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I wasn’t able to catch Brian Stoddard on the phone for this story yesterday on Vantage Pointe. But Stoddard, president and chief operating officer of Pointe of View, the building’s developer, sent me these thoughts on the story this morning:

My sense is that the article is more about the current economic environment then it is about Vantage Pointe. I do not know what the market will be like by the time we begin closing the units in Vantage Pointe, I would hope that the market will improve and consumer confidence will return, and our buyers will feel better about their purchases.

In any group of 300 people lives change, and it is no different with our buyers. Within this group I am sure that there has been marriages, divorces, new babies, new careers, and new plans. We appreciate the situation that the buyers are in, however, they have entered into contractual obligations to us, and in turn we have entered into contractual obligations with our lenders. We are working with Wells Fargo exploring developer sponsored programs that may assist the buyers.

In an interview this week, Mike Dalzell of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage told me about a program like that — the bank’s “home opportunities” loan program. That would require the builder to make available a 3 percent down payment and the buyer would contribute 7 percent. It’s a first-time homebuyer kind of loan, Dalzell said, with some restrictions on buyer income.

Mark Mills, a real estate agent downtown, sent me some thoughts on the story, too. He quibbled with my characterization of Vantage Pointe as a bellwether for downtown real estate.

It’s not a competing product for most other buildings downtown because of its location. Downtown is a major market for second homes and that location is not desired by those looking for a quick & pleasant (well lit streets, window shopping along the way, open stores, etc) walk to the Gaslamp or the waterfront.

I don’t think it’s a [bellwether] for most new construction with the exception of a comparison to Smart Corner. The other new not yet sold out projects; Aria, Alta, Bayside, Breeza, Legend, and The Mark all have a lot more reasons a buyer would choose them over V.P., starting with location and even higher quality (with the exception of Breeza).

Many analysts I’ve talked to are watching carefully Vantage Pointe’s progress. Whether or not the owners of units in other buildings feel tied to what happens at Vantage Pointe, it’s a given that the addition of hundreds of new condos to a ZIP code (92101) will somehow affect the market beyond just the project itself.

KELLY BENNETT

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