers premium.

1245: first 2 bedroom sold for 125k. All e bedrooms are 1325 sf. This sold for 103/foot after buyers premium. Unit # 6-103.

Also 5-101 sold for 117k.

1239: just sold 3 bedroom for 160k unit # 6-314. All three bedroom condos are 1761 square feet. 99/foot. Starting to sell 2 bedroom condos

1236: just sold unit 6-111, 3 bedroom for 172k.

1231: lady right behind me just bought 3 bedroom 3-108 for 200k. 1761 square feet. 124/ foot after buyers premium. Next bidding starting at 160k for 3 bedroom.

1228: at 1761 sf, that’s $133/foot after buyers premium

1223: 3 bedroom started at 150k sold for 214k

1220: charity auction over will start selling condos in a sec

1211: “its auction time, 1200 noon central roebuck time” said john roebuck. “Don’t wait, buy now”. We just prayed, that’s very cool that they did that.

They are reading the terms now. Should take a few.

1207: auction hadn’t started yet, but they are asking the staff to take their positions. Again, keep an eye on http://www.twitter.com/pcbdaily for live pictures

1153: just talked to a reader of pcbdaily, and he was telling me his sweet spot was close to $50/foot. Wow

1147: seats are filling up, people still arriving, parents are here with kids to enjoy the show

1138: a little more than half the seats are filled right now with right around 200 registered bidders. That’s a pretty darn good turnout. To see a picture, go to http://www.twitter.com/pcbdaily


1052: testing two

1053: testing 3

1129: wow, parking lot is full, I had to park on the third level of the parking deck

Live Auction Updates Tomorrow – Real Time Right Here

Tomorrow’s the day, the Island Reserve Auction.  Everyone’s been buzzing about it and wondering how much money something like this offering will bring, off the beach.  I’ve heard some speculatory projections, that didn’t sound all that great, and I’ve had others that are a little more optimistic on price.  Either way, it will be interesting to watch, and, as always, we’ll be covering it all live right here on pcbdaily.com and twitter.

Just like the last auction I’ll be posting live updates right here on pcbdaily on the main page.  Hopefully technology will lean in my favor and allow me to connect to the web with my phone and laptop, but if not, I’ll be posting using my trusty, albeit annoying Blackberry.

If I can connect using my laptop, then I’ll be providing live updates on a single post, if I have to do the updates from the Blackberry, then each update will show up as a new post, which I’ll then compile into a single post when I get back to my studio.

Events like tomorrow are what I live for, I have such a great time covering stuff like this.  I hope to see you out there, if you see me, be sure to say hi!

100 Condos up for Auction at Island Reserve – Absolute!

Tucked away right off Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach lies a hidden treasure of a resort with a plethora of amenities completed and waiting for you to enjoy.  The Island Reserve Resort is a well kept secret, maybe that’s why only 42 were sold and 257 are up for auction, 100 of which will be sold absolute.

On May 16, 2009, 100 condos will be sold absolute by Roebuck Auction Group.  Now before you guys bash us for publishing an advertorial, here me out. If the price is right, this could be a sweet deal for you.  And the fact that they are selling 100 condos absolute, everything is completed (including the amenities) and only 42 are off the developer’s books means the price will probably be right.  So, what is that price, you say?  We shall see, my friend, in the near future.

On with the resort.

My tour began in the 4,200 square foot half court basketball gymnasium with 35 foot tall vaulted ceilings overlooking the 1 acre lagoon pool.  Attached to the gymnasium is a fitness center, private theater room and club game room filled with a pool table, card table, bar and a sink.

When I walked out to the pool, I envisioned families playing and kids running about the spacious pool deck.  The pool area is very open.  The 1 acre lagoon pool features lanes on one end for laps and a beach entry on the other for the kids to play in the shallow water.  In addition to a waterfall feature, there is also a fenced area (using the nice black fencing, of course) with water spouts for the kids to play in.  This is very cool, as this way parents don’t have to worry about their little kids wandering into the pool when they play in this area.

The whole resort was designed like  small community with plenty of areas to spend time outside.  The landscaping was a little rough, but crews are working to revamp everything by auction day.

