I am very ambivalent (can you actually be VERY ambivalent, btw?) about the whole Folio Boston auction.
So, here’s details on the sale, which took place, yesterday.
Two-hundred bidders, or four-hundred attendees, depending on whether you believe the Globe or Herald, crowded the Seaport Hotel for the auction.
For some reason, both newspapers could only produce a photo of one of the guys in the audience, Mr. 400.
All units up for auction sold, from between 21-36% below last list price, but over the developer’s minimum price.
Oddly, both newspapers could only find one or two attendees to interview – the SAME one or two attendees:
From the Globe:
Kevin Starr jumped into the fray as bidding for the third-floor Boston condominium kicked off at $825,000 and surged to $835,000, then to $837,000.
“I thought it was the deal of the auction,” Starr said.
“I had no idea he was going to bid,” said his wife, Daire Starr. “Oh my god!” she screamed with joy.
From the Herald:
Husband and wife Kevin and Daire Starr couldn’t believe their luck. They got a 1,910-square foot apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms for $837,000 – almost $400,000 below the list price, and just $12,000 over the auction minimum.
“It was my wife’s birthday this month, and she wanted it,” said Starr. “It was the deal of the auction.”
Starr said the couple currently rented in Back Bay. “We’ve been waiting for the market froth to cool down the last couple of years before we jumped in,” he said with a smile.
It’s funny. Before the auction, one of the sales ladies told me she thought all units would sell at auction, either at minimum, or above, except for one of the layouts. The 1910 square foot, three bedroom, two bath units. Why, I asked. “Go see for yourself, and you’ll know what I mean,” she replied, smiling weakly.
Yes, deal of the auction, indeed.
I’d also be a bit worried, if I was one of the buyers, and suddenly realized this person was going to be my neighbor:
Bryan Rich’s hands shook as he signed an agreement to follow through on his $1.14 million winning bid for a 14th-floor penthouse with a terrace.
Five minutes later, he won another contest with a $1.09 million bid for a terraced unit next door with water views.
“My wife’s going to kill me,” joked Rich, former business owner who recently moved from the Boston suburbs to Miami. He plans to rent the units.
1) It’s not necessarily a joke to spend $2.23 million on properties no one was willing to buy, before.
2) It’s not necessarily a joke to buy two condos in a building in which no one was willing to buy one unit, at any price, before.
3) Anyone who buys, then jokes, “My wife’s going to kill me,” makes me uncomfortable.
4) These won’t rent for enough to make this a good investment, in my opinion.
‘Sold!’ Auction reflects downturn – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe
Condos going, going, cheap: Bidders get great deals on 31 units at Hub auction – By Brett Arends, The Boston Herald