The trend of slashing prices and using auctions to move units heads into the hot summer. The latest (possible fire sale): The Dalton in Pasadena, a 35-unit condo project at Arroyo and Del Mar. Just a hunk of wood last summer, the project was developed by Arroyo Cordova Properties LLC (what looks to be tied to Los Angeles-based Champion Real Estate Company), who will hold a one-day sale on August 16th at the Pasadena Hilton. Starting bid on a 685-square foot condo is $165,000 (original price was $349,000). And a 1,566-square foot condo that was priced at $759,000 will have a starting bid at $375,000. But the bloggers over in Pasadena are suspicious. Via local blogger Doug Willis: "It has been rumored the auctioning company will have stooges planted throughout the audience. Not to make you laugh, but to actually bid against you."
More via Willis: "They have no intention of buying the unit you are bidding for, their only purpose is to make you pay more. If I were a betting man, I would just about guarantee that each unit that will be auctioned will have a minimum acceptable bid. If the bid price is not obtained, the unit will be removed or the stooge that just bet against you, will not be able to complete the purchase."
No, there are no stooges, Rhett Winchell, President of Kennedy Wilson Group, the firm holding the auction, tells us. "This is just a way to move one or two years worth of inventory in a single day."