Up for auction are condos randing from 1 to 3 bedroom and townhomes either 3 or 4 bedrooms.

I went in a 2 bedroom condo and 3 bedroom townhome and both were well laid out and spacious.  The town homes come with 2 car garages, wine coolers and icemakers along with 3 floors to spread out in.

The draw back to purchasing thid kind of property a couple years ago was that you had to wait for the amenities to be finished.  Island Reserve is complete now.  The amenities are in place and begging to be used.  The condos and townhomes are done and move in ready.

Sure, this resort is not beachfront, but it is a resort with all the fit and finish and with the absolute auction, the prices should be good.  If you are in the market for something, I’d stop by and take a look.

In 2006, a 1 bedroom condo sold for $426,000, a 2 bedroom sold for $516,000 and a three bedroom sold for $616,000.

Here are the square feet of each size condo (heated and cooled):

  • Condos
    • 1 bedroom w/ study, 1 bath: 1069 sf — — — > 32 total units, 15 absolute
    • 1 bedroom, 2 level, 1.5 baths, 2 levels: 1520 sf — — — > 24 total units, 12 absolute
    • 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath: 1,325 sf — — — > 125 total units, 40 absolute
    • 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath: 1,761 sf — — — > 52 total units, 25 absolute
  • Townhomes
    • 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2 car garage, 3 levels: 2,874 sf — — — >6 total units, 6 absolute
    • 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 2 car garage, 3 levels: 3,019 sf — — — >2 total units, 2 absolute

Click here to view floorplans.

Condo Auction in Mexico Beach

tranquilharborTen condominiums in the prestigious and new Tranquil Harbour community on Florida’s beautiful Mexico Beach will be sold by absolute auction (regardless of price) on Saturday, May 2nd. The beautifully-designed units will be auctioned by The National Auction Group, Inc. of Gadsden, Alabama, an elite team of highly-trained specialists in the marketing of one-of-a-kind, high-end properties. The company has established a significant track record in recent months, selling more than $87 million worth of condos on the Gulf Coast from Panama City to Gulf Shores since last May. Also to be sold separately on auction day are a dozen lots on beautiful Cape San Blas.

Situated directly across from the Mexico Beach Pier, Tranquil Harbour consists of two three-story towers with all units enjoying mesmerizing water views. Options include two, three and four bedroom units. Each of the 10 condos is beautifully-designed and richly-appointed with the first class amenities one would expect at such a superb resort community. Featuring unique designs that are both attractive and functional, all units come with an assigned boat slip with quick access to the Gulf, as well as covered parking and expansive storage areas.

Tile floors and granite countertops add special touches of quality while the over-sized, open rooms with crown moldings and nine-foot ceilings offer plenty of windows to take full advantage of the wonderful vistas. In the kitchen are top-of-the-line GE Profile or equivalent appliances including microwave, self-cleaning oven, dishwasher and side-by-side refrigerator, as well as an undermount stainless steel sink. All condos have solid core interior doors, designer light fixtures, ceiling fans in living rooms and bedrooms and high quality faucets and plumbing fixtures.

Bathrooms feature framed vanity mirrors, a separate shower in the master baths, cultured marble vanity counter tops and tubs and raised height cabinets.

cape-san-blas-lots-aerial-1Located on the Florida panhandle, Mexico Beach is a community on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico but miles from anything else. Along this stretch of scenic Highway 98, there are no high-rises and no rush-hour; just breathtaking views of sea oats, white sand and the emerald Gulf water. You may stop for a family of beachgoers crossing the road, but never for traffic lights.

Visitors take part in swimming, kayaking, fishing, recreational diving, eco-tours or just plain old relaxing with a beach chair and a good book. When it comes to supper time, if you haven’t caught your own dinner, you can visit one of the many restaurants, either on the beach or across the street.

Nature lovers relish the bird watching and aquatic animals. Look for bald eagles in the winter months and loggerhead turtle hatchlings in the late summer. Dolphins dive through the waves all year long. Visitors can also explore the shops of Mexico Beach for souvenirs, artwork, antiques and fine clothing. For golf enthusiasts, St. Joseph’s Bay Country Club, just to the east of Port St. Joe, offers 18 holes of challenging play.

