This link will take you to a spread sheet that shows all the units from yesterday's auction at downtown's Rowan Lofts. The spreadsheet was prepared by a friend of one of the buyers, who passed it on to us. We double-checked all the sales amounts entered, and checked sample HOA fees. The graph shows the minimum bid, what the units sold for, the square footage/price breakdown, the HOAs fees and more. By our estimates, 28 units sold for the minimum bid required on the respective unit. Additionally, there were only four units that sold for more than 10 percent of the minimum bid (those sales are in bold). This data seem to confirm the general mood of the auction: Buyers seemed more interested in shrewdly shopping, getting their unit, and if that one wasn't available, moving on to another one. "No one wants a bidding war," one buyer told us during the auction. The biggest price increase was for unit 509, a 595 square foot studio that sold for $235,000, a 20.62 percent raise over the minimum bid of $195,000. (That unit sold for $395.29 a square foot.) Another popular unit was unit 205, a 523 square foot unit with a private patio. That unit sold for $278,000, a 15.83 percent raise over its minimum bid of $240,000. That unit sold for $531.55 a square foot.
Throughout the auction, we checked in with two of the developers. Bill Stevenson of Intelligent Market Systems LLC, the company that ran the auction, and an investor in the Downtown Properties, was unhappy with the bidding during the first hour. “I don’t feel good,” he told us at 3pm, an hour after the auction started. “It’s too slow.” At 3:34 pm: “It’s a little better now. There is interest in more of the units.” At 4:40 pm, when 62 units had sold: “I would be happy if 80 percent of these people would be able to close?we are trying as hard as we can to keep these as condominiums.” At the close of the auction: “I feel better. The market is alive. I wouldn’t say the market is well, but it’s alive.”
With about an hour left before the auction closed, developer Goodwin Gaw seemed disappointed bids weren't higher. When we asked him how he thought the auction was going, he pointed to the screen, singling out a penthouse unit, which had a bid of $534,000. "That's a bargain," he said, sounding slightly agitated. "I just think some of these prices are too low. When we sell the rest of the units, I think we’ll have raise prices.” [Left: Stevenson watching the screen; Right: Gaw speaking to the crowd]
· Rowan Auctions [Google Documents]