Over 400 potential Buyers crowded into a standing room only Crowne Plaza Natick Hotel to purchase 43 auction units and 12 additional post auction units at prices between 34% and 64% of their most recent asking prices.
The Nouvelle at Natick condo auction’s goal was to kick start sales at the troubled luxury condo development adjacent to the Natick Collection Mall, and despite the developer, General Growth Properties, not seeing the selling prices they would have liked, the auction brought the occupancy rate in the 215-unit building from 17% to approximately 43%, and more importantly, the market established a consumable price point of approximately $300 per square foot for remaining units. The lowest purchase price at the auction was $249,000 for a 1 bedroom 1.5 bathroom condo, and the most expensive was $628,000 for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom penthouse.
General Growth Properties, which has filed for bankruptcy because of the happenings at Nouvelle at Natick, looks to the auction to set a price point as established by the market, and is now poised to re-engage the market through a normal sales process on the remaining units, but at auction prices. The plan has worked well so far, as 12 additional units, above and beyond the 43 brought to auction, sold yesterday following the auction.
The method will be tested again in the downtown Boston market when the Bryant is taken to auction (see Bryant Back Bay to Auction 10 Luxury Condos) in a similar fashion on October 17th – 10 units in the 50-unit development are slated for auction. Similar to the Natick auction, the intent is to clear inventory, generate cash flow, and ultimately re-engage the buying market on remaining units (tentatively 35 units will remain for sale following the auction) in the luxury Back Bay / South End development.