The 12 residential lots are on Cape San Blas which is located between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola and has been called one of America’s “Top 10 Beaches.” Several of the lots are located directly on the Gulf of Mexico amidst spectacular sand dunes and have breathtaking views of the aquamarine water that is unique to the Florida Panhandle.

“For someone looking for a good buy on a vacation get-away, business retreat or resort rental property, the condominiums and facilities at Tranquil Harbour offer an extraordinary opportunity to the discriminating buyer to purchase luxurious and picturesque accommodations on Florida’s Emerald Coast,” said William Bone, president of The National Auction Group, Inc.

The properties will be open for inspection by appointment beginning April 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 1-800-503-0010 or (256) 547-3434. Beginning April 17th, call on site at (256) 504-5201 and (256) 504-6858. Those bidding on the condominium units will be required to pay 10% on auction day and must have $5,000 in certified funds for each two bedroom unit; $10,000 for three-bedroom units and $15,000 for the four-bedroom units. The Gulf front and Gulf-view lots will require $5,000 each. The auction will take place at Tranquil Harbor which is located at 101 36th Street in Mexico Beach.

Click Here for a printable fact sheet

Seahaven Condos Sold for 60% Off and More

Suffering through a shadowy frigid 50 degree temperature, bidders and spectators alike gathered in anticipation in the hottest condominium auction to hit Panama City Beach.  The party was held under the covered portacache at Origin in the Towne of Seahaven just 1/2 mile east of Pier Park on Panama City Beach.

Even as late as 12:40 pm, the crowd looked sparse, of course, maybe it appeared to be spread thin as the area was large and people were scattered all over.  A childhood technique comes to mind to give the appearance of a eaten dinner – spread the food around a little to make a lot look like a little, and break for an early desert.

Bidder registrations were at a scant 30 something when I arrived on the scene at 12 noon, although I was unable to get a definitive number.  I was able to confirm after the auction had begun that a total 54 had registered to bid.

“I’m looking  to buy 40 cents on the dollar,” said one registered bidder, indicating the smell of blood in the air.  “I’ll probably offer $200,000 for a 2 bedroom,” said another bidder, “not sure if I’ll get it, but I’ll try.”  He later signed the paperwork for a 3 bedroom for his original budget of $200k.  At the end of the day, his purchase was the least per square foot purchase of all the condos offered for sale at the auction.  He bought a 1963 square foot condo for $112.07 per square foot, after the buyer’s premium.   “It’s always a little risky bidding first,” he said, “but nobody was bidding, so I just through out a number and I actually got it.”

It took a while for the crowd to wake up, but once they did, a feeding frenzy much like what was seen at Palazzo ensued.  The market price seemed to be set by a few winning bidders, then the National Auction Group began working with interested parties to negotiate and sell a total of 37 condos.

What I found interesting was that at some point, the actual auction stopped but real estate continued to sell.  The National Auction agents seemed to change modes from auctioneers to negotiators bringing offers and deals back and forth between attendees and the developer.  In fact, only 9 condos actually sold auction style – all the others happened after the fact.

As the cold wore on and the crowd again grew scarce, condo sales were still being picked off one by one.  The average price per square foot sold after the buyer’s premium was $166 with a range from $112/sf to $196/sf.

I should note that if you were following the live updates that I was posting as the auction was happening, all the sold prices stated were BEFORE the 10% buyers premium.  The action was just happening too fast for me to take notes, send in updates AND do another calculation.

Out of the condos that were sold when I left only 3 were pool/center view, indicating that with the lower than expected prices, the developer is reserving the ‘premium’ units for a higher price.

Talking with Neel and Mike Bennett several times throughout the auction, they both expressed their concern for the market and the desire of a higher price being commanded from their product offering. Many owners are upset because of the auction as it certainly makes clear the value of these beautiful condominiums at Origin in the Towne of Seahaven.

Being an owner, it certainly hurts to know how upside down we are right now, but at least we know – and “knowing is half the battle,” as a wise G.I. Joe commercial once said.

