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You might remember a coastal project called Oceanside Terraces from my recent story on Oceanside’s housing market.

In that story, I found a sharp contrast between the frenzy for inland, low-priced foreclosures and stalled coastal projects. I also mentioned that the recently completed downtown project called Oceanfront Terraces is looking to auction its remaining condos in the next couple of months, a sign that sales on the regular market are going slower than expected. The project is near the Coaster tracks and the city’s coastal shops and restaurants.

The North County Times discussed that auction — scheduled for July 19 — in a story today. Here’s a snippet:

After selling fewer than 10 condominiums in the Oceanside Terraces development three blocks from the Oceanside Pier, the developer is turning to an auction house to off-load the remaining 29.

Starting bids on the condos range from $295,000 to $625,000, or $151 to $244 per square foot. Ken Stevens, the auctioneer, said comparable condos have been selling for 30 to 40 percent more. …

Stevens said Janez Properties Inc., a lead partner in the development, stands to take a substantial loss. Janez representatives didn’t return a call seeking comment.

A lot of these auctions have benchmark prices that must be met that are much higher than those starting bid prices, in case you’re curious.

In my story, I spoke with Roberta Murphy, a North County real estate broker, who had previously been selling units at the project. She said the trouble came from the difficulties buyers have found with getting loans at the high end. That, along with the revised rules for how many units in a project must be lived in by their owners, whittles the buyer pool to those with large down payments or all cash to pay for the waterfront units, Murphy told me.

I heard from Murphy this morning on the project:

These last few months we were limited to cash offers that could close quickly. At the end, we had several cash buyers offering over $300 per square foot (who could close within days) and they were rejected by the builder.

In today’s San Diego real estate market, if financing is in place and prices are reasonable, there is no need for properties to go to auction.

We still don’t know why these offers were rejected—other than the builder and auctioneer believe they will be able to do better via the auction process. 

We will likely be there with clients.

KELLY BENNETT

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