Since I linked to it the other day, I’ve heard from a number of readers asking what I thought of Sunday’s LA Times story about the frenzy to fizzle of condos in downtown San Diego.

I thought the story summed up some good stuff — like the situation at Vantage Pointe — for an audience that follows this local housing market less, shall we say, obsessively than some of us. This comparison was one of the best pieces of context in the story:

From 2001 through 2008, more than 8,000 condominium units were built in downtown San Diego. That’s double the number of downtown units constructed over the same period in Los Angeles, a city three times its size.

And, as we know, it’d take years to sell all of the condos on the market downtown:

Downtown San Diego, a 2.2-square-mile area, is now awash in condos. About 400 new and occupied ones are listed for sale, and more than 450 are in some stage of foreclosure and will eventually be put on the market. An additional 1,000 units that were under construction when the market soured are slated to be completed this year, adding to the glut and putting further downward pressure on prices.

But here’s where I quibbled with the story:

So while sales of urban high-rise units are convulsing elsewhere, nowhere is the collapse more dramatic than in downtown San Diego.

Here’s why.

The New York Times has a story today about condos in Miami. When you look at their situation, they clearly blow downtown San Diego out of the water:

Since 2003, nearly 23,000 new condo units have been added to the downtown skyline, from Brickell Avenue up through the more modest Biscayne Corridor — far more than this city of 400,000 people could absorb. About 9,400 remained unsold at the end of June, according to Peter Zalewski, the owner of Condo Vultures Realty, a local brokerage.


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