I’ve been criticized in the past for sticking up for the developer, but in this case I stick up for them not because they are friends, but from a business stand point.  The reality is that even though we are significantly upside down, our hurt doesn’t hold a candle to that of the developer.  We’d all like the market to be a lot better than what it is now.  Everyday we have to fight for an appetite because of all the money we’ve lost.  The fact is that there is nothing we can do about it, we are were we are.  For the developer, the best thing to do is get rid of as much inventory as he can – that is the only way he can move forward.  If he doesn’t do it, the bank will, he can’t hold onto unsold condos forever.

This auction is another testement to what I’ve been telling everyone for months – Now is the time to be buying real estate.  Prices are better now then they’ve been in several years.

Below is the unit number/price breakdown for all the condos sold when I left Saturday.  I’m hoping to have some final numbers soon, and will post them when I do.

It is my understanding that the Bennetts (developer) are still taking deals.  If you need more information on this, or help purchasing a condo, feel free to contact me at jason@pcbdaily.com or 850-319-1172.

Sold condos – all numbers are after 10% buyer’s premium with the bold units being the ones that are on the inside of the horseshoe.

Unit # Type SF Price Price/SF
1033/1035 3 Bedroom Lock B 1781 $297,000 $166.76
1133/1135 3 Bedroom Lock B 1781 $297,000 $166.76
1433/1435 3 Bedroom Lock B 1781 $297,000 $166.76
1701 3 Bedroom D 1963 $220,000 $112.07
429 2 Bedroom B 1427 $221,100 $154.94
1432 2 Bedroom E 1293 $210,000 $178.65
501/503 2 Bedroom Lock A 1306 $220,000 $168.45
535/537 2 Bedroom Lock A 1306 $220,000 $168.45
1425/1427 2 Bedroom Lock C 1303 $176,000 $135.07
1232 1 Bedroom A 815 $137,500 $168.71
1031 1 Bedroom B 881 $143,000 $162.32
1331 1 Bedroom B 881 $143,000 $162.32
1407 1 Bedroom B 881 $137,500 $156.07
729 Studio B 541 $93,500 $172.83
809 Studio B 541 $93,500 $172.83
733 Studio A 475 $93,500 $196.84
805 Studio A 475 $93,500 $196.84
933 Studio A 475 $93,500 $196.84
1234 Studio A 475 $93,500 $196.84
423 Studio C 465 $60,500 $130.11
525 Studio C 465 $75,900 $163.23
1023 Studio C 465 $75,900 $163.23
1125 Studio C 465 $75,900 $163.23
719 Studio D 562 $75,900 $163.23
819 Studio D 562 $75,900 $163.23

Seahaven Auction – LIVE Action on PCBDaily.com!

That’s right, you heard it.  Live on pcbdaily.com will be the auction details as they unfold on Saturday at Origin in the Towne of Seahaven.

Right now, many anxiously await the time when the auctioneer starts rambling off barely discernable numbers to bring who knows what kind of prices.  Many have criticized the auction process.

I personally have a number in my head that the condos will bring, but I’ll respectfully decline to comment on that at this time.  BUT, feel free to post in the comments what you predict they’ll sell for.

On Saturday, if you can’t make it to the auction, just hang on pcbdaily.com and hit refresh every few minutes for updates.

See you at the auction!

Seahaven Auction Details

29 Seahaven Condos to be Sold at Absolute Auction on December 13th

For the National Auction Group, one successful project often leads to others. That has been the case in Panama City Beach this year where the company will conduct its third auction on Saturday, December 13th. This one will feature 29 luxurious condominium homes in the Gulf-view Origin at Seahaven community. The auction will be absolute, meaning regardless of price, and bidders will be able to select from 61 condos.  The Gadsden, Alabama-based company specializes in the marketing of one-of-a-kind, high-end properties. In two previous Panama City Beach projects this year they sold more than $26 million worth of condos.

The 17-story Origin at Seahaven community is brand new and located near Pier Park. Water views are tantalizing and are close to the most popular beach restaurants, attractions and night spots.  All are crafted from the finest materials and with painstaking attention to the smallest details. The wide array of offerings includes studio units as well as spacious one, two and three bedroom units, and one four-bedroom penthouse condo. All have to be seen to fully appreciate.

