This week, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports on those price cuts at Americana at Brand, but more importantly, the story notes the number of units that have sold at the development. (Back in April, developer Rick Caruso chopped prices: Condos that used to start at $931,000 dropped to $539,000, while a $670,000 condo dropped to $410,000.) According to Caruso, only nine units sold before the sale was announced, and since the new pricing, 35 units have sold (most of those sales have been in the last six weeks). Those figures are close to what reps at the development recently told the Glendale-News Press (15 percent sold pre-sale, 30 percent sold now). But here's the rub, a fact not addressed in the story: None of the condo buyers have been able to move in because the lender requirements dictate that a development has to be 50 percent sold before buyers can move in (a problem the developers of the Rowan also faced). Jennifer Gordon, Senior VP for PR at Caruso Affiliated, confirmed to us that none of the condo buyers had moved in yet because of this rule.
As far as the rental figures, Caruso tells the San Fernando Valley Business Journal that "about 90 percent" of the 238 rental units are leased.
God bless Caruso, the man is a genius, but sometimes a weed whacker is needed to slash through the Caruso PR spin. We called Chris Cragnotti, a realtor with G&C Properties, who was quoted in the story talking about how Glendalians were initially a little unsure of what to make of the fancy Wilshire Corridor-like Americana condos. Are nearly 90 percent really leased, we asked? Yup, he think that's about right, and says he's seen the rental office very, very busy. But he also believes that some rental deals are being made, despite Caruso's quote in the story that rental prices aren't coming down. As far as the sales numbers, Cragnotti also believes that figure is accurate. We also spoke with Jerry Hoffman, another local Glendale real estate agent. "I would believe that they would have 35 in escrow," he said. "I can see where that price point would be attractive. But the rental figure, I am a bit skeptical." Maybe Hoffman is wrong and the rental units are really leased up, but the lesson here still would be that people are still wary of figures released by developers. Meanwhile, according to the Journal, Caruso is now offering to pay half of the homeowner fees at Americana (which are about $875) for the first two years. So basically, you get one year free HOAs (same deal as downtown's EVO building).
· Condo Prices Cut Drastically At Americana [SFVT]
· PriceChopper: Americana at Brand Drops Significantly [Curbed LA]