The Origin tower is one of the first phases of the carefully planned Towne of Seahaven, a 53-acre pedestrian village with 1,400 +/- feet directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Expected facets include hotels, town homes, a town hall and a Main Street marketplace, an events plaza and a water park. In other words, the value of the luxurious condos will surely escalate over the next few years.

All of the condos feature attractive African mahogany two-panel doors; kitchens with Whirlpool appliances, granite and porcelain countertops and custom cabinets; ceiling fans in both the living areas and master bedrooms, and washers and dryers in the two-bedroom and larger units. Included in the purchase are electronics, linens, window treatments, kitchenware, accessories and high speed internet access.

Rental-ready furniture packages are available for purchase.

The list of community amenities is both endless and extraordinarily impressive.  Residents and their guests enjoy a fully-equipped fitness center, his and her saunas, a theater with stadium seating for 24, a spectacular Zero-Edge swimming pool overlooking the Gulf, a heated and covered spa, observation decks, grilling terraces with built-in commercial grade stainless steel grills and a game room. Origin at Seahaven also features 24-hour security, climate-controlled storage units, high-speed elevators, on-site property management and beautiful tropical landscaping.

“These are truly wonderful condominiums,” said National Auction Group president William Bone. “And being part of the new Towne of Seahaven makes them even more special. This is a remarkable opportunity to bid on spectacular residential fantasies and to purchase an incomparable beach lifestyle.”

These lavish condos are available for viewing daily, by appointment, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  To schedule an appointment, please call 877-636-6550 or 256-547-3434.  Bidders will be required to bring $7,500 in personal check, business check or certified funds to bid on the studio units; $10,000 for the one-bedroom units; $12,500 for the two-bedroom condos; $15,000 for the three-bedroom units and $20,000 for the four-bedroom penthouse condos.  Closing will be within 30 days. The auction will take place at Origin at Seahaven community which is located at 15100 Front Beach Road.

The National Auction Group (nationalauctiongroup.com), Inc. is the country’s largest seller of private, one-of-a-kind real estate properties such as estates, ranches, farms, commercial properties and recreational facilities. Recognized for its creative and aggressive marketing strategies which are carefully planned, promoted, scheduled and implemented, the National Auction Group’s team of talented professionals is skilled at developing plans of action customized to the needs of each client.

Auction at Towne of Seahaven

On December 13th, 2008 an auction will be held on site at Origin, at the Towne of Seahaven.

They will sell 29 condos with over 60 to choose from, including 2, 3, and 4 bedroom options.  It is being advertised as no minimums and no reserves with the auction to begin at 11 am CST.

Registered bidders will be expected to bring a deposit (listed below) and pay a 10% buyers premium on top of the final auction price they purchased at.

Deposit amounts:

Studio: $7,500

1 Bedroom: $10,000

2 Bedroom: $12,500

3 Bedroom: $15,000

4 Bedroom: $20,000

More Information

Condo Market after Ocean Reef Condo Auction

The Ocean Reef auction on October 18, 2008 concluded with a reported 35 sales.  Sounds good but they still have over 140 unsold units in their inventory.  The 2BR/2Ba units sold for $225,500, including the auction fee, which is about 20% less than recent sales of very similar Emerald Isle 2BR/2Ba units.  This tells us that there are a few buyers out there willing to buy at a 20% discount.  The Palazzo auction in August told us there were a few buyers out there willing to buy at a 10% discount.  The question is whether buyers will demand more than a 20% discount at the next auction.

We reported in July that there were over 1,300 unsold, high-quality developer units in beach-side buildings in Panama City Beach.  The Palazzo auction sold 50 units in August, the Ocean Reef auction sold 35 units in October, and Sterling Breeze closed 30 units in-house since July.  That still leaves around 1,200 unsold developer units that need to be sold.  1,200 unsold developer units most likely means more auctions and lower prices.

The local condo market continues to trend downward.  The chart later in this post indicates that sale prices as of October 2008 are down 15% compared to October 2007.  New lows are set almost every month in high quality beach-side buildings.  There are numerous examples of list prices that are below the lowest reported sale price of a particular model unit.  Foreclosure proceedings in high quality beach-side buildings have accelerated in every quarter over the past year.  The number of monthly, arms-length, market-rate sales from the 70 buildings within our database continues to decline.  The market dynamics at play in our local market and just the market inertia will most likely drag prices lower.

Is there any good news here?  If your basis for news is the year 2005, then market values have declined 50% and the world is coming to an end.  However, if your basis is the year 2002 then story is more upbeat.  Let’s look at the 744 square foot, 1BR/1Ba units in Long Beach Towers.  These units were selling in 2002 for around $175,000.  Currently, they are selling in the $215,000 range for a 23% increase since 2002.  The rate of inflation in constant dollars over the same period was 21%.  Not bad when you consider any other long lived item (vehicles, equipment, etc) you purchase almost always depreciates over time.

It is unreasonable to assume that residential property will always increase in value at a rate higher than the inflation rate.  If you extend price increases at a 2% to 3% rate above the inflation rate over a 30 year period, people will be spending more than 75% of their income on a place to live.  That is not a sustainable scenario.

Is this a good time to buy?  If price is your main consideration, the operative question becomes “is it a good time to buy today relative to what point in time”.  Certainly, today is a better time to buy than six months ago.  But is it a better time to buy today than six months from now?  The answer you will get depends on the agenda of whom you ask.  Speculation in this kind of market is not for the faint of heart.

The following is an update of our usual, no spin data from http://www.condosaletrends.com which we hope will help you in your investment decisions.  As always, if you lie to yourself about things concerning money, you lose.

We recently updated our Panama City Beach condo sales data through mid October 2008.  The graph below illustrates the number of monthly re-sales from the 70 Panama City Beach condo buildings in our database.  The 2008 monthly re-sales since July appear to be trending lower than past years.

The market trend line is illustrated below.  It is structured to show a sale price trend measured in terms of the percentage sale price as of a particular date.  The starting date used was May 1, 2007 so we could show the price trend for the preceding 19 months.  We chose units from a variety of buildings of different ages and sizes that had a sufficient number of sales as to be statistically significant.  The units used in the analysis were:

  • Boardwalk Beach; Opened in 2005; 1,380 SF;  2BR/2Ba
  • Calypso; Opened in 2006; 1,226 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Celadon; Opened in 2004; 846 SF; 1BR/2Ba
  • Grandview; Opened in 2005; 1,492 SF; 3BR/2Ba
  • Gulf Crest; Opened in 2003; 1,388 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Emerald Isle; Opened in 2005; 1,146 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Treasure Island; Opened in 2005; 1,370 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • The Summit; Opened in 1983; 912 SF; 1BR/1.5Ba
  • Regency Towers; Opened in 1975; 1,114 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Sterling Reef; Opened in 2005; 1,076 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Splash: Opened in 2006; 1,074 SF; 2BR/2Ba
  • Seychelles; Opened in 2006; 883SF; 1BR/2Ba

The May 1, 2007 market value for each type of unit was determined by analyzing sales data from January 1, 2007 to June 19, 2007.  The sale price of each type of unit is only compared to the typical sale price of that particular type of unit as of May 1, 2007.  In other words, a unit type with a May 1, 2007 market value of $400,000 is represented as 1 or 100%.   An October 2007, $380,000 sale of that type of unit is depicted as .95 or 95% of the May 1, 2007 sale price.  The sale prices and sale dates were charted with a price trend line for each type of unit.  The chart contained in the price trend analysis is a trend line of the trend lines of the sale prices of each type of unit from the 12 buildings.  Foreclosure sale prices that were unrealistically low were not included.  There were 177 sales used in the chart.  The analysis does not try to skew the price trend in any direction.  The data is just the data.

The data indicates that the rate of price decline has been mostly steady over the past 19 months. Compared to October 2007, it appears that typical prices have declined approximately 15% over the past 12 months.  Price stabilization is not indicated.

Sam Portman